Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus was written following a dream she had. During the summer of 1816, Shelley, her husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and Lord Byron had a contest to see which of them could create the best ghost story. Following a dream in which she saw a man attempting to create life, she soon produced the manuscript for what would become her most famous novel and a landmark in the creation of the Gothic horror genre.
Frankenstein still has many of the elements of the Romantic Movement within it. The role of nature in its ability to affect mood and health is a large motif throughout the novel. However, more important in understanding any analysis of Frankenstein is the idea of man playing God. The early years of the 19th century were witnessing a scientific revolution, especially in the area of medicine. Vaccines had recently been invented, and modern chemistry had been advance by Antoine Lavoisier.
Further, the idea of man playing God can be found in the atheism espoused by Percy Bysshe Shelley and Lord Byron. Victor Frankenstein uses the act of creating life as a means of self-realization. Further, the monster in the novel displays intelligence and understanding, and although hideous to behold, parallels the idea of man being expelled from the Garden of Eden for achieving enlightenment. This creature develops his own mortality through his experiences.