The subtitle of Shelley's work, "The Modern Prometheus," indeed holds keys to understanding the novel. You have to know something of the original myth to appreciate her intent. Prometheus stole fire from the gods. As punishment, he was chained to a rock, where an eagle each day plucked at his liver. Even though Prometheus had good intentions, he had no idea of the powers he unleashed. Likewise, Shelley's character Victor Frankenstein has "benevolent intentions, and thirsted for the moment when I should put them in practice." Shelley's novel asks many questions that thinkers of her era were pondering as the influence of science grew: what of human accountability? The intangible needs such as socialization, and ultimately, what is the nature and meaning of life itself?