Autistic Voice and Literary Architecture in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

  • Julia Miele Rodas
Part of the Literary Disability Studies book series (LIDIST)


Rodas addresses rhetorical and narrative interstices of Frankenstein, exploring the ways in which the visible sutures of the novel defamiliarise intuitive language and social contact, bringing the reader into a complicit relationship with autism. Rodas observes that the creature’s hovel is simultaneously a container for the disposal of rejected creation and a sanctuary that shields the emergent self and allows it the privacy to develop: the space, and the being which inhabits it, constitute a representation of Romantic autism, an extreme of solitary self-ness, the ultimate expression of solitude. While the infamous ‘monster’ evokes the idea of the feral child that has often been associated with autism, however, Rodas proposes that Shelley’s novel provokes a more intimate relationship with autism than audiences might initially realise: the narrative strategies of the text bind the reader into a seemingly paradoxical experience of muteness and verbal precocity, and a correlative hyper-consciousness of boundaries—both rhetorical and social.


Autistic People Dialogic Exchange Romantic Subject Narrative Part Hans Asperger 
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Copyright information

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julia Miele Rodas
    • 1
  1. 1.Bronx Community College/CityUniversity of New YorkNew YorkUSA

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