Frankenstein Values Essay

1225 Words5 Pages
Mary Shelley’s novel, Frankenstein (1818) reflects the concerns of society through the values and morals that are explored. The role of the creative genius in forwarding humanity is challenged through the novel demonstrating the anxieties of over-reaching. Nature as a guiding force resonates throughout the text but the consequences of upsetting this harmonious balance are also explored. These themes serve as the foundation of Shelley’s novel whilst, indicating the concerns and values of society. Man’s liberal rights and the nature of humanity are also prevalent and are further reflective of the issues concerning society at the time. Shelley challenges the idea of the creative genius being a driving force in the progression of humanity, reflective of society’s concerns for potential harm to emerge from over-reaching. Victor Frankenstein plays the role of the over-reaching protagonist who desired “to become greater than his nature will allow.” Shelley conveys the concerns in pursuing knowledge that mere mortals should not possess. Victor longs to “penetrate the secrets of nature” discovering the astonishing power of “bestowing animation on lifeless matter.” This idea draws on the novel’s subtitle, “The Modern Prometheus” with Victor taking the metaphoric “fire” from the God’s and having to suffer the consequences. The novel, like “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” serves as a cautionary tale. Both Victor and the ancient mariner have sinned against nature, challenging the ideas of Romanticism. The layered structure of Frankenstein reflects the influence of Coleridge, likening Victor to the mariner, having to tell his story to Walton to warn him of the dangers of toiling in the divine secrets of nature: “Learn from me, if not by my precepts, at least by my example, how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge.” Frankenstein explores the consequences of the
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