Frankenstein and The Modern Pandora
On 1 January 1818, Mary Shelley birthed her hideous progeny into the world. One of the enduring tales of modern literature, Frankenstein is the narrative of a scientist who creates monstrous life. Robbing both cemeteries and slaughterhouses in his single-minded, egoistic quest to circumvent the natural order.
But, in doing so, he ensures the destruction of his wife, his best friend, his maid, and his baby brother. By the end of the novel, he becomes so exhausted by his own hubris and the consequences it has wrought, that he dies at an early age. Conceived at a time when women were considered the property of their male benefactors and pushed to the margins of society, Frankenstein exemplifies the degree to which women were at the mercy of male whims and egos.
Much has been written about the link connecting Victor Frankenstein to the mythological figure of Prometheus. The subtitle of Shelley’s novel being The Modern Prometheus, scholars have drawn parallels between them regarding the creation of life, the revealing of forbidden knowledge, and the subsequent eternal punishment. So too should they draw parallels to the adjacent myth of Pandora. From Hesiod’s Theogony, we know that Pandora was the first human woman constructed by Hephaestus at the behest of Zeus. So insulted was Zeus by Prometheus’ insolence in revealing the secret of fire to man, that he commissioned the creation of a being whose sole purpose was to be an unwitting instrument for revenge. Much like Elizabeth and Justine in Shelley’s novel, Pandora was a victim of male hubris. She was a tool to be owned, traded, and used by men.
In the novel, Elizabeth, like all 18th century women, is shown to chained to the domestic sphere while all the men around her are free to engage in public life. She is Victor Frankenstein’s fiance, not by personal choice, but instead is gifted like an object to Victor. Elizabeth seems to have no choice or opinion on the matter of her arranged marriage and Victor himself describes the engagement as a business transaction, It was understood that my union with Elizabeth should take place immediately upon my return. Later in the story, on her wedding night, Elizabeth is mercilessly slain by the monster for the sole purpose of revenge against Victor. She was treated not as a fully formed and feeling human, but as Victor’s property to be taken and destroyed in retaliation for a transgression.
Justine’s fate further highlights the gross power imbalance in 18th century society. After the monster murders Victor’s younger brother, he comes across Justine, a servant in the Frankenstein household, sleeping in a barn. He slips a necklace into her pocket, framing her for young William’s death, for the sole crime of being a woman who will never smile at the creature. Thus, she becomes another unwitting victim of male revenge. During her murder trial, despite their desperate pleas, both Elizabeth and Justine are powerless to stop Justine’s execution.
Women at that time were not allowed to testify in court, even in their own defense. Victor alone could exonerate her, yet he does nothing.
When the creature finally confronts his creator, he demands Victor provide him with companionship. Not just any companionship; he wants Victor to create a woman and gift her to him as a possession. As Elizabeth was gifted to Victor and as Pandora was gifted to Epimetheus. At first, Victor complies with the creature’s request. He creates a woman as monstrous as his original creation. But before imbuing her with life, he instead destroys his female creation.
Ripping her limb from limb, overcome with the fear that this female creation would bring yet more sorrow and suffering into the world. He imagines a Pandora’s box in her hands as she unleashes unspeakable evil on mankind. And what is the catalyst for this fear? The thought that his female creation would not submit to being possessed but instead have a mind of her own. Such was the fear that 18th century men had of female empowerment and independence.
Temporary Tunnel Vision
Temporary tunnel vision can be caused by a variety of catalysts such as high levels of adrenaline, the consumption of alcohol, and a lack of blood in the brain. Despite being a common and relatively harmless phenomenon, tunnel vision is typically associated with two things: birth and death. Some people believe that tunnel vision during death is like traveling through the birth canal before they are reborn into a new life.
The complex relationships between birth, life, and death is considered in works by Edgar Allan Poe, Mary Shelley, and other authors. In both Poe’s story The Premature Burial and Shelley’s novel Frankenstein, the ideas of helplessness after birth as well as the responsibility one has of their own creations are discussed.
Both Mary Shelley and Edgar Allan Poe spend a considerable amount of time discussing the responsibility people have for the life they produce or reproduce. Despite the obvious parallel of the creation of the monster Frankenstein with the restoration of Mr. Stapleton in The Premature Burial, Shelley and Poe differ in their depiction of the creator’s response to the life they conceived. In Shelley’s novel, Victor Frankenstein is repulsed by his creation and therefore leaves it to fend for itself. This ultimately leads the monster to despise mankind and seek to destroy its maker. The experimental student in Poe’s story, however, urgently assisted Mr. Stapleton after he returned from the dead and restored him to health until he could rejoin society.
The contrasting results of the same experiment rear the question of nature versus nurture. Would Frankenstein’s experiment have been as successful as the resuscitation of Mr. Stapleton had Frankenstein cared for the creature rather than rejecting it? Although the two works have different endings, they ultimately draw the same conclusion: nurture is just as important if not more important than nature, and the treatment of impressionable pupils intensely affects their future development.
In both The Premature Burial and Frankenstein, the woes of being abandoned in a new world are examined. Poe reflects on the terror of catalepsy and sleep paralysis. The feeling of weakness and disorientation is similar to Mary Shelley’s depiction of Frankenstein’s monster after it comes alive. Poe’s visions of eternal darkness mirrors the emptiness the creature felt in the darkness and solitude of its hovel, and in both Poe’s and Shelley’s works, the subject is helpless and afraid. The only way Poe came back to reality was through human contact, and this illustrates the gravity of the monster’s mental state.
It’s rejection from society and human compassion has left it utterly defenseless, and unlike Edgar Allan Poe, the monster does not have anyone caring for it or teaching it. In addition, Poe at least had the fortune of remembering the events leading up to his paranoia after he was reborn from his trance, but Frankenstein’s monster did not have such a privilege. This further depicts the injustice that has been granted upon the monster because of his complete lack of resources and knowledge of the world.
With the controversy regarding abortion, adoption, and contraception, the themes originating in Frankenstein and supported by The Premature Burial provide a new perspective on the issue. Just because life can be created doesn’t mean it should be in every situation, and according to the work of Mary Shelley and Edgar Allan Poe, if one does not have the means to support something of their creation, it would be more ethical to refrain from creating said being at all. Does this mean that abortion, adoption, and contraception are all valid preservers of life? Despite the difficulty in discerning a correct answer, the works of these early authors produce important concepts to be considered when discussing these issues.
Evil Unmasked A Character Analysis
Scientist Albert Einstein once said, The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it (Einstein). In the novels Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, two of literature’s most infamous scientists, Dr. Jekyll and Frankenstein labor to create and later unleash dangerous creatures who prey on the innocent with catastrophic consequences.
