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Romanticism in Frankenstein Essay


In Mary Shelleys novel, Frankenstein, has captured the attention of millions of readers over the centuries. There are many questions one must ask in order understand the full purpose and intention of Frankenstein; can someone devaluate life so easily? What is the meaning of life? Can science really go too far? The outcomes of technology and science, even God for that matter, both positive and negative, can drastically affect the outcome of a creation. In Frankenstein, Victor realizes that triumphing science, the forces of nature and the mocking of God can, just as quickly, back fire.

Victor Frankenstein, even as a young boy, was fascinated with the way things work and why they happened. In order to fulfill his quest social standings, he becomes obsessed with an idea that no one had ever thought or attempted before; creating a perfect being. With this idea, possibly mad idea, he did construct a being but certainly not perfect in his eyes. Victor shows as the devaluation of life and the society that demands for perfection by the creation of the monster. Victors characteristics of selfishness, pride, dishonesty, and lack of value for life are presented. (Lundsford) In his creation of life, something so incredible, once thought impossible, had finally come to a reality, but it was still not perfect enough for him. Frankenstein was unable to cope with his status as a creator; the thought of his creation haunted him even before the creation started murdering Frankensteins friends and family. Instead of seeing the good that he had created, he immediately saw all that was wrong with the creation. Many creators see only one side of the potential of their creations and only after it is too late see the other side. Victor did not consider the fact of his creation to have feeling of the world around it, he remains selfish and only seeks out to destroy him, and not want to understand what the creature had to offer.

The emergent new science of synthetic biology is challenging entrenched distinctions between, amongst others, life and non-life, the natural and the artificial, the evolved and the designed, and even the material and the informational. (Van de Belt) People of this medical and technological field know the consequences of this action, unlike Victor Frankenstein. Victor did not know how to give up or leave things the way they were, instead, he wanted to overrule what the norm was. He went far and beyond what he had first expected from this harmless, possibly beneficial, experiment. Once the creature had awoken from his dormant state, Victor suddenly realized that this was not what he had in mind. He had only dreamed and imagined what the perfect being could possibly look and act like. He had thought how could this have happened? How could something that was once so perfect be transformed into something so hideous? With science and nature eliminated from it, nothing but horror could become of it.

With the creation of life, there come the consequences of a higher being. Victor is a science major, not a religious man, so why would he believe in a god? Though he may not be religious, nature is still an important piece in the creating of life. Nature is what brings about life and destroys it, not science. Victor is not only defying the laws of nature but playing God as well. Though people will either agree or disagree about the playing of God, there is still a trait that of which both parties can agree with; we were all created. Not through a machine or in a laboratory but of the natural way of life.

This specific work taught many people about the connections between Romanticism and nature, as the various black and white symbols tied in to different aspects of the analysis. It was very interesting to find the complexities involved in discerning the different symbols and each symbols purpose. The analyses of Frankenstein also served to illustrate how there are a multitude of symbols in every novel of literary merit.

Works Cited

Lundsford, Lars. "The Devaluing of Life in Shelley's Frankenstein." EBSCO - EBSCOhost Online Research Databases. Summer 2010. 08 Dec. 2011 .

Van den belt, Henk. "Playing God in Frankensteins Footsteps: Synthetic Biology and the Meaning of Lif." EBSCO - EBSCOhost Online Research Databases. Dec. 2009. 08 Dec. 2011 .

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