Literary Origins from the Genesis

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein contains various biblical allusions related to God, Santan, Adam, Eve, and the Genesis.  

  • The creation of Victor Frankenstein’s monster is similar to Adam’s and Eve’s story. In the Genesis, it is mentioned that “the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul”. In other words, the Lord created something dead like Frankenstein did with his monster and both creatures took life.  
  • The creature often compares himself to Adam: “Oh Frankenstein, be not equitable to every other and trample upon me alone, to whom thy justice, and even thy clemency and affection, is most due. Remember that I am thy creature; I ought to be thy Adam, but I am rather the fallen angel.” (94). The monster also mentions that he feels similar to Adam because he is one of a kind, seeks knowledge, and feels alone: “I was alone. I remembered Adam’s supplication to his Creator. But where was mine?” (127). If Frankenstein represents Adam, than Victor represents God due to his power to give life.
  • In the Genesis, Satan is described as “Artificer of fraud, and was the first/ That practiced falsehood: under saintly show”.  In oher words, Satan is a creator of lies and is punished by God. His punishment is to be exiled from heaven. Victor is also similar to Satan because he tries to create a human of his own. He becomes an artificer of falsehood due to is incapacity to recreate God’s work. Victor’s life is destroyed by the monster as a punishment and he exiles himself to try to chase his creature. 
  • The quote “it is not good that the man should be alone” in Paradise Lost makes an allusion to the monster’s temper when he is alone. Indeed, Frankenstein’s creature grows savage and miserable when he feels lonely: “I look around, and I have no relation or friend upon earth […] I am alone, and miserable” (103). Frankenstein’s creature needs the love of another sentient being: “Satan had his companions, fellow-devils, to admire and encourage him; but I am solitary and abhorred” (93). 



4 Replies to “Literary Origins from the Genesis”

  1. Hi!
    Personally, I love when religious symbolism is present in the book since I think it adds a whole new level and significance to the text. You did a very good job at finding these symbols, especially in the third paragraph where you discussed the similitudes between Satan and Victor. Since you quoted a passage from the Bible, it makes you statement stronger and clearer.

    Good job!
    Evelyne Richard


    1. I’m glad you likedd my post thank you! You’re right! the symbolism add a new level and significance to the story!


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