What does it mean when Shelley says, "I shall relate events that impressed me with feelings which...have made me what I am." 

1 Answer

ecofan74's profile pic

ecofan74 | College Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted on

When Mary Shelley states, “I shall relate events that impressed me with feelings with…have made me what I am,” she is alluding to one of the primary themes of the Romantic movement: the fundamental idea that feelings/emotions are defining aspects of the human condition. In reaction to the thoroughgoing rationalism characteristic of the Enlightenment, the Romantics sought to elevate the position of human emotions and expression in relation to reason, in addition to the assertion that some things lay beyond the power of human reason, a theme that runs throughout Frankenstein. This statement asserts not only the importance but also the necessity of not having the former without the latter.