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Frankenstein And The Society Essay

612 words - 3 pages

Europe was going through a revolutionary period during Shelley’s time of writing. The scientific revolution that occurred during Shelley’s lifetime had greatly influenced her with the idea of artifically creating life being a key concern. In Frankenstein, Shelley critiques the harsh consequences following the pursuit of scientific advancement by showcasing the consequences and dangers of man once nature’s boundaries is trespassed. In particular, Shelley criticises Victor’s obsessive desire for creation, whereby he subverts nature and usurp God as he “pour a torrent of light into our dark world” in order to fulfill his strong ambition. This reflects the intense 19th century experimentation that occurred during Shelley’s context, including Galvanism. Luigi Galvani theories of the creation of life through electricity has alarmed many including Shelley the limitless scientific discoveries and its dangers.

Shelley links the the Industrial Revolution during ...view middle of the document...

It is apparent in Frankenstein that due to Victor’s decision to not produce the Creature a companion, the Creature resorts into vengeful acts by killing the Victor’s closed ones.

Frankenstein also serves as Shelley’s feminist critique of a patriarchal society. The idea of Victor creating the Creature through scientific experimentations subverts the concept of natural reproduction. Furthermore, the fact that Frankenstein rejects the Creature’s wish to create a female for him emphasises the lack of acknowledge by men towards women. This thus highlights the society’s lack of regard of women, and their considered inferiority to men. Shelley’s feminist concerns was greatly influenced from her mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, a famous feminist. Wollstonecraft saw how her father had treated her mother as a possession and how bleak women’s future was. Shelley’s mother later on wrote various feminist publications about the rights of women and children, including the novel “Maria” and the essay, “A Vindication of the Rights of Women”. Though her mother died after giving birth to Shelley, Mary read her mother’s feminist works which greatly shaped Shelley’s beliefs.

Romanticism during the late eighteenth century had spread across Europe and affected the literature and art that ddeveloped from Enlightenment. Nature's sublime was also of great influence for Romantics and has been portrayed by Shelley throughout the novel, where nature rejuvenates Victor and the Creature's emotions. This is evident through Victor seeking solace in Mount Blanc following the deaths of Justine and William. Futhermore, Romanticism was also seen as a revolt against the Age of Enlightenment, where scientific knowledge was valued. Hence, Romantic ideals dismissed the scientific rationalisation of nature. Through the complete reversal of roles between Frankenstein and the overpowering Creature, Shelley depicts the Romantic perspective that overarching scientific obsession and male ambition will lead to the demise of the creator. The Romantic movement also incorporated the emotions of horror and terror which corresponds to the Gothic elements Shelley has incorporated in Frankenstein. The emotions of horror are expressed through Victor's account of the Creature.

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