In each novel, both men shirk the mantle of accountability and place blame at the feet of the monsters they begot. The question is not whether or not they are each partially culpable for their creation’s destructions, but rather, which of the pair is the most guilty? After investigating the motivations, morals, intentions, relationships, willingness to take accountability, and ultimate consequences of their actions, I concluded that despite Frankenstein’s creature committing more atrocities, Dr. Jekyll is the guiltiest, and worse, the true quintessence of evil.
Dr. Jekyll and Frankenstein are both well respected affluential men whose passion for science drive them to explore unknown realms of science. However, their motivations and intentions for their scientific explorations differ. Victor Frankenstein is driven by ambition; he wanted to create a new race of humanoid creatures. His ambition and megalomania are ultimately his downfall. Frankenstein says “A new species would bless me as its creator and source; many happy and excellent natures would owe their being to me. I might in process of time (although I now found it impossible) renew life where death had apparently devoted the body to corruption (Shelley).
The innovative and arrogant scientist not only seeks to create life, he wants to cheat death. Frankenstein wants to be admired and lauded by the scientific community and all who know him. His motivations are never primal or existential. Frankenstein wants glory. His intentions in creating the monster are selfishly motivated but he never seeks to hurt anyone or create an evil. Frankenstein’s ambition blinds him to the full spectrum of responsibility he would ideally need to shoulder in order to be a just creator. His personal failings in that area lead Frankenstein and his creature down their treacherous path. Fear, desperation, and vanity motivate Dr. Jekyll. The doctor wants to indulge his darker side without consequence to his reputation.
The creation of Mr. Hyde allows him to act out his darker impulses without fear of retribution or disgracing his character. He is quoted as saying, the worst of my faults was a certain impatient gaiety of disposition, such as made the happiness of many, but such as I found it hard to reconcile with my impervious desire to carry my head high (Stevenson). Dr. Jekyll is internally warring with his desire for a pristine public image and the desire to indulge in depravity. His internal struggle is not as black and white as good versus evil; his willingness to do good stems from his desire to be seen as a dignified philanthropic doctor, not from any innate goodness.
His intention is to physically transform himself into a creature that embodies his darkest instinct. Frankenstein’s motivations might be selfish, but he does not foresee the consequences of his choices while he was making them. His intentions were pure. The same cannot be said for Dr. Jekyll because he labors to separate his dual natures and surrender control to the evil side of his nature. Despite his inability to know the ultimate consequences of his choice, the only outcome Dr. Jekyll could feasibly and rationally expect would be terrible. Dr. Jekyll has no intentions of vanquishing or quieting his dark side; he initially chooses to embrace it without hesitation or remorse, until, and only until, the consequences threaten his own existence as Dr. Jekyll.
When discussing the monsters that Frankenstein and Dr. Jekyll create, a key and imperative distinction is that Frankenstein’s monster is a separate entity capable of intelligent thought and autonomy of self while Mr. Hyde is an extension of Dr. Jekyll. In the letter that Dr. Jekyll leaves for his friend and lawyer, Mr. Utterson, Jekyll refers to Mr. Hyde as pure evil but yet, also states, I knew myself as the first breath of this new life, to be more wicked, tenfold more wicked, sold a slave to my original evil; and the thought, in that moment, braced and delighted me like wine when referring to his transition from Dr. Jekyll into Mr. Hyde (Stevenson). Dr. Jekyll creates the persona of Mr. Hyde as if Mr. Hyde is anything other than the physical manifestation of his own evil.
In his letter to Mr. Utterson, he recounts his own thoughts as Mr. Hyde; meaning, he retains control of his person and the ability to contrast his own nature as Dr. Jekyll with who he is as Mr. Hyde. Dr. Jekyll is not simply the vessel in which Mr. Hyde lurks within; Dr. Jekyll is Mr. Hyde and, is therefore solely and completely responsible for the crimes he commits as Mr. Hyde. Even the name Dr. Jekyll dubs his alter ego, Hyde, suggest that Mr. Hyde is the mask in which Dr. Jekyll hides behind (Saposnik). Frankenstein’s cruel treatment of his creature is deplorable and apathetic to an almost criminal degree, but he does not think for, act, or control the monster. He may have shaped the creature into a violent murderous machine, but Frankenstein did not commit those atrocities himself. Dr. Jekyll is evil and chooses not to act on his impulses out of fear of being discovered. When he devised a way to be evil without personal accountability, the prospect of vicarious depravity thrilled him until the consequences became too great to bear (Stevenson).
The attitudes in which the scientists regard their creations and in which the creatures regard their creators offers insight into the character of each scientist. From the first, Frankenstein is repulsed by his creation’s visage. After two years of toiling to create his monster, he says For this I have deprived myself of rest and health. I desire it with an ardor that far exceeded moderation; but now that I had finished, the beauty of the dream had vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart (Shelley). Frankenstein abandons his vision and, his monster wanders into the world, a social pariah from the instant his heart started beating.
Dr. Jekyll initially clings to Mr. Hyde like a treasured possession. Mr. Hyde is Dr. Jekyll’s wildest dream come true; Hyde allows Jekyll to relish in the duality of his personalities and nature without consequences. It is only when Dr. Jekyll loses the ability to control the transformation that he becomes frightened of the consequences that his alter ego might incur. Frankenstein’s creature’s emotions toward his creator are a heady mixture of hate, sorrow, and love. The creature hates Frankenstein for creating him, abandoning him, rejecting him, and forcing him to lead a solitary hopeless existence. In return, the monster essentially destroys Frankenstein’s life as he uses murder and destruction to force his creator into an existence as lonely and desolate as his own. You can see the monster’s affection for his creator by the monster never seeking to murder Victor himself, his emotional response to Frankenstein’s death near the end of the novel, and when Frankenstein hunts his monster across the ice, he finds food that, in all likelihood, the monster has left for him. Frankenstein shaped his creature into a desperate and volatile monster.
He lacks compassion, empathy, and the ability to take accountability for his action but, his faults, terrible and pathetic as they may be, are not strictly evil. Mr. Hyde is indifferent to Dr. Jekyll. As Mr. Hyde, he is fearless, impulsive, and dangerous. Mr. Hyde is not caged or plagued by the human emotions of fear, guilt, shame, compassion, or love. He is only ever apathetic and evil. This gets confusing as Dr. Jekyll is Mr. Hyde, so why would he not care about himself? As Mr. Hyde, Dr. Jekyll is not hindered by emotion. The only emotion he could be accused of is fear for himself when the unpredictability of the transformations leaves him vulnerable to exposure.
