Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein
Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein in 1816, when the Romanticism movement was quite popular and both Shelley and her husband were Romantics1. Enlightenment science was also a main theme of the time and feared by Romantics and the general public alike1. In Shelley’s document, the character Doctor Frankenstein is described as a “Swiss scientific progeny”, who is planning on trying to create life from death. Doctor Frankenstein collects body parts which appear to be perfect in his eyes, and blends them together to make a human like figure, which comes to life but does not look anything like the he envisioned1. Terrified of what he has created, Doctor Frankenstein hides away while the monster wanders about causing havoc in the town and eventually returns to seek revenge on his creator1. Shelley uses the characters in this document as metaphors, Doctor Frankenstein metaphorically represent an anti-Romanticist as well as an anti-feminist because he tries to outwit nature by creating life from death and also trying to create life without a female partner. This seems relevant to the time because Romanticism, which is the love of nature and its untamable and unpredictable power, was popular as stated above. The monster that Doctor Frankenstein creates can be seen as a metaphoric character that represents the fear of advancements in enlightenment science because the monster is a scientific creation that many fear that eventually scientists may create. The document analysis essay will further elaborate, discuss and support these points mentioned above.
From the very beginning of the document we become learn of Doctor Frankenstein’s interest in human anatomy and how the human body decays after death, “One of the phenomena which had peculiarly attracted my attention was the structure of the human frame…I must also observe the natural decay and corruption of the human body.” 1 At first we are not aware of his master plan to...