Recovering Nightmares


Recovering Nightmares Essay, Research Paper

In the chapter titled “Recovering Nightmares”, Thomas explains that Shelley’s novel is basically an account of the dream that she had before writing the novel.

Frankenstein is an extended, elaborate account of it’s author’s remarkable dream…She regards her dream, on the one hand, as something she created-as the product of her own ‘imagination’ and ‘fancy’” (82). He notes that there is a strong connection between the novel and Shelley’s dream, not only because that is where her idea came from, but because it reflected so much of who she was.

The major theme is the comparison of Shelley’s dream to the story of Frankenstein, and the dreams within the story. In Shelley’s introduction into the novel, she refers to her “waking dream”, explaining the situation behind the novel itself. She had a dream about the monster, and therefore went on to write about it. Thomas states:

“The connection between Mary Shelley’s dream and Frankenstein’s is made explicit when the author places the manifest content of her dream into a scene in the novel in which Frankenstein himself awakens frs herself to the reader in the novel’s introduction (83). This is where she explains the origin of her story, and herself, giving clues to what is important in the story, therefore it is essential to understand the role of dreams within the novel. In Freudian terms, the monster definitely represents some kind of inner fear or anxiety that Shelley is repressing. Thomas speculates that it could be the presentation of Shelley’s own writing to the world that existed during the nineteenth century (85). She presented her story as what she believed a wonderful creation, but at the same time feared that it later become something that she would regret doing.

Thomas goes into great detail with different parts of the story, explaining how the language used as well as the dream imagery relate back to Shelley’s own introduction. The entire novel is simply a manifestation of Mary Shelley’s anxieties and fears about herself as an author.

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