Part of the experience of being Mr. Hyde is the liberation from emotional and social constraints that suffocate him as Dr. Jekyll. He would never be moved to any emotion as pure as gratitude or respect because Mr. Hyde is the most inhumane and evil aspects of Jekyll. Frankenstein’s rejection of his creature is cruel and callous, but his flaws show him to be a (terrible and insufferable) human (Sherwin). He didn’t embark on his mission to create life with the aim to create evil, but Dr. Jekyll did. The character of the two scientists are revealed through their interactions with their creations.
When examining which scientist is the guiltiest, it is important to consider the consequences and destruction both creatures hazard against others. Frankenstein’s creature murders Frankenstein’s younger brother, William; Frankenstein’s new wife, Elizabeth, and Frankenstein’s best friend, Henry Clerval. Indirectly, the monster is culpable in the death of Justine Moritz, Frankenstein’s father, and Frankenstein himself. The creature frames Justine Moritz for the murder of William Frankenstein. Frankenstein’s father, Alphonse, dies from grief over the death of Elizabeth.
Victor Frankenstein dies from illness in the pursuit of the destruction of his creature. Stevenson never recounts the full extent of all of Mr. Hyde’s crime but alludes to sexual deviance and torture. Instead, Stevenson provides insight into two different accounts. The first being Mr. Hyde trampling a young girl and promptly abandoning with hurt child in the street. The second is his most heinous crime; Mr. Hyde brutally beats to death a member of parliament, Sir Danvers Carew, for no distinguishable reason. Indirectly, Mr. Hyde is responsible for the death of Dr. Jekyll’s friend and fellow scientist, Dr. Lanyon. Upon witnessing the transformation of Mr. Hyde into Dr. Jekyll, Dr. Lanyon states, I saw what I saw, I heard what I heard, and my soul sickened at it; and yet now when that sight has faded from my eyes, I ask myself if I believe it, and I cannot answer. My life is shaken to its roots (Stevenson).
Dr. Lanyon never recovered from his encounter with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and soon died of an unexplained illness. Like the crimes of Mr. Hyde, the death of Dr. Jekyll is somewhat murky. In his final letter to Utterson, Jekyll wonders whether if Mr. Hyde will choose execution or suicide when he inalterably possess Jekyll. Utterson later finds Mr. Hyde dead from cyanide poisoning. It is unclear in which form (Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde) he was in when he chooses to ingest the point. It is difficult to pinpoint which monster committed the most atrocities since the extent Mr. Hyde’s crimes are never definitively outlined. Based on the crimes solely depicted in each text, Frankenstein and his monster caused the most destruction with the deaths of no less than six people (seven people if you presume the monster ended his own life after the novel’s end). Mr. Hyde is responsible directly and indirectly of three people if you include Mr. Hyde ingestion of cyanide killing himself/Dr. Jekyll as only one death.
The most disturbing and insightful revelation into the minds of Dr. Jekyll and Victor Frankenstein comes to light in their reaction to the crimes in which they are culpable. In his letter to Mr. Utterson, Jekyll takes accountability for the murder of Sir Danvers Carew and his altercation with the young girl. He details that the crimes were committed as Mr. Jekyll but the only blame he places is at his own feet as a consequence of his own duality of nature (Spasonik). As far as remorse, In his letter to Mr. Utterson, Dr. Jekylls details his thoughts after the death of Sir Danvers Carew, stating,
I resolved in my future conduct to redeem the past; and I can say with honesty that my resolve was fruitful of some good. You know yourself how earnestly in the last months of last year, I laboured to relieve suffering; you know that much was done for others, and that the days passed quietly, almost happily for myself. Nor can I truly say that I wearied of this beneficent and innocent life; I think instead that I daily enjoyed it more completely; but I was still cursed with my duality of purpose (Stevenson).
His statement suggests a man who feels some remorse for his action but, justifies them with musing of his own internal struggles. The remorse he feels for his crimes is superficial and, most importantly, it does not outweigh the joy he feels in being Mr. Hyde. Jekyll’s issue lays in the fact that since Mr. Jekyll is known to be the murderer of Sir Danvers Carew, it is no longer safe for Jekyll to assume the physical appearance of a man marked for death. Dr. Jekyll declares, Jekyll was now my city of refuge; let but Hyde peep out an instant, and the hands of all men would be raised to take and slay him (Stevenson). Throughout the novel, Dr. Jekyll is only truly concerned about his own fate and what the consequences of his actions are in regard to himself only.
Victor Frankenstein is plagued by remorse and regret to the degree that it is hard for him to accept his role in the demise of his loved ones. He is quoted as saying, I beheld those I loved spend vain sorrow upon the graves of William and Justine, the first hapless victims to my unhallowed acts (Shelley). Frankenstein regrets and mourns the loss of his loved ones and even acknowledges his role in their demise, but ultimately, he places blame for their deaths at the feet of the monster and refuses to acknowledge his role in the horrors occurring when they begin to spiral out of control. For example, he knows the monster killed William, but he allows Justin to be executed for the crime because he does not want to be thought of as deranged.
Throughout the novel, when Frankenstein recounts the grief and tragedy those around him endure, he always feels the need to note this his suffering is somehow more poignant. Victor Frankenstein labors under the delusion that no one suffers more than himself. This self-serving coping device provides an insight into the mind of the scientist who never fully takes accountability for his role in the destruction of his life.
Dr. Jekyll and Victor Frankenstein both bemoan the catastrophes that plague them throughout the novel, but both men fail to realize their own selfish enterprises are what bring about their destruction. In his letter to Mr. Utterson, Jekyll paints the picture of his death in his surrender to Mr. Hyde, but earlier in the letter he recounts his autonomy and own feelings while in the form of Mr. Hyde. Frankenstein ceaselessly blames the monster for the murders of those he holds most dear, but only blames himself in the physical creation of the monster and not in the emotional trauma the monster endures at his hands.
As a man, Frankenstein is flawed; he lacks compassion, empathy, and selflessness. He is not good, but he is never intentionally evil. Dr. Jekyll knows what he is doing in his quest to create Mr. Hyde. Jekyll knows Hyde will be and is evil. He chooses to proceed regardless. Jekyll is not a victim of his transformation into Mr. Hyde, he relishes in it until his inability to control the transformation leaves him vulnerable. Frankenstein and his monster may be responsible for the loss of more human life, but Dr. Jekyll is aware of his evils and brings it forward for his own selfish purposes.
- Kestner, Joseph. “Narcissism As Symptom and Structure: The Case of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.” Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism, edited by Jessica Bomarito and Russel Whitaker, vol. 170, Gale, 2006.
- Literature Criticism Online, https://link.galegroup.com.proxy006.nclive.org/apps/doc/OTHKXV208477542/LCO?u=boon41269&sid=LCO&xid=43270053. Accessed 5 Dec. 2018. Originally published in Frankenstein, edited by Fred Botting, Macmillan, 1995, pp. 68-80.
