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Former good article Frankenstein was one of the Language and literature good articles, but it has been removed from the list. There are suggestions below for improving the article to meet the good article criteria. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
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The name of this monster is not Frankenstein[edit]

From the article: Since publication of the novel, the name "Frankenstein" is often used to refer to the monster itself, as is done in the stage adaptation by Peggy Webling. This usage is sometimes considered erroneous, but usage commentators regard the monster sense of "Frankenstein" as well-established and not an error.[2][3][4]

Why should it matter what usage commentators say? It's fashionable today to say that any usage or grammatical construction is correct if enough people think it is. The question here, however, concerns what was actually written down in the pages of this novel, and not the muddled understanding of the popular imagination. Facts are facts, and Frankenstein is the scientist. To use the name Frankenstein to refer to the monster is degrading to the novel and its author, for it diverts our attention away from the human protagonist. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Pithecanthropus (talkcontribs) 01:05, 25 October 2012 (UTC) Pithecanthropus (talk) 05:29, 25 October 2012 (UTC)

I agree with you overall. There's a difference between what is accepted as common usage and what is technically correct. Saying that using "Frankenstein" is "not an error" is the same thing as stating literally that the text refers to the monster as "Frankenstein" when clearly it doesn't. I think leaving off the "and not an error" part still gets across that everyone will understand to whom you are referring when you say "Frankenstein" while not getting too worked up over a usage not supported by the text. And at the same time not implying that the text uses the name "Frankenstein" in this manner. Or perhaps a compromise of "well-established and an acceptable usage."? SQGibbon (talk) 06:01, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
Should the creature not receive the name of its father? It is, after all, not only Frankenstein's monster, but in a very real sense a sort of son of his as well... (talk) 22:53, 23 May 2016 (UTC)

Monster's Reading List?[edit]

Considering how important the 4 books are to the monster (being his only education, and thus his entire set of knowledge beyond direct experience), you'd think the article would at least name them. Sadly, its been over a decade since i read the book, and I can only remember 3 of them: Milton's Paradise Lost, Plutarch's Lives, and Gibbon's The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. I'm sure someone probably knows of some scholarly work examining the impact of the monster's reading on his actions and behavior, so I'll leave it to someone with more citable knowledge than me to work this in, but it really does need to be there. What the monster knows is central to the novel. -- (talk) 19:58, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

There's only three and they do not include Gibbon's Roman Empire. The third is Goethe's The Sorrows of Young Werther.--WickerGuy (talk) 20:07, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
I'd swear i remembered Gibbon being in there. Well, its been a long time, so maybe I'm just crazy. -- (talk) 20:08, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
Constantin-François de Volney’s Ruins of Empires is in the novel, and is where the monster primarily gets his knowledge of history. (talk) 00:56, 28 September 2011 (UTC)
He found three, the fourth (Gibbon) he overheard Felix reading to his girlfriend. JIMp talk·cont 15:56, 25 October 2011 (UTC)

Late 18th century?[edit]

I think that's the setting but if anyone could bring quotation to give a better idea of when the novel is set, it would improve the article a lot...Undead Herle King (talk) 06:10, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

two possible answers: during the present (Shelley's present)-- 1810s. Or, during an undefined, inexact pastoral/gothic/elegiac time that brings together elements of the present and the old-timey but which still should not be given a date. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:16, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

I'd go with the first. This is science fiction and concerns the hypothetical application of real recent scientific advances. (Richard Holmes's "The Age of Wonder" suggests--fairly convincingly, I'd say-- that Victor Frankenstein's experiments may be based on those of one real-life Johann Wilhelm Ritter, who died in 1810.) TheScotch (talk) 08:41, 12 October 2009 (UTC)

The dates that are given in the novel are all 17-- (sic; a way of showing that the story takes place in the 18th century without providing a specific date); but various references to books and literary quotations show that the principal events cannot take place earlier than the 1790s, indeed most likely the last years of the 1790s. Of course it cannot take place later than 1818, the date of publication. (talk) 16:12, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

Working outline[edit]

Initial suggestion:

  • Lead
  • Biographical background
  • Plot summary
  • Composition and publication
    • Composition
    • 1818 edition
    • 1831 edition
  • Styles and genres
    • Gothic and horror
    • Science fiction
    • Sublime
    • Epistolarity/Frame story/Bibliogenesis
  • Themes
    • Reproduction/Motherhood
    • Feminism/Birth myth
    • Enlightenment/Romanticism
    • Homosocial and homoerotic desire
    • Mourning and melancholy
    • Imperialism/Slavery
    • Marxism
  • Reception
  • Legacy
    • Frankenstein in popular culture

I'd like to start organizing this article better to start moving toward an FA-quality drive. --Laser brain (talk) 18:32, 23 February 2009 (UTC)

