Comparing Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein with Sia’s Alive (PART 1)

Saying that a novel is universal means that it applies to anyone from any time period anywhere. In the case of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, it is possible to affirm that it is, indeed, a universal novel since it highlights emotions of anger, pain, alienation and more. The song Alive by Sia represents this universality with its lyrics that look directly inspired by Shelley’s story.

The first few lines go like this:

“I was born in a thunderstorm

I grew up overnight

I played alone

I played on my own

I survived” (Sia – Alive Lyrics)

When comparing both works, it goes without saying that these lines are referring to the creation of Frankenstein who was born during a rainy night (Shelley, 35). He is said to be born overnight, meaning that he is a creature fully grown being born. He does not have anyone else similar to him. He was born overnight, out of the blue. The alienation of Frankenstein’s creature is characterized by his “playing alone”. He has no one to be with since he is hideous. No one can understand his situation because he is one of kind and his creator abandoned him, leaving the creature by itself, alone in a world where he does not belong.

The next part of the song treats of the monster’s desires that can be referred to the psychological needs of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, n.p.). The song outlines the creature’s desire for love, companionship, friendship, etc. with the following lines:

“I wanted everything I never had

Like the love that comes with light

I wore envy and I hated that

But I survived” (Sia – Alive Lyrics)

By watching the family in their home loving and caring for each other, the “beast” realizes he can never have that because he is feared by the population due to his appearance. In this case, the light can be interpreted as the life, the love that comes with life or also as the actual lights of an illuminated home after sunset. This second interpretation can mean the love given to each other after a hard day of labour when everyone goes about their business.

The continuation of this article can be found here.


“Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.” Simply Psychology. N.p., 17 Sept. 2007. Web. 1 Apr. 2017.

“Sia – Alive Lyrics.” MetroLyrics. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Apr. 2017.

Shelley, M. Frankenstein. New York: Dover Thrift Editions, 2009. Open WorldCat. Web. 4 Apr. 2017.


9 Replies to “Comparing Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein with Sia’s Alive (PART 1)”

  1. Hi,
    I like your comparison of Frankenstein creation and Sia’s song. A great deal of research and insight is demonstrated in your post. I am exited to read the next part. Really interesiting!



  2. Wow, super interesting post! Your comparison is extremely insightful and interesting! I knew Frankenstein influenced our modern world, but I would have never thought Sia inspired her lyrics with it! Thanks for letting us know!


    1. Just to make it clear, I do not know if Sia really did inspire her lyrics based on Frankenstein, but the two are very much alike, thus the comparison presented in this article 🙂 I guess if you want to know if she really did, just tweet her 😉


  3. Whoah!
    This is such a great post.
    I know the song for such a time now, and never actually realized the clear reference to Frankenstein!
    However, I think the song present a more modern vision of Frankenstein, ex: the thunderstorm. In Shelley’s book, we know that it is a rainy night, but there are no actual thunder or lightning strike occuring as the modern Frankenstein stories present.
    I will defenitively listen to the song from a different perspective now.
    Thank you, and great post.
    Philippe Boucher


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