- Toumey, Christopher P. The Moral Character of Mad Scientists: A Cultural Critique of Science. Science, Technology, & Human Values, vol. 17, no. 4, 1992, pp. 411“437.
- JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/689735.
- Saposnik, Irving S. “The Anatomy of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.” Short Story Criticism, edited by Jelena O. Krstovic, vol. 126, Gale, 2010.
- Literature Criticism Online, https://link.galegroup.com.proxy006.nclive.org/apps/doc/OHHZIT627722378/LCO?u=boon41269&sid=LCO&xid=a7716c2a. Accessed 5 Dec. 2018. Originally published in Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900, vol. 11, no. 4, Autumn 1971, pp. 715-731.
- Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft, 1797-1851. Frankenstein, Or, The Modern Prometheus : the 1818 Text. Oxford ; New York :Oxford University Press, 1998. Print.
- Sherwin, Paul. Frankenstein: Creation as Catastrophe. PMLA, vol. 96, no. 5, 1981, pp. 883“903. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/462130.
- Stevenson, Robert Louis, 1850-1894. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. London :New English Library, 1974. Print.
The Misunderstanding of Being Postcolonialism
American lawyer Loretta Lynch said Everyone wants to be seen. Everyone wants to be heard. Everyone wants to be recognized as the person that they are and not a stereotype or an image.
A chance to be heard can be considered a basic need as a human living on this planet. There have been people groups over the years that have not had their needs met in the area of communication, denied their right to be heard. Postcolonial literature is a way to give voice to those dealing with its aftermath. Its critics are concerned with literature produced by colonial powers and works produced by those who were/are colonized (Purdue).
Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus is an example of postcolonial literature. Struggles in the novel can be looked at as postcolonial in nature. What is just as important as looking at those examples is the question What is Mary Shelley trying to say? This essay will look at what postcolonialism means, the ways in which we find examples of it in Shelley’s novel, and what is at the root of all of it. I think that Shelley, much like the characters in her novel and the people affected by postcolonialism, just wanted to be heard and that’s why she wrote her novel.
Why did Mary Shelley write Frankenstein? That is certainly the million dollar question. That is, it is the question if you think that she is the one who wrote it. John Lauritsen, a writer and editor at Pagan Press, wrote a book in 2007 titled The Man Who Wrote Frankenstein, which explains why he believes that Mary’s husband Percy is the one who really wrote the novel.. In a letter to the editor published in The Chronicle Review, Lauritsen states that his research indicates that Mary had little imagination or talent for writing and that the only reason that part of the original manuscript (minus Percy’s revisions) was in her handwriting because he was dictating it to her.
Charles Robinson, an English professor at the University of Delaware published a version of Frankenstein in 2009 that had two versions side by side, one that included Percy’s notes, and one that didn’t. One of the reasons for his findings is the difference in handwriting styles. Lauritsen discredits this, however, and we’re back at square one. I’ve read non-scholarly conclusions during my research that Percy wrote it because Mary’s poor education level would be indicative of her talent level and thus be the reason she could not have been the author. This brings to mind the ongoing debate regarding the true authorship of Shakespeare’s works: to conclude that one could not write a work of such magnitude simply because of education level smacks of elitism. Let’s assume for the purposes of this paper that Mary Shelley did indeed write this novel, so we can narrow the topic somewhat.
So why did Mary write Frankenstein? Perhaps it was an attempt to deal with painful aspects of personal relationships. Anthony F. Badalamenti, in his piece Why did Mary Shelley Write Frankenstein? suggests that Mary was using the text to deal with the hurt arising from her husband Percy’s painful acts towards her. Calling it substitution or encoding, Badalamenti says it’s the unconscious way of dealing with events that are too painful to deal with within the conscious mind: Encoding brings some relief of a cathartic nature but rarely resolves underlying issues (Badalamenti 420). Not only did Percy create trust issues in their marriage, but her parents contributed to the issues in her subconscious that she has to deal with as well.
Her mother Mary Wollstonecraft died eleven days after giving birth to her, and her father William Godwin still felt the need to have family and remarried a woman who had two children of her own. Both of these contributed to her sense of abandonment, and rejection, so clearly captured in the Monster’s reaction to Frankenstein abandoning him. This shocking response of the creator to the birthed creation was also influenced by Mary’s own experience with childbirth. Her first child was a daughter born prematurely, dying a few days later. Ronald Britton, in his paper Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein: what made the monster monstrous? relays a journal entry by Mary in 1815 concerning her deceased daughter: Dream that my little baby came to life again…I thought that if I could bestow animation upon lifeless matter, I might, in the process of time, renew life where death had apparently devoted the body to corruption (Britton 4).
We can look at the novel as a picture of Mary’s experiences with birth, both with her own and with the birth of her child. This reading of the novel as dealing with birth is influenced by Mary’s pregnancies before and during the novel’s creation. Badalamenti later on in his piece says this is given weight by the length of time that Victor takes in creating the Creature (9 months). He also says that this does suggest that she was equating Victor with Percy…There is more support for the fusion idea in Victor dying at the same age Percy was when Mary finished the novel (428).
Mary may have made reference to herself in the form of Safie, the beloved of Felix DeLacey. Safie is the daughter of the character in the book known only as the Turk. In a tale told by the Creature we find out that the DeLaceys end up in the cottage we find them in because of Felix, who was only trying to do the right thing by rescuing the Turk from the unjust prison sentence he received while all were in Paris. The Turk, who’s only crimes seems to be that he was a foreigner with wealth and a follower of a non-Christian religion. In other words, he was distrusted by the French government because he was the other. Felix’s reward was exile to the cottage in Germany.
When the Turk found out that the DeLacey family were now poor cottage dwellers, he became a traitor to good feeling and honour (Shelley 101) and broke his promise to Felix and Safie of a union. Safie is betrayed by her father, who denied her love, while being motherless, much like Mary, who was also motherless and very much felt betrayal by the father as well, especially when he became estranged after the engagement to Percy. This point is made even more visible when we view the story as coming from the Creature, who could also represent Mary in the novel. This
After Percy died in 1822, Mary released the novel two more times. The original (1818) we know was published anonymously. I’m sure that this did not sit well with Mary and I think that was part of the reason she re-released it with her name as the author. The softening the image of Victor in these later editions gives credence to the belief that Victor was a stand-in for Percy, whether consciously or subconsciously. People often soften their anger issues towards a person when that person dies.
In a male dominated profession, it was not conceivable that a tale such as Frankenstein would be written by a woman. This idea that a woman was not capable of such writing (and the reason Frankenstein was published anonymously the first time) was typical of the patriarchal system. Her publishers wanted Percy’s commentary on her work included so there was an implication that he perhaps wrote it. This system made Mary (and other women) feel like outsiders, being made the lesser in a relationship that clearly benefited the masculine (publishers, Percy) over the feminine (Mary, other women). Waiting till after Percy died to publish her authorship and to make changes (twice) shows that she was trying to reclaim her work. She was tired of it and did something about it. In short, she wanted to be heard.
