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Character & Theme in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein - Essay Example

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Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is tightly connected to the historical changes and events taken place in the 18th and 19th centuries. There are many historical, moral and philosophical approaches in this work that are still rather important for us today. The ideas of the book are increasingly important in this age of intensive scientific development and numerous approaches of the nature of life and death…
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Character & Theme in Mary Shelleys Frankenstein
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Download file to see previous pages So, the intriguing plot development begins in the Arctic Circle as the symbol of mystery and unpredictability.
The time when the novel was written was that of rapid scientific explorations. As well as many other young men, Victor Frankenstein was fond of natural scientific researches and decided to devote himself to the science. But he did not just scientific experiments, but he decided to transform living substance from the dead one! Victor Frankenstein's explorations were based on medieval alchemists' researches which tried to prove that resuscitation is possible and a human being can be immortal. Alchemists provided such experiments but nevertheless their dream wasn't realized. But the people's dream of resuscitation and transformation of lifeless substance was and is still survived, and this aspiration is eloquently reflected in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. In the spirit of Enlightenment, Victor Frankenstein tried to explore the human nature. He was sure that scientific reason can surpass God, and he made his supernatural experiments intending to bring scientific benefit to the mankind. The spirit of Enlightenment appealed liberty, including human liberty from God, and Frankenstein wanted to realise this idea, but he transformed this idea into the idea of artificial intelligence. It was a popular philosophical idea, and it still survives today, in our century of genetic engineering. But that time Victor Frankenstein used less effective scientific methods than we do today: he used electricity. Experiments with electricity were very popular in the 18th and the 19th century, and many scientists tried to apply it in many realms, including medicine. The experiments with electricity were widely used in medicine as the demonstration showing that frog leg can jolt under the influence of electricity - Victor Frankenstein decided to use this technology for resuscitation. He imagined himself as a great scientist who is able to surpass God and create new life using scientific methods: "So much has been done, exclaimed the soul of Frankenstein--more, far more, will I achieve; treading in the steps already marked, I will pioneer a new way, explore unknown powers, and unfold to the world the deepest mysteries of creation" (Chapter 3).
In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein the old idea of aspiration of man superiority over nature is clearly visible. Alchemists and different scientific experimenters always aspired to surpass nature and place a man over nature, and they didn't reflect possible consequences. Victor Frankenstein realised the danger, nevertheless he went on. But later he found that his creature is not as ideal as he had planned. The monster was ugly, and nobody could see it without fear, and even his creator couldn't look at him without fear: "I had gazed on him while unfinished; he was ugly then, but when those muscles and joints were rendered capable of motion, it became a thing such as even Dante could not have conceived" (Chapter 5). What was Victor's purpose to create his monster It was an ambition of a man who tried to use his experiments to demonstrate the power of science and the power of humans over nature. Victor internalized his monster, and then ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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