The "Styles and genres" and "Themes" layout needs to be improved. The coverage of letters and the frame story is much smaller than then gothic or science fiction. Also, what about the sublime and horror? Also, the themes listed here are some of the more insignificant themes covered by the literature. I would not dedicate entire sections to these at all. What about the Romantic individual? Feminism? Reproduction? The themes section needs to be radically rethought. Let's start by building a list of themes from the Cambridge Companion and introductions to Frankenstein. Awadewit (talk) 11:06, 24 February 2009 (UTC)
Absolutely, I will be working further on it. This is a living outline just meant to get conversation started. --Laser brain (talk) 15:59, 24 February 2009 (UTC)
By the way, is the Cambridge Companion is available through any online resources? The only thing I physically possess is the Norton Critical edition of the book (which contains some essays not listed in the bibliography) but I can get everything else through the library. --Laser brain (talk) 19:28, 24 February 2009 (UTC)
Parts of the CC are available through Google Books, but not everything. Very little for this project is going to be available online, I'm afraid. The Broadview edition has an excellent introduction - I'll list themes from its introduction this weekend. Do you want to split up the books I listed in this bibliography - you read half and I read half? Awadewit (talk) 13:42, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
Sure thing. I have access to most library resources and will endeavor to obtain anything that's only available in hardcopy. My ILL and doc delivery services are pretty efficient. --Laser brain (talk) 15:51, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

First stab at style/themes taken from the Broadview edition and the Cambridge Companion[edit]

These themes are listed in broad strokes:

We can use this list as a way to focus our reading. Awadewit (talk) 16:08, 7 March 2009 (UTC)

theme of addiction[edit]

I'm not sure why the above essay has been added here? Шизомби (talk) 21:58, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

Reading list[edit]

We need to divide up the reading list. Some of these books I have already read, so I just moved those to my list. Laser, why don't you choose first and then I'll read the rest.


  • Behrendt, Stephen C., ed. Approaches to Teaching Shelley's Frankenstein. New York: MLA, 1990. ISBN 087352540X.
  • Bennett, Betty T. Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley: An Introduction. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998. ISBN 080185976X.
  • Clery, E. J. Women's Gothic: From Clara Reeve to Mary Shelley. Plymouth: Northcote House, 2000. ISBN 0746308728.
  • Ellis, Kate Ferguson. The Contested Castle: Gothic Novels and the Subversion of Domestic Ideology. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1989. ISBN 0252060482.
  • Forry, Steven Earl. Hideous Progenies: Dramatizations of "Frankenstein" from Mary Shelley to the Present. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1990.
  • Gilbert, Sandra M. and Susan Gubar. The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination. 1979. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1984. ISBN 0300025963.
  • Hoeveler, Diane Long. Gothic Feminism: The Professionalization of Gender from Charlotte Smith to the Brontës. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1998. ISBN 0271018097.
  • Knoepflmacher, U. C. and George Levine, eds. The Endurance of "Frankenstein": Essays on Mary Shelley's Novel. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1979. ISBN 0520046404.
  • Macdonald, D.L. and Kathleen Scherf. "Introduction". Frankenstein. 2nd ed. Peterborough: Broadview Press, 1999. ISBN 1551113082.
  • Mellor, Anne K. Mary Shelley: Her Life, Her Fiction, Her Monsters. New York: Methuen, 1988. ISBN 0416017614.
  • Moers, Ellen. Literary Women.
  • Poovey, Mary. The Proper Lady and the Woman Writer: Ideology as Style in the Works of Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary Shelley, and Jane Austen. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984. ISBN 0226675289.
  • Rieger, James. "Dr. Polidori and the Genesis of Frankenstein". Studies in English Literature 3.4 (1963): 461-472.
  • Rubinstein, Marc A. ""My Accursed Origin": The Search for the Mother in Frankenstein". Studies in Romanticism 15.2 (1976): 165-94.
  • Schor, Esther, ed. The Cambridge Companion to Mary Shelley. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003. ISBN 0521007704.
  • Seymour, Miranda. Mary Shelley. New York: Grove Press, 2000. ISBN 0802139485.
  • Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein. New York: W. W. Norton and Co.
  • Skal, David. The Monster Show: A Cultural history of horror. Faber and Faber, 2001. ISBN 0571199968.
  • Smith, Johanna M., ed. Frankenstein. Case Studies in Contemporary Criticism. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 1992.
  • Spark, Muriel. Mary Shelley. London: Cardinal, 1987. ISBN 074740138X.
  • St Clair, William. "The Impact of Frankenstein". Eds. Bennett, Betty T. and Stuart Curran. Mary Shelley in Her Times. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000. ISBN 0801863341.
  • Sunstein, Emily W. Mary Shelley: Romance and Reality. 1989. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991. ISBN 0801842182.
  • Vasbinder, S. H. Scientific Attitudes in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein: Newtonian Monism as a Basis for the Novel. Kent State University Press, 1976.
  • Williams, Anne. The Art of Darkness: A Poetics of Gothic. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995. ISBN 0226899071.

