GCSE English Literature Revision: Frankenstein: Themes

4th April 2017

GCSE Revision Notes

Frankenstein Themes – English Literature Prose Revision

If you have been studying the the novel Frankenstein as part of your English literature GCSE, then we are here to help you remember as much as you can for your essays and exam. The notes below are a reminder of the main themes in the book.


  • The novel Frankenstein was written by Mary Shelley in 1818 when she was only 20 years old.


  • The story is about a man called Frankenstein who builds a man out of old body parts. What he builds is called a monster and it lives a lonely unhappy life. Frankenstein hates the monster and tries to run away from his creation.


  • Frankenstein is obsessed with making a man, as he wants to be known as an amazing scientist who can create things in the same way that God can. Sadly, this meddling with nature leads to the destruction of many lives.


  • Nature, light and shadow are recurring images throughout the novel, they serve to remind us of the unnatural events which have taken place and the powerful moods evoked by nature itself.


  • We see the misery of the monster and realise that no creature is meant to be totally alone. Only bad things can come.


  • Victor keeps all of his experiments secret, it is clear that he is doing bad and unnatural things that he cannot share with anyone.


  • The story is told with the help of letters and texts which help fill in the facts and plot lines of the whole tale.


  • Women are portrayed as weak and as living in suffering. What is Shelly telling us through this story, does she have a message about gender or the time she was living in?


  • The main themes are:


Dangerous Knowledge


Light and Fire



Letters and Texts


For more information on the text check out our Frankenstein song at….. For more GCSE revision notes and songs on English, Maths and Science go to…..


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