Another term for outsiders would be the other.
The other is a way of defining one’s self. The concept of the self cannot exist without making someone the other. By introducing the concept of the other to describe people groups outside of the normal as a way to control them, thereby making the self superior. Edward Said in his book Orientalism says that the West uses the concept of the other as a way to control the Orient, to justify its actions in the act of colonialism, and that in pointing out their otherness, thos empires of the west have a mission to enlighten, civilize, bring order and democracy (Said xxi).
In his book Culture and Imperialism Said talks about how structures and locations appear in literature. In British culture and literature, one might be concerned over the way that places of power are set in the cities of England, and that they are connected to other places by making them subordinate (Said 52). Literature helped to maintain the empire by insisting that it was better in the empire. Western writers contribute to the building of authority of the West by depicting the devaluing and exploitation of the colonized lands as necessary. Said’s favorite example of this is Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park, which shows a slave plantation owned by the character Thomas Bertram as mysteriously necessary to the poise and beauty of Mansfield Park (Said 58).
Mary Wollstonecraft in her review of Olaudah Equiano’s Interesting Narrative says that the philosophy used to justify the treatment of the slave nations used the differences in their appearance to make them the other, degrad(ing) the numerous nations…below the common level of humanity, and…conclude that nature…designed to stamp them with the mark of slavery (Bugg 655). This, Bugg says, sets up Wollstonecraft’s use of slavery as an analogy for gender oppression (Bugg 656) in her work A Vindication of the Rights of Woman.
Mary Shelley also tackles the case off the other in Frankenstein. The younger Mary uses the physical difference of the Creature to point out the imbalance of power between the other (Creature) and the DeLacy’s (European society). The first that we read of the Creature is in a letter composed by Robert Walton to his sister. He is described as a savage inhabitant of some undiscovered island (Shelley 13). It is only when the Creature starts his education (based in colonial literature) that he learns how his differences will will determine his existence (Bugg 659). His education becomes the means by which regular society (the DeLaceys) makes him feel like the other.
Mary Shelley didn’t have it easy. Abandoned by her mother in death and by her father when he remarried, she felt cast aside by him and looked at as a rival by her stepmom. In a society that made her feel like the other because of her sex, she looked for love and an outlet for her anger and grief. Her relationship to Percy didn’t solve these issues. Her experience in getting her novel to market made her feel like the other as well. Published anonymously because no one would believe a woman could write such a novel, it probably wouldn’t have been as well read either. These experiences combined with a desire to be heard galvanized literary magic into Frankenstein, making it a leading example of postcolonial literature. Mary found a voice, and in reclaiming her novel satisfied her need to be heard. Thank you.
A Large Part Of The Storyline
Decisions that you make can change the outcome of your life. Negative or positive, the product is something that the person who made the decision must combat. In the story Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, a rather spontaneous decision is made by Victor to create the creature. It was the impact of the creation of the creature that set the stage, and the tone for the rest of the book.
A large part of the storyline is the description of the creature’s solidarity and sorrow. Because of this, Shelley took her readers on an expedition where she presented a lesson to her readers teaching them how detachment can be the precursor for catastrophe. The creature in the story was brought into the world by mending many different body parts together, due to this he could not be active in society because of his appearance and the fact that he is uniquely one of a kind.
Many people would assume that because of the horrid appearance of Frankenstein, that he is a savage beast that has no feelings and no desire to have relationships with human beings. Despite this common opinion, he is actually the complete opposite to feelingless. Frankenstein learned how to express his feelings through utilizing language. He learned from listening to cottagers’ speaking with one another and using that to his advantage in order to learn to be precise with his language. The isolation and loneliness of the creature pushed him to commit violent acts towards people. This is one of the main factors that lead to the death of William.
Because Frankenstein is so articulate, he is able to tell Victor that he desires a companion to keep himself company and he believes that they can move off to a faraway island together and live off of the land away from humans that would surely shun them for their appearance. In fact, nearly every human in the story was disgusted with the creature’s spooky appearance. Near the end, it is obvious that Frankenstein’s life lacks meaning without the ones that he loves, and he can never really be happy without sharing his life with a companion.
This is very similar to the predicament that Captain Walden was enduring in the beginning of the book. Captain Walden when he stated that he desired someone to speak with that would understand his overall mission. He found this type of fulfillment when he met with Victor.
Two prominent themes that Shelley puts to use in this particular body of literature are nature and nurture. The nature in the story is within the monster’s DNA and how his nature drives him to violence.
However on the other hand, the monster was raised by the people in his environment to behave in many ways as well. There is a constant tipping of the scale where Frankenstein is attempting to balance his actions between the way that he was raised among people, language, and science against his instincts that drive him to commit acts of violence, isolate himself, and other animalistic characteristics.
In conclusion, Mary Shelley’s book named Frankenstein is a tragic novel where one person’s mistake lead to the death of the ones that he loved. Nature punishes Victor for attempting to artificially create life and change the flow of how nature would naturally create life. The nature was stronger than the nurture of society in that fact.
Beaumont Community Players Production of Young Frankenstein
My family attended the production of Young Frankenstein, a theatrical performance produced by the Beaumont Community Players in Beaumont, Texas. This theatrical piece was chosen as a critique because the children’s best friend performed in Young Frankenstein. It was an unusual and interesting performance, but this was performed very well by the cast.
Young Frankenstein is a theatrical musical based on the Frederick Frankenstein and he is ashamed to be a Frankenstein, insisting that his name to be pronounced “Frankenstein” and that he is not a madman but, rather, a scientist. He then lectures his students about the greatest mind of science (“The Brain”). After learning that he has inherited his grandfather’s castle in Transylvania, he is forced to resolve the issue of the property. As Elizabeth Benning, Frederick’s fiance, sees him off, it is clear that their relationship is far from physical as Elizabeth enumerates all the lustful situations from which she is abstaining (“Please Don’t Touch Me”).
The set design is extremely effective, and the black cut out background suggests turrets and a lighted outline added another layer. The sky, with stars and moon, is lovely in its simplicity. Lots of lightening adds to the show’s gloomy atmospheric feel. From the contemporary but cartoony set to the black-and-white color scheme that encompasses everything. This musical takes a lot of material directly from the movie, and a lot of the humor is sophomoric, but it is deftly delivered.
It was one of the best shows ever seen, so funny, the place was screeching with laughter. The cast was fantastic, especially Igor, and the blind hermit, though the housekeeper, the monster, young Frankenstein and his fiance were also brilliant. The family enjoyed it so much, it was so funny, any individual will want a good laugh than this is the show for them to watch, it will be a great evening! The overall rating on the set design was actually pretty good very small mistakes but not noticeable unless an individual is there to critique it.