Laser brain:

  • Aldiss, Brian W. "On the Origin of Species: Mary Shelley". Speculations on Speculation: Theories of Science Fiction. Eds. James Gunn and Matthew Candelaria. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow, 2005.
  • Baldick, Chris. In Frankenstein's Shadow: Myth, Monstrosity, and Nineteenth-Century Writing. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987.
  • Bann, Stephen, ed. "Frankenstein": Creation and Monstrosity. London: Reaktion, 1994.
  • Bohls, Elizabeth A. "Standards of Taste, Discourses of 'Race', and the Aesthetic Education of a Monster: Critique of Empire in Frankenstein". Eighteenth-Century Life 18.3 (1994): 23–36.
  • Botting, Fred. Making Monstrous: "Frankenstein", Criticism, Theory. New York: St. Martin's, 1991.
  • Butler, Marilyn. "Introduction". Frankenstein. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998. ISBN 0192833669.
  • Donawerth, Jane. Frankenstein's Daughters: Women Writing Science Fiction. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1997.
  • Dunn, Richard J. "Narrative Distance in Frankenstein". Studies in the Novel 6.4 (1974): 408–17.
  • Freedman, Carl. "Hail Mary: On the Author of Frankenstein and the Origins of Science Fiction". Science Fiction Studies 29.2 (2002): 253–64.
  • Gigante, Denise. "Facing the Ugly: The Case of Frankenstein". ELH 67.2 (2000): 565–87.
  • Heffernan, James A. W. "Looking at the Monster: Frankenstein and Film". Critical Inquiry 24.1 (1997): 133–58.
  • Hindle, Maurice. "Vital Matters: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and Romantic Science". Critical Survey 2.1 (1990) 29-35.
  • Hodges, Devon. "Frankenstein and the Feminine Subversion of the Novel". Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature 2.2 (1983): 155–64.
  • Holmes, Richard. Shelley: The Pursuit. 1974. London: Harper Perennial, 2003. ISBN 0007204582.
  • Kiely, Robert. The Romantic Novel in England. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1972. ISBN 0674779355.
  • Levine, George. The Realistic Imagination: English Fiction from Frankenstein to Lady Chatterly. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1983. ISBN 0226475514.
  • Lew, Joseph W. "The Deceptive Other: Mary Shelley's Critique of Orientalism in Frankenstein". Studies in Romanticism 30.2 (1991): 255–83.
  • London, Bette. "Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, and the Spectacle of Masculinity". PMLA 108.2 (1993): 256–67.
  • Marshall, Tim. Murdering to dissect: grave-robbing, Frankenstein and the anatomy literature. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1995. ISBN 0719045436.
  • Miles, Robert. Gothic Writing 1750–1820: A Genealogy. London: Routledge, 1993.
  • O'Flinn, Paul. "Production and Reproduction: The Case of Frankenstein". Literature and History 9.2 (1983): 194–213.
  • Moers, Ellen. "Female Gothic: Monsters, Goblins, Freaks". New York Review of Books 21 (4 April ?).
  • Rauch, Alan. "The Monstrous Body of Knowledge in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein". Studies in Romanticism 34.2 (1995): 227–53.
  • Stableford, Brian. "Frankenstein and the Origins of Science Fiction". Anticipations: Essays on Early Science Fiction and Its Precursors. Ed. David Seed. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1995.
  • Tropp, Martin. Mary Shelley's Monster. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1976.



The Woman Who Wrote Frankenstein[edit]

Thank you, User:StN for replacing the Lauritsen paragraph. Unfortunately, User:Awadewit took it out again. S/he read the book's reviews (though apparently not the book itself) and learned that Lauritsen's hypothesis is a distinctly minority one. However, it already said that in the disputed paragraph. User:Awadewit's comment suggests that s/he thought the paragraph equates the weight of Lauritsen's hypothesis to that of 200 years of scholarship. This is not the case, as a reading of the paragraph will confirm. There is a role in an encyclopedia for minority views, if they are labeled as such, and have provoked discussion.Syzygos (talk) 05:18, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

We don't include every minority view in the article. It has to gain some traction. This one has next to none. There are many minority views on Frankenstein - there are hundreds of books and articles on this novel. We don't include each one. Including this would be WP:UNDUE and WP:RECENTISM of the worst kind. Awadewit (talk) 05:30, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
Maybe we (i.e., you) need to remove the reference to this book from the Percy Bysshe Shelley article, then. Syzygos (talk) 16:30, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
Indeed. I don't have that article watchlisted, so I didn't know it was there. I've removed it. Awadewit (talk) 02:46, 15 May 2009 (UTC) Mary Shelley was highly affected by the circumstances in her life, the creation of the monster clearly portraying her deep fear of the power of electricity which was developed in her life time along with many other scientific break through's!
According to WP's POV guidelines even minority views have a right to representation (unless their importance is too low or multitude too high). As is, there are only two theories I have regularly heard mentioned, namely that (obviously) Mary wrote the book and that (alternately) Percy did. At any rate there is considerable evidence that the latter had some considerable influence through polishing, giving of advice, ... (Which is obviously what one would expect under the circumstances.) That a teenager (of either sex) writes a work of this accomplishment and import without assistance is more or less unheard of. (talk) 22:54, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
But the Percy view isn't a minority view - it is a WP:FRINGE view. Among Shelley scholarship, no one takes seriously the theory that Percy wrote the book - only that he edited it. You are welcome to read through the list of books we have listed below to establish this. Awadewit (talk) 23:12, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

