Frankenstein: Getting to Know Mary Shelley

We’ll preface this video about Frankenstein’s preface by saying that Mary Shelley is an awesome woman, and she wants everybody to be aware. Check out the video to find out more about what Mary Shelley wrote in Frankenstein's preface.

AuthorShelley - Mary Shelley
LiteratureFrankenstein
ThemesAppearances
Compassion and Forgiveness
Exploration
Family
Fate and Free Will
Language and Communication
Lies and Deceit
Life, Consciousness, and Existence
Revenge
Sacrifice
Science
Secrecy

Transcript

00:15

Why is there a preface in Frankenstein?

00:18

Whenever there's a preface, there's a reason for it.

00:21

The preface to Frankenstein

00:23

basically just outlines the motivations

00:27

behind writing Frankenstein,

00:29

talks a little about the whole,

00:31

"Oh, we were having a ghost story contest" and all that.

00:34

It is important to note that

00:36

it is possible that, again, Percy Shelley wrote it

00:38

and not Mary Shelley.

00:40

Whether he wrote it or she wrote it,

00:41

it kind of gave the opportunity to say,

00:44

"Hey, look at me! It's a woman writing!

00:46

I'm saying valuable things. Listen to me."

00:49

As opposed to just jumping right into the story.

00:51

Also, at this time, novels weren't

00:53

considered serious literature.

00:54

And so she's basically trying to say,

00:56

"Hey, listen. This is a serious book.

00:58

I'm talking about some serious issues here."

01:00

And as we'll see as we make our way through the course,

01:02

there are tons of serious issues.

01:04

So she kind of wanted to call out to that

01:06

and say, "Listen up. This isn't just some

01:09

silly 18-year-old girl writing a story.

01:13

This is a hard-hitting novel

01:16

and you need to listen to what I'm saying."

01:20

What is a preface?

01:22

What additional information does it provide in Frankenstein?