Theme of Death in Frankenstein

950 Words4 Pages
‘Victor Frankenstein is condemned from the start of the novel as he chooses to play God’ in the light of this comment, discuss how Mary Shelley chooses to portray death in the novel. Of the many running themes in the novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, the theme of death is potentially the most prominent as the story within the novel essentially begins and finishes with the death of the creature. In fact, by the end of the novel the only remaining (notable) character is Walton. Shelley adds irony to the theme of death by writing ‘Wealth was an inferior object; but what glory would attend the discovery, if I could banish disease from the human frame, and render man invulnerable to any but a violent death!’ from Victor’s perspective near the begging of the novel, adding an ironic foreshadowing from the start. It can be argued that Victor sees himself at a higher power than others due to his own arrogance, interfering with the natural process of life and death, bestowing animation upon lifeless matter, I might in process of time (although I now found it impossible) renew life where death had apparently devoted the body to corruption. The irony here is that his ‘godlike’ interference with birth backfires on him, eventually condemning himself and others, including the creature, to death. Although Shelley doesn’t confirm the Creature’s death, it can be inferred through her language; He was soon borne away by the waves, and lost in the darkness and distance. By the end of the novel, it seems that death is all Victor has to look forward to. An 1818 reader may not have felt any sympathy for Victor as he rebelled against God in a rather religious era, looking down on Victor as they would also do for Shelley for writing the novel. Near the end of the novel Victor’s language becomes much more dramatic, as does the creatures; idea of the two being doppelgangers of
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