Indeed it's a fringe view. I teach this book every year -- few scholars take the Percy view seriously anymore. Critic11 (talk) 23:16, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

Frankenstein in popular culture[edit]

As "Frankenstein in popular culture" is an enormous topic, I was wondering whether or not we should recruit someone to work on this section. I'm not particularly keen to work on it myself, being much more interested in the literary end of things. Thoughts? Awadewit (talk) 14:50, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

"In popular culture" in Wikipedia is generally a euphemism for trivia, and trivia in Wikipedia is officially discouraged (rightly so). I think the " popular culture" section here should be replaced with one concerning adaptations for stage and film, changing the title accordingly and erasing redundant references to these adaptations now scattered throughout the article. TheScotch (talk) 08:11, 12 October 2009 (UTC)
There's always the broader "Legacy" option. On a related note, last time I checked Vampire had a decent pop culture section. I do agree that trivia needs to be avoided. WesleyDodds (talk) 09:41, 15 November 2009 (UTC)

New archive[edit]

I've created a new archive, Talk:Frankenstein/Archive2. It should be listed in the box above, but is not. Anyone know the problem? Awadewit (talk) 19:42, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

You need a space between "Archive" and "2". Doctorfluffy (robe and wizard hat) 20:07, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
Thank you - I have fixed it now. Awadewit (talk) 02:14, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Another source[edit]

Thanks for the invitation to join in, Awadewit. I'm not sure if I'll be able to contribute in a sustained way, but here is a book you may have overlooked:

Todd, Janet. Death and the Maidens: Fanny Wollstonecraft and the Shelley Circle. Profile Books, 2007.

There are a dozen pages listed in the index for Frankenstein, including a close timeline of one part of the writing. e.g. p252. "Chapter 5 of Frankenstein, written in Bath immediately after Fanny killed herself, begins the new story of Justine." Todd is, of course, the author of a major biography of Wollstonecraft. BrainyBabe (talk) 15:23, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Thanks, BB. I used that as a substantial source for Fanny Imlay. Awadewit (talk) 01:05, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

Draft - live or sandbox?[edit]

Do we want to create a draft article or just work on the "live" version? I'm going to be rereading Frankenstein in a couple of week, as I will be teaching it, so I thought that would be a good time to work on the plot summary. Awadewit (talk) 03:27, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

I've never used a draft before, but I've also never worked on an article that had many hands in it. What are the advantages of using a draft? --Laser brain (talk) 14:18, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
I was on vacation for a while - didn't get to this until now. Drafts are advantageous because you can work "in private" for a while and be messy - sentence fragments, no formatting - that sort of thing. Awadewit (talk) 15:48, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

GA Reassessment[edit]

This discussion is transcluded from Talk:Frankenstein/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the reassessment.

Notified: Stbalbach (talk · contribs), Ed Fitzgerald (talk · contribs), Awadewit (talk · contribs), Wrad (talk · contribs), Mervyn (talk · contribs), Wikipedia:WikiProject Novels/GeneralForum, Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Novels/19th century task force, Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Science Fiction, Wikipedia:WikiProject Horror/Notice Board

Delisted per discussion with main author below.--TonyTheTiger (t/c/bio/WP:CHICAGO/WP:LOTM) 22:40, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
As part of the GA Sweeps, I have tagged this article for reassessment. The WP:LEAD of this article needs to be restructured to follow the guidelines. The images are all PD. This article is quite deficient in citations. There are several entire paragraphs without a single citation. In fact, some entire sections have no references. The citation needed tag(s) need to be resolved. The concerned editors should review WP:WIAGA and attempt to bring this article up to the current standards.--TonyTheTiger (t/c/bio/WP:CHICAGO/WP:LOTM) 23:23, 11 June 2009 (UTC)
Incidentally, I think Awadewit and Laser brain (see the article's talk) were planning on working on this article this summer (July was mentioned on Awadewit's talk), and at least Awadewit has a vacation notice up on her talk right now. IOW, this may be about the worst possible timing for a GAR. --Xover (talk) 08:54, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
Many GARs take 4 or 5 weeks to resolve. If in that time there is no sign of improvement efforts we can evaluate the article for delisting. I will keep this open for at least 4 or 5 weeks. Five weeks will take us past the middle of July.--TonyTheTiger (t/c/bio/WP:CHICAGO/WP:LOTM) 22:59, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
This article was passed many years ago for GA and obviously does not meet the criteria for GA - it is an atrocious article: there are many sections missing, much of the article is poorly written, and much of the article is not sourced. Laser brain and I are currently working on improving it (you can see our plan on the talk page as well as our notes). If you want to delist it, go ahead. The article will take several months to complete. Awadewit (talk) 14:41, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
So you would concur with delisting and renomination when appropriate?--TonyTheTiger (t/c/bio/WP:CHICAGO/WP:LOTM) 14:57, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
Currently, it is not a GA and if the GA community doesn't want to wait months for us to bring it up to GA status, they should delist it now. Awadewit (talk) 15:22, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

