Mary Shelley


Perhaps Victor Frankenstein is analogous to each one of us, maybe his discovery isn’t all that scientific, and it is merely meant to represent procreation. Frankenstein’s monster is analogous to every unwanted, unloved child who is a monster in their parent’s eyes. Every child who failed to live up to their parents expectations or standards, the forgotten children who felt unworthy and ostracized to the point of becoming daemons. They are the children who ended up becoming heinous murders or psychopaths, their failure to fit into society lead them to lashing out on everyone else who did. In a fit of anger and rage which lead them to the realization that they had nothing left to live for besides enacting their revenge on those who forced them into existence. Maybe Shelley Kegan’s point was not whether we have any right to meddle with life and death but rather that we need to take responsibility for what we bring into the world regardless of how it may look in our eyes.

In Victors speech towards the crew he spurned them for ‘running away’ for accepting defeat and disgrace, for running when the trial became tough. Perhaps this was based on the reflection of what he did when he first witnessed what he created, for he ran home and the disgrace and consequences of running away from his mission were far worse than accepting it and trying to improve it.

Mary Shelley Quotes on Curiosity & Knowledge

Inspirational Quotes by Mary Shelley about Curiosity & Knwoledge

Theodore Von Holst (1810-1844) – Tate Britain. Private collection, Bath

“While my companions contemplated with a serious and satisfied spirit the magnificent appearances of things, I delighted in investigating their causes. The world was to me a secret which I desired to divine. Curiosity, earnest research to learn the hidden laws of nature, gladness akin to rapture, as they were unfolded to me, are among the earliest sensations I can remember.”

– Mary Shelley, as quoted in Frankenstein


“How dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge and how much happier that man is who believes his native town to be the world, than he who aspires to be greater than his nature will allow.”

–  Mary Shelley, as quoted in Frankenstein


“He was a boy of singular talent and fancy. He loved enterprise, hardship, and even danger, for its own sake.”

– Mary Shelley, as quoted in Frankenstein


“I confess that neither the structure of languages, nor the code of governments, nor the politics of various states, possessed attractions for me. It was the secrets of heaven and earth that I desired to learn; and whether it was the outward substance of things, or the inner spirit of nature and the mysterious soul of man that occupied me, still my inquiries were directed to the metaphysical, or, in its highest sense, the physical secrets of the world.”

– Mary Shelley, as quoted in Frankenstein

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Inspirational Quotes by Mary Shelley

Engraving by George J. Stodart, after a monument by Henry Weekes (1807-1877) – Emily W. Sunstein, Mary Shelley: Romance and Reality, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991

Mary Shelley Quotes on Death


“Alas! I regret that I am taken from you; and, happy and beloved as I have been, is it not hard to quit you all? But these are not thoughts befitting me; I will endeavor to resign myself cheerfully to death, and will indulge a hope of meeting you in another world.”

– Mary Shelley, as quoted in Frankenstein


“The time at length arrives, when grief is rather an indulgence than a necessity; and the smile that plays upon the lips, although it may be deemed a sacrilege, is not banished. My mother was dead, but we had still duties which we ought to perform; we must continue our course with the rest, and learn to think ourselves fortunate, whilst one remains whom the spoiler has not seized.”

– Mary Shelley, as quoted in Frankenstein

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Mary Shelley Quotes on Dreams

Mary Shelley Quotes on Dreams

William Shelley by Amelia Curran (1775-1849)

“The whole series of my life appeared to me as a dream; I sometimes doubted if indeed it were all true, for it never presented itself to my mind with the force of reality.”

– Mary Shelley, as quoted in Frankenstein


“My dreams were at once more fantastic and agreeable than my writings.”

– Mary Shelley


“My dreams were all my own; I accounted for them to nobody; they were my refuge when annoyed – my dearest pleasure when free.”

– Mary Shelley, as quoted in Frankenstein

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Mary Shelley Quotes on Friendship


“I had determined, at one time, that the memory of these evils should die with me; but you have won me to alter my determination.”

– Mary Shelley, as quoted in Frankenstein


“I have no friend, Margaret: when I am glowing with the enthusiasm of success, there will be none to participate my joy; if I am assailed by disappointment, no one will endeavor to sustain me in dejection. I shall commit my thoughts to paper, it is true; but that is a poor medium for the communication of feeling. I desire the company of a man who could sympathize with me; whose eyes would reply to mine. You may deem me romantic, my dear sister, but I bitterly feel the want of a friend. I have no one near me, gentle yet courageous, possessed of a cultivated as well as of a capacious mind, whose tastes are like my own, to approve or amend my plans. How would such a friend repair the faults of your poor brother! I am too ardent in execution, and too impatient of difficulties. But it is a still greater evil to me that I am self-educated: for the first fourteen years of my life I ran wild on a common, and read nothing but our Uncle Thomas’s books of voyages.

