What myths are to the race, dreams are to the individual, for in dreams, as in myths, there also appear those primitive emotions and feelings in the form of giants, heroes, dragons, serpents, and blood sucking vampires; representations of guilt, retribution, and fate; of lust and power, of monsters of the deep unconscious and of unknown but overwhelming beings which fill our nights with nightmarish dreams and make us fear our sleep, but which, rightly used, can be fruitfully integrated into our personality.
The essence of the Frankenstein myth is contained in this dream. What began with a simple dream became twenty-one months of work that resulted in the publication of Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus on March 11, 1818. Built upon this vision of blasphemous creation and its hideous results, the dream itself grew out of the mind of a strange, yet remarkable, woman who could see the relationship between the potential of man's newfound industrial powers and the awful destructiveness hidden within the self. Frankenstein is the powerful story of one scientist's desire to play god and reduce the miracles of the human body into its mechanical foundations, in the process learning what it means to be human and where the natural boundaries of man ends and the realm of god begins. Drawing from mythological legend and rich historical data all of which is tied together through Shelley's own unique life and personal emotions, Frankenstein is a tale of what can happen when mankind oversteps his natural bounds and transcends from everyday life into the realm of fantasy and nightmares, into the land of gods and monsters. .
Mary Shelley's life, personal affirmations, friends, and family all contributed greatly to her personality and beliefs, which also transcended onto her writing in Frankenstein. In Anne Mellor's work, "Approaches to Teaching Shelley's Frankenstein," published in 1990, Mellor states:.