The present paper will discuss all of these themes briefly. However the majorfocus on the paper will be to briefly analyze Mary's life from a psychosocialperspective. I will discuss Mary's life before and after within theframework of Erik Erikson's theory of psychosocial development, and the revisionsof portions of the theory as proposed by Marcia and colleagues (1980; 1987; 1989;1994; Patterson, Sochting, & Marcia, 1992).
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To alleviate the boredom caused by a cold and wet summer in Geneva, LordByron proposed that each member of the summer's party write a ghost story. Thosepeople included Mary and Percy Shelley, Claire Clairmont (Mary's stepsister),Byron, and his physician and friend, Joseph Pollidori. Each member undertook thetask, but most quickly wearied of it. Pollidori actually conceived a vampirestory, but his contribution was not well received by Byron. Mary is the onlyperson who wrote a novel. In her preface to the 1831 edition of , Marytells how was conceived during a horrific dream, but some scholarsgreet that
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Consequently, though heproclaims in frenzied terms that he loves his family "toadoration," we suspect that ambivalence, at the least, subvertshis affection.It is not only Victor who has troubled connections with hisfamily; rather, we are in a world where parentalirresponsibility and failure are the rule.
Viewing language as "agodlike science" (
169) where he will beuninterrupted by the pain of human contact; in contrast withPrometheus, whose bondage was a sacrificial act for the good ofall mankind, Frankenstein wants to protect himself from theweariness of social intercourse.In direct opposition to his maker, the monster longs for societyand sympathy.
112), hepays rapt attention to the lessons Felix offers to Safie.
Erik Erikson (1950, 1968, 1969, 1974, 1975, 1980, and 1982) proposed thatpersonality development proceeded through a series of 8 stages, with each stageoccurring in response to demands placed upon the individual by his or herenvironment. In response to these demands the individual confronts a conflict thatwill lead to growth and further psychic development the individual cansuccessfully resolve that conflict. Thus, resolving conflict at each stage ofdevelopment compels the individual toward growth, whereas failure to resolve theconflict results in failure to develop and grow. Each stage is a time of increasedvulnerability and also a time of challenge and potential, representing the turningpoints in our lives.
"I can hardly describe to you the effect of these books.
He realizes: "No sympathy may I ever find." Thoughhis vain efforts to assert his selfhood through aggressive actshave ruined him, he realizes his depravity is the fault of man:"the fallen angel becomes a malignant devil.
Theyproduced in me an infinity of new images andfeelings . . ." (
His father senses ahidden meaning to his son's withdrawal, ostensibly due to hismourning, and warns him that "excessive sorrow preventsimprovement of enjoyment, or even the discharge of dailyusefulness, without which no man is fit for society" (