Why is Alchemy not mentioned?[edit]

The turning point for young Victor in the novel is an Alchemical book by Cornelius Agrippa that he stumbles upon, later on he mentions both Albertus Magnus and Paracelsus as other alchemists he likes to read. Paracelsus even claimed in the Renaissance that he created life, or a Humunculus (strangely enough from just semen and dung, as back then it was believed semen had "little men" inside). This is however not featured in the article, giving galvanism a degree if importance (perhaps to link it to the movies), but not a mention of his obssesion with alchemical books, which in the book are dismissed by his proffesors. Alchemy back in the day not also hoped to achieve transmutation of gold, but all sorts of wild and unrealistic goals, among them Immortality, a cure for all illnesses and the creation of life (which dates even 500 years before Paracelsus).-- (talk) 00:40, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

I agree that alchemy is an important aspect of the novel, including the creation of the monster. The creation of a homunculus is part of the art of alchemy, which might also explain the golem discussion below: Frankenstein took elemental materials from charnel houses, but the process of creation what more chemical than surgical, it would seem. Where would he get body parts to create an eight-foot-tall humanoid? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:56, 12 October 2011 (UTC)

The addiction[edit]

In Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein, Victor became addicted to create life in a scense because I think he felt a burden of not being able to save his mother who died during childbirth. Victor's addiction became so overpowering that it was stated that he secluded himself from everone who loved him, even his childhood love, Elizabeth. This seclusion and addiction drove Victor into a world that in the end took his life. -- (talk) 12:41, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

The article should be about the book; it shouldn't recite the entire story. If you want to know what Frankenstein says about alchemy, just read the thing. The "Plot" section is too long already. TheScotch (talk) 08:25, 12 October 2009 (UTC)
He's not saying we should recite the entire story. The article as it is is inaccurate. Shelley very strongly implies that the process by which the monster is created uses alchemical methods. The article is already inaccurate in stating (several times) that Shelley was purposely vague about the process of creation. In fact, she states pretty clearly that Frankenstein began with dead human flesh, breaking it down into its unspecified (but presumably alchemical) components, then building it back up into new usable tissues. It does not at any time imply that he built the monster from scratch, merely that he broke down existing material and rebuilt it according to his needs. In fact, the entire reason the monster is huge is because Frankenstein hadn't the ability to work on the microscopic scale of natural human bodies. Canonblack (talk) 19:13, 4 February 2010 (UTC)
Laser brain and I are in the middle researching a new version of the article (see above list of sources). You are welcome to help. Awadewit (talk) 19:28, 4 February 2010 (UTC)


Re: "What is interesting to note about these glowing reviews is that the critics assume that the anonymous author is a man.":

Interesting to whom? This remark is Point-Of-View and should be removed or rewritten.

Re: "Despite these initial dismissals, critical reception has been largely positive since the mid-20th century.":

It seems to me doubtful one can reasonably call middle twentieth-century assessment of an early nineteenth-century work "reception". The novel had already been received long before. "Critical reception" here should be replaced with some term like critical opinion. Also: "Positive" should be replaced with something like favorable.

TheScotch (talk) 08:23, 12 October 2009 (UTC)

This entire section appears to be plagiarized from another source - complete with the author's parenthetical footnotes. It should be re-written, or else properly credited. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:10, 23 December 2015 (UTC)

Daniel Walls[edit]

I just removed the section about the critic Daniel Walls. I can't seem to find anything confirming this person's supposedly famous view. JHMM13(Disc) 04:06, 28 December 2009 (UTC)

"Whale's" Frankenstein[edit]

The section, "Frankenstein in popular culture" seem to be "blaming" James Whale for the deviations in his film from the Shelley novel. Whale's version was written by John Balderston; it was not Whale's own interpretation of Shelley's novel. I thought I changed that several years ago, but all references to it have since been excised. If you're going to fault someone for taking liberties, fault the right person. Canonblack (talk) 19:05, 4 February 2010 (UTC)

Laser brain and I are researching a new version of the article (see above list of sources). You are welcome to help - we particularly need to someone to work on the "Frankenstein in popular culture" section. Would you be willing to take this on? Awadewit (talk) 19:29, 4 February 2010 (UTC)
I wrote most of that section from a scholarly, peer-reviewed article I came across. All the stuff about Whale's films is from that article. How can we be certain that it wasn't Whale's own interpretation anyway? Can we prove that he did not agree? Wrad (talk) 22:09, 4 February 2010 (UTC)
In any case, I just adjusted the wording a bit to easy the blame. Wrad (talk) 22:13, 4 February 2010 (UTC)
Wrad, are you interested in doing any more research on the topic? As I said, we really need help on this section! Awadewit (talk) 02:12, 5 February 2010 (UTC)


