How does the theme of failed father figures shapes the story of Frankenstein. Why might this theme be important to Mary Shelley?

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The failed father figure can be seen as central to the story of Frankenstein. When Victor Frankenstein abandons his creation, the hideous composite monster, he is essentially a father abandoning his child. Left to his own devices, the monster, just like a child growing up without a father figure, is rejected from society and is unable to learn how to effectively participate within a community. Thus, the monster's rebellion against Frankenstein can be seen as a manifestation of a classic archetype, a son who, seeing fault in his father, seeks to engineer his father's downfall.

There is another interesting component to this question that bears mentioning. Many scholars also see the monster as a manifestation of Lucifer, the Fallen Angel, while Frankenstein parallels God, the Creator. If we are to look at this metaphor from the perspective of the failed father-son relationship, we arrive at an interesting commentary on God. Perhaps, the novel suggests, Lucifer's rebellion and subsequent fall is actually God's fault, and perhaps God is not an entirely benign Creator after all. While there is by no means a definitive statement about this idea in the novel, it is impossible not to see a suggestion of it, and the very suggestion of such an idea, no matter how subtle, is chilling.

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