The cast size was around twenty-five people and the costumes were amazing. The family enjoyed how every individual costume was unique, but Elizabeth’s red dress was very classy and sexy. The other individuals in the play had a mixture of a German Austrian attire, scientific lab coats, and the cool monster costume that was also a hit. Another cast member that stood out was Inga the lab assistant that wore a very sexy and seductive fitted lab coat and dress that could remind an individual of Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz which was very cute.
The actors during this performance were hilarious from the start, great singing, dancing and the sets were great. Particularly enjoyed the dancing where the lights flashed, and the dancers were in the air at the moment of the flash. The cast performance was fantastic, especially Igor, and the blind hermit, though the housekeeper, the monster, Young Frankenstein and his fiance were also brilliant. What a great way to adapt the old classic movie. Every bit is enjoyable, great talented artists and excellent transition into musical format. If any individual liked the movie, then do not miss this show.
Young Frankenstein was an amazing theatrical show that lasted about 2 hours to watch, they family honestly enjoyed every bit of it. The family wasn’t sure of the outcome on how it was going to turn out because not knowing much about it and have not seeing the film, but they were pleasantly surprised. The acting was great, the songs were great and the whole show was really funny. Upon leaving my family asked when they could go back to watch it again and indeed, they sure did, the family watched it twice.
Analyze Symbols Throughout Literature
In Foster’s Chapter, Is That a Symbol?, he implies that symbols are used through literature and are frequently used in several pieces of literature. Symbols are used everywhere and typically can have multiple meanings or a more complex concept to grasp. Being able to identify a symbol is the simple part but being able to find its deeper meaning in a piece of literature is the more complex part.
Foster also says that allegories can be mistaken as symbols; symbols could have several different meanings. Symbols can mean something different to everyone depending on their walk in life and depending on the different pieces of literature they have read using that specific symbol. According to
Foster, in order to analyze symbols throughout literature, they have to use questions, experience, and preexisting knowledge. Symbols are not only limited to objects but they can even be events and actions. Symbols are not always going to be easy to comprehend but one must find a way to use context clues and connect the themes in a piece of literature to further understand a symbol. In Frankenstein, one of the most common symbols is lightning. In the beginning, main character, Victor Frankenstein witnessed a tree being struck by lightning. Victor states that, I never behold anything so utterly destroyed (Shelley 26).
With this being said, it shows a lot of irony because the lightning blasted the tree’s life, but it is also used to show how the lightning striked the monster to life. So ultimately, the lightning eliminated life but also sparked up a new one in the process. The word blasted, which was used to describe how the tree’s life was eliminated, it got repeated by Victor towards the end of Frankenstein. He stated, I have myself been blasted in these hopes, yet another may succeed (Shelley 193). The use of the word blasted again refers to lightning as well and it shows how Victor felt so connected with the tree, so he felt as if he failed at saving life, and he felt like a part of him was dead too. So ultimately, the lightning killing off the tree made Victor symbolically dead since he lacks human interaction.
In Foster’s Chapter, Don’t Read with Your Eyes, he suggests that every reader must grasp the concept of having a blind spot, but he says the best way to overcome blind spots is by putting one’s self in the time period by understanding the historical, political, and cultural background of the text. Frankenstein was written during the time of the Industrial Revolution, which was very important during the 1800s. Shelley had opposing views about the Industrial Revolution so she created Frankenstein as a warning and to show the dangers of this revolution.
When Shelley made Frankenstein, she was trying to show how she did not want the human race to end because people were taking matters into their own hands by trying to advance scientific knowledge, which is very hard to advance, let alone control, and she felt like that’s exactly what the Industrial Revolution was doing. In Frankenstein, the monster is used as a warning to society especially during his final speech when he says, And if yet, in some mode unknown to me, thou hadst not ceased to think and feel, thou wouldst not desire against me a vengeance greater than which I feel (Shelley 198).
The monster is exemplifying how Victor was so caught up in trying to evolve science, that he ended up losing his emotions that make him human and he faced consequences for creating this monster, which ultimately began to ruin his life. This was related to the Industrial Revolution by showing the danger effects of humans trying to take control of science and advance it because it disrupts the natural way of life. Ultimately, this is why it was important that Shelley wrote Frankenstein during this time because she was trying to send a warning to the people.
A Feminist Reading Of Marry Shelley’s Frankenstein
A Feminist Reading Of Marry Shelley’s Frankenstein
Feminism is a movements aimed to equal rights between men and women so in Shelley’s time it was just started and through Frankenstein’s novel she pointed out one of the most powerful work of feminism in London 1818. Shelley was 18 years old when she wrote this story. When she was in Switzerland with her lover Percy Shelley who later became her husband, they stayed at their friend Lord Byron’s castle.
They decided to compete for writing the best horror story. That night Shelley dreamed of a scientist who created a scary creature, then her dream developed to a novel that she wrote (Zeitoun).
She was from a noble rich educated family and they were interested in arts. Her mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, was a writer and advocate for women’s rights and her father, William Godwin, was a political philosopher and a science fiction writer, while her husband Percy Beach Shelley, was a famous poet who had his own way of thinking which conflicted with his community and was calling for freedom and liberalism rather than religion. She managed to publish the novel in her father’s publishing house, and her name mentioned in the second edition with her husband helped. Shelley’s Frankenstein reflected different problems that were prominent in the lives of female at that time via her subordinate female characters. Elizabeth, Safie and the nearly created female monster.
The most important female character in this story is Elizabeth although she is hardly mentioned until after the interdiction of Victor Frankenstein her fianc, Shelley showed how women were not important at that time unless they had a man. An example of this, the way Victor treated Elizabeth, he never discussed with her his work or his fear from the monster that he created. He was only expecting for her loyalty and obedience. Even when Victor decided to marry, he discussed his marriage with his father and his friend Henry to locate the place and the day of the marriage.
It is strange because, it is known from antiquity that these concerns are women’s interests, not men’s, but Shelley preferred to show that men dominated women even in their most basic rights and interests. “Victor said: Elizabeth loved the wonderful sights of nature in the mountains and lakes of Switzerland while I was more interested in investigating why things in nature happened” (Shelley 17). Here Victor was outspoken about his opinion on Elizabeth’s interests, which is nothing important in life. Shelley reflects how men in her society looked at women as their mentality lacked invention or even education. “She was docile and good tempered, yet gay and playful as a summer’s insect” and ” I loved to tend on her, as I should on a favourite animal ” (Shelley 20). Victor again looked at Elizabeth as a small butterfly or a pet. Another opinion Shelley pointed out, which is men look at women as a beautiful animal or insect that they enjoy looking at, and they only expect obedience from women and they have no missions in life other than fulfilling their desires.