In this article, it is stated that the monster was not made up of dead bits, but was like a golem: "In contrast with later film adaptations the monster in the original novel was not created from dead body parts. In fact Frankenstein himself concedes that he later found that reversing death was impossible. While the exact details of the monster's construction are left ambiguous Shelley's depiction of the monster is akin to that of a golem." However, in the book (which I just finished) page 38 states: "The dissecting room and the slaughter-house furnished many of my materials;". The only reference I can see to using non-organic matter to form the monster is page 37: "Who shall conceive the horrors of my secret toil, as I dabbled among the unhallowed damps of the grave, or tortured the living animal to animate the lifeless clay?". In spite of the mention of clay, I don't believe this is a reference to the literal building of the body out of clay but is using clay as a metaphor for the tissue in reference to the Biblical creation of Adam from dust.

I would agree that Frankenstein noted that he couldn't reverse death, but the text seems to indicate that he did use organic bits to build his creation.

Is the golem reference an original idea in this article? If not, who's idea was it? Citation? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Omegamormegil (talkcontribs) 20:47, 15 February 2010 (UTC)

The text in the novel states that he examined the pieces but never that he used them... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:42, 10 October 2010 (UTC)

How much did Shelley know about the golem tales or was she oblivious about them from lack of contact with jewish litterature and traditions? Were the golem tales commonly known by the gentile community of that time?

Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page without content in them (see the help page).

Removed Analysis section[edit]

When I removed it, in my edit summary I called it a "Criticism" section. Wrong term in quotes, I meant "Analysis;" rest of my rationale still stands. Sorry; please discuss this removal on the talk page if you have an issue. It is not intended to be vandalism; my experience is that sections of this type disappear from an article sooner or later, and rightly so. (talk) 00:05, 28 July 2010 (UTC)

I agree that "Analysis" wasn't all that great, but I think some of it could be saved. Maybe the last few (well-cited) paragraphs could be moved to a new section called "Authorship Controversy". I wouldn't have a problem with an analysis section that discussed, and cited, commentary on the novel; but I haven't done much editing of literature pages, so if it's not the norm to have such a section, that's okay. Tdslk (talk) 16:27, 28 July 2010 (UTC)

Plenty of classic works have sections on analysis/symbolism/interpretation or something along those lines. Much of the information was also cited: (parts of) the first three paragraphs, the paragraph referencing Carol Adams, the paragraph after that provides a reference to, the paragraph after that references (albeit in improper format) Arthur Belefant, the paragraph after that provides references (some improperly formatted, granted), etc. I think it would be better to remove only those sections without citations and work on the formatting of the other citations rather than omitting the entire section. A dullard (talk) 04:36, 30 July 2010 (UTC)


"It was also a warning against the expansion of modern man in the Industrial Revolution, alluded to in the novel's subtitle, The Modern Prometheus." I know that this is a very common interpretation of the book. However, there are critics who distance themselves from this point of view by pointing out that the book is not against the dangers of science and industrialisation per se but rather it deals with the question of responsibility. After all the "monster" is pure and good in the beginning and it is the reaction of the humans (they don't respect and accept him) that drives him mad.

Another point:footnote 18 gives a reference to (Leonard Wolf, p.20). However, I can't the full reference (i.e. title of the book, year of publication etc.). Am I missing something? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:28, 19 February 2011 (UTC)

"Films, plays and television"[edit]

This section includes only one stage version of Frankenstein. Is it possible to include others?

Thanks, Wanderer57 (talk) 17:21, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

can anyone help me right a paper about this story?[edit]

i have to write a paper about frankenstein and i don't know what to write —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:28, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

Sorry, these talk pages are for discussions about improvement of the article, not general discussion of the subject, nor is Wikipedia really a tutoring or consulting organization!--WickerGuy (talk) 03:47, 25 April 2011 (UTC)


The lead section refers to "the topics of galvanism and other similar occult ideas". Is it reasonable to describe galvanism as an "occult idea"? (talk) 02:21, 16 July 2011 (UTC)

"Occult" is here probably meant in the sense described in the article Occult:
"The term is sometimes popularly taken to mean 'knowledge meant only for certain people' (...)"
As this is only a rather colloquial way of using the term, one should — given it is meant like that, here — probably best replace it by "arcane", "upcoming scientific", or similar. This would but instantly rise the question if in the sentence
"Shelley had travelled the region in which the story takes place, and the topics of galvanism and other similar occult ideas were themes of conversation among her companions."
, there is meant a discussion about galvanism and other upcoming scientific insights or one about galvanism and, moreover, certain esoteric speculations. I for my part cannot fix the spot, because I don`t know the facts. --Hans Dunkelberg (talk) 09:54, 16 July 2011 (UTC)
It's five years late, but in the preface to the 1831 edition, Shelley says of the conversations, "During one of these, various philosophical doctrines were discussed, and among other, the nature of the principle of life, and whether there was any probability of its ever being discovered and communicated." I'm not sure if there's actually any supporting evidence for the use for the use of the word "occult." --tronvillain (talk) 18:16, 13 August 2016 (UTC)

