Biblical Allusions In Frankenstein

What are some biblical allusions in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein?

Expert Answers
literaturenerd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are two main biblical allusions found in Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein. The first allusion is found in chapter four of the novel and the second found in chapter fifteen.

In chapter four, Victor is defining the importance of his success in re-animating life. For Victor, the re-animation of life insures that he will be blessed as a "creator and source." Essentially, Victor defines himself as a god. Given Christian ideology supports and believes God to be the only one who is able to create life (outside of giving birth), Victor sets himself up as a god. This, more specifically, speaks to Genesis and the creation of the earth and life on earth.

Chapter fifteen, on the other hand, offers a far more direct allusion to the Bible. In this chapter, the Creature is telling of his own history. Upon reading Milton's Paradise Lost, the Creature realizes that he is like both Adam and Satan. The Creature states that his is like Adam because there was "no link to any other being in existence." Also, the Creature likens himself to Satan in regards to the fact that "for often, like him, when I viewed the bliss of my protectors, the bitter gall of envy rose within me."

In one abstract sense, one could regard Victor's initial creature as "Adam" and the Creature's mate as "Eve." While never called "Eve," one could see the allusion to both beings in the novel.

Another aspect which proves to show biblical allusions is Victor and Walton’s search for forbidden knowledge. This speaks to Adam and Eve’s taking from the Tree of Knowledge which God forbid them to do. For this, Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden of Eden. Coincidentally, both Victor and Walton are on a similar path. Luckily for Walton, Victor has already been “banished” for taking from the “tree.” Therefore, while Victor must face his consequences, he is able to save Walton from doing so as well.

sarashayne | Student

Adam and Eve. They ate from the tree of knowledge and were punished. Victor got the knowledge to create man, an awful man, and was punished by the fact that the monster was..awful. The Monster got the knowledge of how he was created, and abandoned by reading victor's letters also, he learned how he looked by seeing himself in the water.

All of this is to support the theme of danger of knowledge.

hambone4 | Student

There are many allusions regarding the bible. The to big ones would be the creator and the creation (God and Adam) and the image of the fallen angel.

The first one is easily seen throughout the book; the monster calls Victor his creator numerous times, and specifically calls himself Adam. Also, the similarity of the monster and Adam can be seen when the monster requests Victor "You must create a female for me..." like God created Eve for Adam. Another similarity, although implied, is that the monster is also forsaken by it's creator, as Adam when he is cast away from Paradise.

The other theme that is constantly repeated in the book is the image of the fallen angel. in one of the lines, the monster calls himself the "archfeind" (its just another word for the fallen angel.). Also, like the angel, he is created good, but is tainted by evil, and turns againt his creator, prefroming evil.

I just read the book :D I hope this elped a little.

Read the study guide:

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question