Stitching, Weaving, Recreating: Frankenstein and Young Adult Fiction

  • Aline FerreiraEmail author
Part of the Second Language Learning and Teaching book series (SLLT)


Frankenstein seems to exert a strong fascination on young adult fiction writers. Mary Shelley’s novel is built around a number of deep-seated fears which often surface in adolescence: the search for biological origins, the fear of abandonment, anxieties about corporeal image and worries about not fitting in. These issues are powerfully articulated in a number of recent young adult novels that engage with these Frankensteinian tropes: Sangu Mandanna’s The Lost Girl (2012), Neal Shusterman’s Unwind (2012) and Sarah Maria Griffin’s Spare and found parts (2016). In a world where organ transplants and prosthetic body parts will become an increasingly common feature, enabling longer, healthier lives, Frankenstein’s creature can be seen as the original transplant organ receiver, paving the way for a posthuman future. Taking this figure to a radical extreme, he also represents the possible dangers and stigma of being made from a patchwork of organs stitched together, potentially becoming an outsider unable to be fully accepted. Frankenstein’s creature emblematizes the problematics of a body with transplanted organs, a hybrid body that is physically strong but also grotesque. These apprehensions are addressed and given expression in these texts, which revise Shelley’s narrative of bodily technogenesis and recreation.


Frankenstein Organ transplants Coming of age Young adult fiction Posthuman body Prosthetics 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of AveiroAveiroPortugal

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