Removed reference to the monster's name[edit]

The link to the source was dead, and I cannot find any evidence to verify that Shelley actually referred to the monster as Adam except metaphorically, in the text itself. I would be fascinated to be proved wrong!  :) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:10, 12 October 2011 (UTC)

I believe that the monster refers to himself as Adam in the novel when ruminating over his reading of Paradise Lost.--WickerGuy (talk) 23:01, 12 October 2011 (UTC)

He says he OUGHT to have been Frankenstein's Adam, but instead turned out to be the Fallen Angel. This is a metaphor; he's describing roles, not actual names. As far as I'm able to determine, Shelley did not 'refer' to the monster by any name, and in fact in a letter to Leigh Hunt seems calls it "unnamable". Like I say, I'm happy to be proved wrong, but this fact remains unproven to me so far. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:19, 13 October 2011 (UTC)

A failed artificial life experiment[edit]

The first sentence says that the novel is about "a failed artificial life experiment". It didn't exactly fail. He did produce artificial life. Frankenstein may have fail to look after his creation but the succeeded in creating life. JIMp talk·cont 15:51, 25 October 2011 (UTC)

Protection or semiprotection[edit]

How about requesting protection or semi-protection? These essays, which are evidently part of some school project, show up periodically. It would be nice to get some clue as to what the school is, but in lieu of that perhaps disabling editing for a while would discourage the instructor -- or encourage them to communicate. At least then the essays would just get posted on talk. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 01:55, 7 December 2011 (UTC)

I have already requested semi-protection.--WickerGuy (talk) 01:56, 7 December 2011 (UTC)

Edit request on 7 December 2011[edit]

can i request that there be a headline for themes in the book. There are themes like dangerous knowledge, monstrosity, secrecy, revenge, a life without love, and so forth. The source is

Mjpayce (talk) 19:36, 7 December 2011 (UTC)

Only when appropriate content is added and such content cannot be lifted from Spark Notes! Their material is copyrighted!!!--WickerGuy (talk) 02:38, 8 December 2011 (UTC)

School Papers[edit]

The following is a list of users or IP addresses that over the past year have attempted to post school papers in either the article space or Talk page space. The listing for the Talk page goes further back than the listing for the article space.

  • main article space
    • Georgievski1
  • Talk page
    • Danny7779
    • Heatherrusk
    • (specific request for help with school paper)

Not all the IP addresses are from the same location. One is from Doylestown, PA, and one is from Denver, CO. The specific request for help for a school paper is from an IP in Atlanta, Georgia.

At any rate, we need to clearly communicate this is an inappropriate use for Wikipedia.--WickerGuy (talk) 15:55, 8 December 2011 (UTC)

British Critic review of Frankenstein.[edit]

"The writer of it is, we understand, a female; this is an aggravation of that which is the prevailing fault of the novel; but if our authoress can forget the gentleness of her sex, it is no reason why we should; and we shall therefore dismiss the novel without further comment" (438)"

I would translate this as:

"We understand that the writer of this is a female. This only makes the fact that she would write such (sordid, macabre, vile) things worse for us. Even though she can forget that she is a female and of the gentler sex, we will not. We therefore will refrain from commenting on it any more (from criticising it).

I actually made a mistake in the comment with my edit by saying that it was they would NOT forget ("go easy") on her because of her gender, actually they did say that.

But they did not "attack her feminimity" or what the original text said. They did make reference to it, and this may be seen as creating too much bias in modern times, in particular if they would have extensively commented more on a male's work. But it was not an attack on feminimity as it originally stated. Anonywiki (talk) 20:02, 16 January 2012 (UTC)

Plot Summary Hopelessly Inept[edit]

"He has the idea to bring to life a human-like creature. However, Victor Frankenstein is a doctor who seems discontent and achieves satisfaction by exploring the supernatural realm. The creation of his monster comes about because of his unchecked intellectual ambition: he had been striving for something beyond his control." This is awful, and I urge someone with the time and talent to rewrite the entire section. Orthotox (talk) 08:38, 30 March 2013 (UTC)

Fixed. Some guy (talk) 09:43, 30 March 2013 (UTC)

Age when published[edit]

Looking for the answer to the question, "How old was Mary Shelley when Frankenstein was published?" I keep coming across the answer "21." She was born in late 1797. Book was published Jan 1, 1818. But she didn't turn 21 until August of 1818. Right? Xous (talk) 21:17, 13 April 2013 (UTC)

