Frankenstein: Shelly’s case on the Over-Reacher

Naomi Hetherington is a senior member of the University of Sheffield and a researcher in religious, cultural, and gender-related topics. She holds bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in a variety of subjects, including religious studies (Hetherington 10). She has several publications on the same topics. With all of these credentials, her evaluation of Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein is regarded as reliable. By evaluating the fictional portrayal of God in a laboratory at the bottom of the stairwell, Hetherington has created an intriguing interpretation of religion. She compares Frankenstein to Prometheus in Greek mythology and Milton’s Satan, and she depicts him in a completely different light (Hetherington 26). According to Naomi Mary derived the idea that the Over-Reacher could be a grandiose figure in either a positive or bad light, being that Frankenstein was a devious little man, an arrogant student who got more than he bargained for. 

Mary utilized Milton’s Paradise Lost and Prometheus to explore the religious repercussions of opposing Spiritual vitalism in the first three sections of Naomi’s evaluation. Because nature is active and all-encompassing rather than a passive recipient of an external cause, the materialist denies the concept of a transcendent being (Edinburgh Magazine). Mary also wanted to investigate what it meant to be human in this self-regulating environment, according to Naomi. Through the different ways in which Mary’s characters correspond to Milton’s, Mary aimed to create a new and subversive account of our origins, emphasizing the external relevance of this story of diverse parts of our nature at the same time. Her goal was to deconstruct traditional Christian beliefs on moral and intellectual grounds, which modern science questioned empirically.

Naomi proposes in part four that Mary rewrite her work from earlier to detach it from Lawrence and make it closer to orthodox Christian Etiology. This is since, by 1831, the English populace had changed and had become reactive than it had been the previous decade. Mary’s convictions on religion had also become more rigorous since Shelly’s death in 1822, and she had started going to church. The heir apparent to the Shelly state was her only surviving son, and she yearned for him to become a member of society’s upper crust. Because Mary was a lady of letters with limited means, the new edition of Frankenstein, which had been reduced in price due to new publishing technology, was her best hope of earning (Hetherington 15).

Next, Naomi discusses Mary’s clever duplication of legendary figures, which emphasizes our feeling of Frankenstein’s sexual inexperience by showing him as a young groom on the verge of his 11th marriage, frightened of consummating his partnership. The monster appeared to be a Prometheus figure, and his divinity had treated him cruelly, much like Frankenstein stole fire from the cottagers. He has no choice but to collect the essential tools of civilization as well as the skill to discern for himself. Like Prometheus over Zeus’ impending doom through a union, the creature taunts Frankenstein with a riddle with the nymph Thetis and the truth about the night of his marriage (Hetherington 24). Nonetheless, the language he uses to soothe his wife-to-be is equivocal and fraught ‘Feelings of apprehension, phallic inference, and conflict pictures’ in its immediate surroundings.

Additionally, Naomi states that Due to the obvious way his mind is thrown off by his own experiment, Marilyn Butler considers Frankenstein to be a tragicomic character. ‘The beauty of the dream gone, and sheer fear and loathing flooded my heart,’ he says, recalling the moment the creature came to reality” (Hetherington 39). He suffers severe anxiety and depression, including profound loneliness, guilt, and dejection, as well as violent changes in mood and delusions that the thing is at his throat, Upon the demise of his brother William and the servant girl Justine, he sets off on his own. Frankenstein’s experiment also alluded to an unspoken fear of sexual intercourse, which may be seen as a rite of passage into maturity. Although Frankenstein retains his early infancy selfish, possessive perspective, love-making requires giving oneself totally to another person, and any offspring born of the marriage become a shared responsibility. Then he’d treat Elizabeth, his cousin’s sister and soon-to-be bride, like a ‘loved animal’ (Hetherington 20). Because his offspring would not be totally his own, he now refuses to be a parent, a natural wellspring of creativity.

In conclusion, Naomi mentions the developing Arrogance, egotism, and inhumanity which are all critiqued in a secular context, and was popular among revolutionaries in Mary’s day, which must be considered here. Even so, Mary has not ever declared expressly that the inventiveness of Frankenstein’s effort constituted a violation of a holy order (Ginn 2019). Only their earthly fathers oppose him and Walton, his type and admirer, one by covertly studying alchemy and the other by pursuing a career as a sailor. Perhaps the secular tradition is the best fit for Frankenstein, according to Hetherington. It resembles the author’s circle of movement the most. Her father, who she dedicated her work to at the age of eight, had written several such stories. The Christian symbolism of creation and fall, as well as a pagan counterpart from the legends of Zeus and Prometheus, abound in Frankenstein. Marilyn Butler also suggests that Mary’s account originated as a literary remark on the present public discussion between her newest revision of the 1818 original, she combines scientific materialism with Christian belief in a pre-existing eternal soul.

Work cited

Ginn, S. (2019). Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein: Science, Science Fiction, or Autobiography? [online] Available at: [Accessed 7 Jan. 2019].

Hetherington, Naomi. “Creator and Created in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.” Frankenstein — Articles, 7 Jan. 2019, 

The Edinburgh Magazine and Literary Miscellany: A New Series of & quote; The Scots
Magazine"2 (March 1818): 249-253. U of Maryland. Mar. 1998. Web.                                        Sept. 14, 2015