In addition, when the Monster tries to take revenge from Victor he decides to kill Elizabeth. Here, Elizabeth is a metaphor of something that belongs to Victor. Because when someone tries to take revenge from someone else the first thing he will do is to take or destroy something he owns. So Shelley refers to Elizabeth as an object belongs to Victor. Indeed, the beast is able to kill Elizabeth on her wedding day wearing her white dress, Shelley reflected her negative idea about marriage in her society. Because she didn’t believe in marriage, she thought a person should be with whoever he chooses without restrictions.
Second, Safie is another subordinate female character. She runs away from her father in Turkey alone to live with her fianc?© Felix in Germany. Safie and Felix showed a deep and powerful relationship by defying the rules of their societies. Her relationship with her fianc?© is strong and perfect. Shelley presents herself in Safie in the way that rebelled against her family, Shelley ran away with Percy Beach Shelley without getting married and she believed in her lover’s belief in freedom and there is no such thing as restrictions such as marriage if two people love each other she even knew that Percy had another wife. But after their long struggle with their family and society they decided to marry.
She mentions Safie in only two pages to show that it is a fictional character who seeks her personal desire something that no one dares in her society to do such a thing, it is also a message to women who want to seek their dreams and live only for their personal desires. “Felix spent the weeks following Safie’s arrival teaching her to speak and read their language” (Shelley 85). Safie does not give up on her family but she abandons her identity, language and her culture for Felix who does not even speak her language. In this novel, Shelley points out that women in her society could be this stupid and blind to forget who they are when they loved men.
Finally, the monster asks Victor to create a female monster to live in peace far away from humans. In the beginning, Victor accepts to create her, but he starts to think of consequences and feel suspicious. “Still, my work was proceeding well. Why, then, did such a sickening sense of foreboding ill my heart?… This feeling that something evil was about to happen” (Shelly 111). Victor thinks that the monster hates himself already and starts to become independent, let alone a female ugly angry monster, she will make a fuss.
” That cannot be controlled by his male creature” (Mellor 360). Victor is afraid that the female creature might become a thinker, she may refuse to live with the male monster and they will hate each other. She will have an entity and a sense of self and needs as any normal person. “He’s afraid that she might have her own way of thinking. Female autonomy, in Victor’s eyes, becomes a terrible threat” (Williams). Victor was not only afraid of an angry female monster but is also afraid she may not submit to the male monster whom Victor created hem himself and this may shake his manhood and change his principles on women who should not exceed the limits of obedience.
Victor is also afraid that the female monster may start to think of having babies, little thinkers demons such as their mother. Shelley through Victor showed how men thought of women at that time. Men through Victor, supposed that women followed men when their named were mentioned, and if women become superior over men it would be a great disaster because it was against women’ nature to be superior.
To conclude, Mary Shelley was one of the most important women who talked about the women’s movement in the nineteenth century. Her aims were to spread awareness among women through her creative writings, the most important work she wrote was Frankenstein. Despite her young age, Shelley managed to reflect men’s perspective of women successfully that time via her works. Also, she reflected her personal life through her characters and showed how she suffered that time because she was a woman.
Knowledge vs. Ignorance
Knowledge vs. Ignorance
At the age of 18, Mary Shelley started writing the classical novel, Frankenstein. This novel was about a man named Robert Frankenstein that was infatuated with the thought of bringing the dead back to life.
He studied *pseudoscience and soon started to construct a creature that was diverse than any other human. Frankenstein promptly started to regret this new creation and abandoned the creation to fend for himself. The creation was distraught by this and went to seek revenge against Frankenstein which. During the separation between Victor and his creation, the creation learned that he was an outsider of humanity and that he was not welcomed by anyone.
This resulted in him requesting a bride, or just someone who could give him affection which was greatly lacked in his life. Victor pondered the pros and cons of creation the creation a soulmate and decided on not finishing through with the plan and from this, it made the creation act out in anger and plan to ruin Victor’s life and everyone that held a place within his heart.* Knowledge was expressed as a negative characteristic and created conflict between the characters throughout the novel. Though knowledge was needed greatly in this novel, it brought out the ignorance and misuse of intelligence. The misuses of knowledge created the largest amounts of problems within the story and did not help any character, but potentially hurt them in the long run.
The meaning of knowledge vs. ignorance is when the power of knowledge and wisdom leads to poor choices. Many characters within the novel, Frankenstein were very intelligent and used that capability to their advantage. Knowledge allows you to comprehend your day to day tasks and allows you to inquire about life and the world around you.
Though this is a very important characteristic to have, it can also lead to many conflicts. It can lead to a desire of want and need which can lead to anger if something is not given when asked. It can also allow someone to adventure out into the world and discover things that could potentially become something dangerous and harmful. Knowledge is needed in daily life actions but digging too deep with your very own knowledge can lead to great devastation. Robert, Victor and the creation will learn throughout the book that knowledge can be a deadly characteristic when misused.
Robert Walton is a great example of knowledge vs. Ignorance because he did something that humanity had never done before during his time. He wanted to exceed humanity’s assumptions and do something that would have been thought of as unobtainable and insane. He was very strong on his views and would do anything to accomplish his need. Knowledge was need in his life and would go on crazy excursions to receive it. During his trip he does not know if he is going to make it and explains this in his letters he wrote to his sister. The die is cast; I have consented to return if we are not destroyed.
Thus, are my hopes blasted by cowardice and indecision; I come back ignorant and disappointed. It requires more philosophy than I possess to bear this injustice with patience (181). Robert on his journey realized that his life is worth more than increasing his knowledge though exploring. He didn’t know if he and his men could make it and wanted to give up on learning new info if it knew he could save his life and others. The urge to receive knowledge almost put Robert and his men’s lives at risk and could have ended in a terrible situation.
One of the most primary characters, Victor Frankenstein loved learning about natural sciences and about death and life. He was interested in topics that many others would turn down and say were useless and were not needed to be learned, but this only peaked his interest into the natural sciences. From this knowledge, he learned how to bring the dead back to life. He collected dead human remains and soon made a creature that has never been made before. He woke up one morning to see that he had made life, ad looked into the creations eyes and saw no soul to this creation.
He regretted creating this so-called monster which resulted in him abandoning the creation. From, this the monster was miserable and lived in a world where humanity would not accept him. The creation soon wanted revenge against Victor and killed many of his friends and family, but most importantly, his wife Elizabeth. I rushed towards her and embraced her with ardour; but the deadly languor and coldness of the limbs told me that what now I held in my arms had ceased to be the Elizabeth whom I have loved and cherished (166). Victor lost his little brother, a friend, his father and now his wife. From having the power of collecting the understanding of a topic that was seen as obscure, maybe Victor would not have to live his life in regret and worry.