@Xous: I'm suspicious of any publication date that says specifically "January 1". I very strongly suspect the involvement of some [wiki?]code that insists on a full date, and supplies the first of the month if there is no day and January if there is no month specified. I am all but absolutely certain that the only documentation consulted for the date of publication said just "1818"; probably the title page of the first edition of volume I, as shown in the article. At the bottom it says "1818"-- "only this and nothing more". --Thnidu (talk) 20:50, 31 August 2015 (UTC)

Badly worded sentence[edit]

"Some have claimed that for Mary Shelley, Prometheus was not a hero but rather something of a devil, whom she blamed for bringing fire to man and thereby seducing the human race to the vice of eating meat (fire brought cooking which brought hunting and killing).[40]"

Can someone improve this sentence? It sounds to me like the article is supporting the claim that finding fire led to eating meat, which is at best controversial. Humans ate meat before they discovered fire; if anything, the ability to cook made them eat less meat because of the newfound ability to eat vegetables. (talk) 19:31, 6 April 2014 (UTC)

It's not talking about modern Paleoanthropology. AnonMoos (talk) 15:34, 7 November 2014 (UTC)

Darwin not mentioned as influence?[edit]

It's surprising that the only specific named influence mentioned by Shelley -- i.e. Erasmus Darwin -- is not included on the article... AnonMoos (talk) 15:34, 7 November 2014 (UTC)

Discussion of Percy Shelley and Lord Byron[edit]

I have noticed that there is a large amount of discussion about Percy Shelley and Lord Byron on the Frankenstein page. I understand that these men had a large influence on Mary Shelley and her novel, but there seems to be a digression of the actual work in question in the Composition and the Modern Prometheus section. These sections include Byron's writings that influenced The Vampyre by John Polidori and Prometheus' influence on Percy Shelley to write Prometheus Unbound. These are very interesting facts, but what I am suggesting is that these facts are inappropriate on the Frankenstein page. However, it might be instead appropriate to delete these anecdotes from this page, and, instead, be added onto the author's own pages or works. These digressions detract from Mary Shelley and her own work. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Lisaraub (talkcontribs) 04:57, 29 January 2015 (UTC)


Shouldn't we clarify the pronunciation of "Frankenstein"? I've only heard the 'stein' part pronounced as 's' in English, but Poles, for instance, say 'shtein'. It might help to give guidance on this and it can eventually filter through to other language wikis. Malick78 (talk) 19:00, 26 January 2016 (UTC)

That's not necessary. As with Oscar Hammerstein and Albert Einstein, English speakers usually pronounce the "steins" with an 's' sound. Instead of using the English Wikipedia to filter things through to other language wikis, why not just add information to them directly? I don't know why even that would be necessary. Anyone communicating in German or Polish is bound to pronounce it "shtein" anyway. I'm not sure what you think this would accomplish. Willondon (talk) 22:56, 26 January 2016 (UTC)
That's FRONK-en-shteen... (Young Frankenstein) Face-smile.svg ScrpIronIV 13:47, 27 January 2016 (UTC)

Fantasy novel?[edit]

Somebody categorized it as a fantasy novel. Is it? Where's the magic in it? I thought it's soft science fiction. Can somebody please clarify? If not, then remove that category.--Taeyebaar (talk) 23:23, 29 February 2016 (UTC)

The categories on this article are out of control. It should be in categories as reflected by reliable sources in the article body. It's a gothic fiction novel—anything else I would question or challenge. --Laser brain (talk) 00:23, 1 March 2016 (UTC)

Mismatched Parts[edit]

The books makes no mention of Frankenstein sewing together mismatched body parts, and doing so would be completely inconsistent with making the creature eight feet tall facilitate dealing with the minuteness of the parts.

"When I found so astonishing a power placed within my hands, I hesitated a long time concerning the manner in which I should employ it. Although I possessed the capacity of bestowing animation, yet to prepare a frame for the reception of it, with all its intricacies of fibres, muscles, and veins, still remained a work of inconceivable difficulty and labour. I doubted at first whether I should attempt the creation of a being like myself, or one of simpler organization; but my imagination was too much exalted by my first success to permit me to doubt of my ability to give life to an animal as complex and wonderful as man. The materials at present within my command hardly appeared adequate to so arduous an undertaking, but I doubted not that I should ultimately succeed. I prepared myself for a multitude of reverses; my operations might be incessantly baffled, and at last my work be imperfect, yet when I considered the improvement which every day takes place in science and mechanics, I was encouraged to hope my present attempts would at least lay the foundations of future success. Nor could I consider the magnitude and complexity of my plan as any argument of its impracticability. It was with these feelings that I began the creation of a human being. As the minuteness of the parts formed a great hindrance to my speed, I resolved, contrary to my first intention, to make the being of a gigantic stature, that is to say, about eight feet in height, and proportionably large."

This is presumably an example of portrayals in other media intruding into discussion of the book. --tronvillain (talk) 20:30, 29 May 2016 (UTC)