Frankenstein: Allusions

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Allusions: Deepening the Reader’s Thoughts An allusion is a rhetorical device that makes a reference to a literary work that is outside the text being read. Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein provides many examples of literary devices, including allusions. Allusions are also used to further explain things that normally would have insufficient information in the text itself. Whether it's another novel, poem, or myth, Shelley’s utilization of allusions relates the characters in Frankenstein to the characters in the referenced works, deepening the reader's understanding. The complete title of Shelley's unique book is Frankenstein: Or, The Modern Prometheus. The Titan Prometheus was “the champion of men, who brought them fire and taught them various arts and skills” (Larmour, “Prometheus Bound:…”). Prometheus introduced many new things to the humans including fire, much like Dr. Frankenstein introduces something new to the world, thereby getting his nickname of “The Modern Prometheus.” This allusion allows the reader to comprehend better that Frankenstein is the first to bring an inanimate object to life using electricity, or galvanism. Considering this a new skill, Shelley gives Frankenstein the nickname Prometheus, relating him to the old myth. In the novel, the creature observes a small family of three for several months. He does not approach them because people have been running from him terrified. Instead, he hides out in the woods. He then views his own reflection in a pool of water and he realizes why everyone is scared stiff of him. From these people he learns the family's language at the same time as an Arabian visitor. He is also informed about society and humans. Upon learning about this he comes to the conclusion that he is lonely and doomed to be always alone. While telling his story to Frankenstein he says, “One night during my accustomed visit to
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