— of my thirst for a more intimate sympathy with a fellow mind than had ever fallen to my lot; and expressed my conviction that a man could boast of little happiness, who did not enjoy this blessing. “I agree with you,” replied the stranger; “we are unfashioned creatures, but half made up, if one wiser, better, dearer than ourselves such a friend ought to be — do not lend his aid to perfectionate our weak and faulty natures. I once had a friend, the most noble of human creatures, and am entitled, therefore, to judge respecting friendship. You have hope, and the world before you, and have no cause for despair. But I — I have lost everything, and cannot begin life anew.”


– Mary Shelley, as quoted in Frankenstein

“It may…be judged indecent in me to come forward on this occasion; but when I see a fellow-creature about to perish through the cowardice of her pretended friends, I wish to be allowed to speak, that I may say what I know of her character.”

–  Mary Shelley, as quoted in Frankenstein


“. . . the companions of our childhood always possess a certain power over our minds which hardly any later friend can obtain.”

– Mary Shelley

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Mary Shelley Quotes on Greatness

“Beware; for I am fearless, and therefore powerful.”

– Mary Shelley, as quoted in Frankenstein


“And now, dear Margaret, do I not deserve to accomplish some great purpose? My life might have been passed in ease and luxury; but I preferred glory to every enticement that wealth placed in my path. Oh, that some encouraging voice would answer in the affirmative! My courage and my resolution are firm; but my hopes fluctuate and my spirits are often depressed.”

– Mary Shelley, as quoted in Frankenstein


“Unhappy man! Do you share my madness? Have you drank also of the intoxicating draught? Hear me — let me reveal my tale, and you will dash the cup from your lips!”

– Mary Shelley, as quoted in Frankenstein


“I also record those events which led, by insensible steps, to my after tale of misery: for when I would account to myself for the birth of that passion, which afterwards ruled my destiny, I find it arise like a mountain river, from ignoble and almost forgotten sources but, swelling as it as it proceeded, it became the torrent which, in its course, has swept away all my hopes and joys.”

– Mary Shelley, as quoted in Frankenstein


“If, instead of this remark, my father had taken the pains to explain to me that the principles of Agrippa had been entirely exploded, and that a modern system of science had been introduced, which possessed much greater powers than the ancient, because the powers of the latter were chimerical, while those of the former were real and practical; under such circumstances, I should certainly have thrown Agrippa aside, and have contented my imagination, warmed as it was, by returning with greater ardour to my former studies. It is even possible that the train of my ideas would never have received the fatal impulse that led to my ruin. But the cursory glance my father had taken of my volume by no means assured me that he was acquainted with its contents; and I continued to read with the greatest avidity.”

– Mary Shelley, as quoted in Frankenstein


“Or rather the evil influence, the Angel of Destruction, which asserted omnipotent sway over me from the moment I turned my reluctant steps from my father’s door.”

– Mary Shelley, as quoted in Frankenstein


“Wealth was an inferior object; but what glory would attend the discovery, if I could banish disease from the human frame, and render man invulnerable to any but a violent death!”

– Mary Shelley, as quoted in Frankenstein

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Mary Shelley Quotes on Life

Inspirational Quotes on Life by Mary Shelley

Mary Shelley, by Reginald Easton (1820)

 

“Strange and harrowing must be his story; frightful the storm which embraced the gallant vessel on its course, and wrecked it — thus!”

– Mary Shelley, as quoted in Frankenstein


“Even broken in spirit as he is, no one can feel more deeply than he does the beauties of nature. The starry sky, the sea, and every sight afforded by these wonderful regions, seems still to have the power of elevating his soul from earth. Such a man has a double existence: he may suffer misery, and be overwhelmed by disappointments; yet, when he has retired into himself, he will be like a celestial spirit that has a halo around him, within whose circle no grief or folly ventures.”

– Mary Shelley, as quoted in Frankenstein


“I know that while you are pleased with yourself, you will think of us with affection, and we shall hear regularly from you. You must pardon me if I regard any interruption in your correspondence as a proof that your other duties are equally neglected.”

– Mary Shelley, as quoted in Frankenstein


“For nothing contributes so much to tranquillize the mind as a steady purpose.”

– Mary Shelley, as quoted in Frankenstein


“Now I am twenty-eight, and am in reality more illiterate than many schoolboys of fifteen.”

– Mary Shelley, as quoted in Frankenstein


“A human being in perfection ought always to preserve a calm and peaceful mind, and never to allow passion or a transitory desire to disturb his tranquility.”

– Mary Shelley, as quoted in Frankenstein


“I do know that for the sympathy of one living being, I would make peace with all. I have love in me the likes of which you can scarcely imagine and rage the likes of which you would not believe. If I cannot satisfy the one, I will indulge the other.”

– Mary Shelley, as quoted in Frankenstein


“No man chooses evil because it is evil; he only mistakes it for happiness, the good he seeks.”

– Mary Shelley

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