A Response to Bandel’s Essay on the Political Geography of Frankenstein

851 Words4 Pages
Fred V. Randel’s text elaborates upon Mary Shelley’s underlying intention for each choice of location for every specific plot point or event in Frankenstein. He relates places with significant value with real life historical events and happenings from the past. Randel explains that Shelley strategically placed each homicide and murder committed in an explicit locale to illustrate its historical importance. He argues that it is through these settings and the significance they possess in the past, that she is able to further deepen and expand Frankenstein’s gothic theme. Randel develops meaning behind the places of Ingolstadt and the Northern Lights, Geneva, England and Scotland, Ireland and Evian to prove his thesis of the importance of political geography. He often refers back to the French revolution and uses that to compare to Shelley’s portrayal of her opinions on the political geography of each place. Randel believes that the tale Frankenstein is a metaphor for the French Revolution. Throughout the essay Randel is associating Frankenstein, Frankenstein’s monster and the victims of Frankenstein’s monster to people like Jean-Jacques Rousseau, King Charles I, Lord Viscount Falkland, and John Hampden—all of which are big contributors to the French Revolution. Although Randel puts forth some peculiar evidence, he is able to explain and utilize historical facts to further strengthen his argument. Because I am not very familiar to the facts and details of the French Revolution, I had a hard time associating Randel’s ideas to the plot of Frankenstein. Nevertheless, he did use a lot of background knowledge to accommodate a person who does not have a lot of knowledge of the French Revolution. Randel’s essay starts off strong with excellent points about the correlation between certain characters and their actions in different geopolitical places, but some of his later
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