Natural philosophy if the genius that has regulated my fate (31). If the knowledge of life and death did not peak his interest of creating something not known to mankind, the important people would still be in his life. If Victor would not have created the creation, he wouldn’t have a creature seeking revenge against him because society didn’t accept him. Victor could have avoided the death of his loved ones, if he would have just listened to his father and professors and not get involved the infatuation of creating something more powerful than him.
Though many would think only humans hold the power of knowledge, Mary Shelley showed that this is not true in Frankenstein. The creation that was brought into the world by Victor Frankenstein, held emotion and resentment towards Victor for the way he mistreated him. As the creation grew to learn of the world around him, he found that the people around him were disgusted by him. He learned that he was not accepted by society and soon the harsh judgement from humanity and sought out revenge towards Victor.
The nearer I approached to your habitation, the more deeply did I feel the spirit of revenge enkindled in my heart (120). If Victor would not have abandoned the creation, he would not have had to learn himself of the cruel judgement that society has. During the time the creation was alone and wondering the streets, he would find books and articles about religious topics like Adam and Eve. After reading these, the creation wanted to find someone like him; someone to start a family with and would accept him for his appearance and who he is; he wanted an Eve.
Soon the creation went on a mission to find Victor and asked him for someone that could make him happy in a world that was filled with hate. The creation wanted someone to love, and to relate to since no one could ever love a monster like himself. The creation knew he was different when compared to the rest of humanity, and all he wanted was for a partner to let him know he is not the only one. But it was all a dream; no Eve soothed my sorrows nor shared my thoughts; I was alone (112).
From this, Victor created the Eve for the creation, but on debating the positives and negatives of creating the companion for the creation, Victor killed her right in front of him. He resulted in rage from the creation and soon went ballistic and killed everyone close to Victor. The creation was so hurt from what Victor had done that he wanted Victor to know what the feeling was to have his only source of love and companionship to be killed and ripped out of arm’s reach. If the creation was not out on the streets learning about modern things like religion and love, he would not have wanted a soul mate and would have not resulted in the murder of Victor’s family.
Overall, if Victor wouldn’t have learned about the creation of bringing the dead to life, maybe everyone he loved would still be with him in his life.
Mary Shelley used the theme knowledge vs ignorance in her novel Frankenstein, to show that the power of wisdom can lead to a dangerous outcome. She used the knowledge between the characters to create a domino effect of destruction throughout the book. If she would not have written about Robert Walton and his knowledge to explore the north pole, then we would have never read about Frankenstein and his creation.
Also, if Frankenstein did not have the knowledge of natural sciences and the urge to learn about life and death, maybe he would not have constructed the creation which resulted in a lot of mayhem within his life.
Consequently, if the creation was not produced, he would not have been left on the street to fend for himself and learn about society and his world. The creation would not have learned about Adam and Eve and demanded a wife from Victor and when the deal wasn’t met, possibly Victor’s family would still be alive, because the monster would be happy and would not have to seek revenge.
Knowledge vs. Ignorance was used to create tension within the novel and to create conflict between the characters, and was represented as a negative characteristic and that when used in a way to only benefit oneself. Though very important to possess, it can become destructive to those around and to your future self. Learn from me, if not by my precepts, at least by my example, how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge. (38). The misuse of the greatest power the human kind can have, can create the most devastating outcomes, and this is what Victor had to realize when it was too late to fix the mistakes he had created.
Frankenstein Critical Analysis Evaluation Essay
Mary Shelley, an English female author, wrote the novel Frankenstein. Around the year 1818, a young scientist named Victor Frankenstein makes a creature in a scientific experiment. The novel has generated critical analysis from the date it was released till present time, thus critics arguments have been the causes of different literary approach by the authors.
This critical analysis evaluation essay aims to analyze two critiques: Sherry Ginn and Naomi Hetherington. Sherry Ginn is a professor at Wingate University. Professor Ginn wrote the article, Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein: Science, Science Fiction or Autobiography. She utilizes her article to satisfactorily prove her insight. Professor Naomi Hetherington’s, Creator and Created in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, holds a perspective on Frankenstein that is more of an autobiography.
From her misfortune and agony, Professor Gin passes on a psychological picture of the fears of society and the malice of man. There is a type of connection between portions of the book’s events and her own life. Ginn frequently mentions that Frankenstein can be referred to as an autobiography, and not science fiction, despite proof of science utilized all through the book, incorporating the progressive subject of the discovery of life, in the instance of Frankenstein’s study of life and death at Ingolstadt.
Amid the time of publication, the Industrial Revolution was occurring and numerous headways in science and innovation were being found. Shelley needed to manufacture a tale, “which would speak to the mysterious fears of our nature and awake thrilling horror” Ginn aims to demonstrate that Shelley’s Frankenstein is technically an autobiography because it portrays the author’s profound concerns resulting from the incidents in her personal life. Professor Naomi Hetherington’s major point of view of Shelly’s novel is a genesis allegory, however, her work is also more autobiographical. In the article, Shelly mirrors a portion of her struggles, which was identifiable. There are a few allusions of Shelly, the ethical qualities and manner of how she was raised in her expressions and her treatment with low class people.
Mary Shelley’s motivation came primarily from her personal encounters as a girl, as the spouse of an important literary figure in her era, and as a much-maligned daughter. As an extraordinary novelist, she elaborates these encounters with masterful ability, and in doing so, she creates a special book; a precursor of her era. Ginn translates Shelley’s work as an expanded analysis of the social and psychological events which occurs when one’s family, or more importantly, one’s fundamental parent is missing from one’s life (Ginn, S). Both the author and the creature in her novel were shorn of some sort of parental love and care in the early stages of their lives. Shelley suffered from the sudden passing of her mother and her father’s disregard for her. The creature lacked every kind of love or support from the public and his creator and parent; Victor Frankenstein.
In conclusion, Shelley’s book solely tells the story of a scientist who does not take responsibility for his creation. It is saturated with concerns and fears, similar to the author herself, such as the dread of childbirth and viable upbringing, absence of parental understanding, attention, love, and childrearing in a motherless home. Shelly experienced the rejection from her father, therefore, that’s how Victor Frankenstein’s creature experienced it. Professor Gin and Professor Naomi pinpoint on how shelly imagination and innovation on society.
- Ginn, S. (2019). Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein: Science, Science Fiction, or Autobiography? [online] Clas.ufl.edu. Available at: https://www.clas.ufl.edu/ipsa/2003/ginn.html [Accessed 7 Jan. 2019].
- Hetherington, Naomi. “Creator and Created in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.” Frankenstein — Articles, 7 Jan. 2019, knarf.english.upenn.edu/Articles/hether.html.