Shelley's Context in Contrast with Frankenstein

614 Words3 Pages
Many critics have claimed that the enduring popularity of the novel is due to the universality of its themes. What is being said about the issues of humanity and science? (What values of the time are being expressed and criticised by Shelley?) Frankenstein's enduring popularity is derived especially from it's rejection of prehistoric genre but intertwining tragedy, gothic and realism together creating a dark and strange read yet presenting a series of thematic concerns. Many would read Shelley's Frankenstein as a religious debate against the dangers of playing God yet her context would reveal no real links with Christianity. Though she wasn't an atheist, Shelley believed in a pagan view that a form of God resided within nature. Her argument is the perceived "Enlightenment" of science will inevitably erode the goodness within humans thus humanity must follow the path of Romanticism for true enlightenment. Victor Frankenstein represents the epitome of scientific progression “Life and death appeared to me ideal bounds” and thus is eroded of all human qualities. He requires isolation from family and friends when committing to perilous journey of unlocking the secrets to life in best intentions “pour a torrent of light into our dark world”. The reason to reject emotional connections is never truly revealed in the novel yet this could be deciphered as either his secrecy towards ambition or because he is ashamed by harvesting resources from the recently dead. Upon creating the creature, he despises his creation and abandon’s it. He refuses to take responsibility for his product, leaving it to rot by itself. These negative externalities, generated from Victor’s pursuit of “enlightenment” again reinforces Shelley’s theme of the inevitable downfall of humanity should the Neo Classical theory be allowed to dominate. Frankenstein’s creation however disgusting in
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