Short Fiction

The Mortal Immortal

Published in 1833, Mary Shelley’s “The Mortal Immortal” is a short story that recounts the life of Winzy, a man who gains eternal life after drinking a mysterious elixir. Though Winzy obtains short-term happiness, the length of eternity soon begins to wear on him psychologically as those he knows and loves grow old and die. As Winzy continues to live, he becomes more desperate about his situation, yearning to escape the cage of his body and be allowed to die. Part confessional narrative and part science fiction, Shelley’s story has captivated readers for years, serving as a cautionary tale of the consequences of eternal youth.

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