• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Comparison between scientific advancements in Frankenstein and Dorian Gray

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

'Basing your response on the comparison between Frankenstein and Dorian Gray, explain how the scientific advancements had affect on society at the time.' The nineteenth century was a time of fantastic development and change, both scientifically and psychologically, which would have placed a dramatic effect on the writing of Mary Shelley and Oscar Wilde. The new science suggested that we do not know the universe, that what we know suggests a struggle, and that human beings take part in that struggle because their minds are clouded by unconscious motivations. In a period when the distinctions between the disciplines were less rigid, especially in science art and philosophy; science was considered to hold the key to social progress. Incredible discoveries were occurring; in 1802 Galvani showed that running a current through a frog produces a twitch-endanger life, and in 1803, Aldani attached a battery to the corpse of a criminal which led to it moving and one of its eyes moving. These breakthroughs would have inspired Shelley enormously. Shelley was brought up by wealthy, middle-class parents and had a respectable, almost idyllic childhood. Her father, William Godwin was both a philosopher and a novelist. He had a passion for science and Mary's childhood was dominated by her love to roam around her father's extensive library. ...read more.

Middle

This can also be compared to Oscar Wilde's Dorian Gray. Wilde was very familiar with the Faust legend through popular culture and so incorporated its themes into his writing. Lord Henry can be associated with the devil, or at least the devil's advocate, and Dorian Gray the innocent, unwitting, insecure boy who has his flaws manipulated by Lord Henry. He persuades na�ve Dorian, to exchange his soul for eternal youth which in turn leads him to become greedy and out of control. Mary Shelley was reading the book Emile previous to writing Frankenstein. The novel argues that mans nature is harmless, but is made evil by society's perception. The monster, although visually distorted and horrendous, was not born a bad person. A parent's, or creator's job is to support and care for their creation, which Victor failed to do. Inspiration for this storyline may have originated from Mary's home life. Both Percy's and her father simultaneously disowned them for falling in love with one another, similar to Victor and the monster, on their departure she began to write Frankenstein. The theme of the 'monster in man' is very apparent in both Frankenstein and The Picture of Dorian Gray. ...read more.

Conclusion

This emphasises her scientific mind, she writes almost following a formula. Flashbacks are used to portray the influence the past has on the present, which proves very effective. The story is written in Chinese-box narration, each story is enfolded within another story. The letters are very important in Frankenstein as it makes the storyline reasonable apparent before it begins; it sets the scene and introduces the gothic themes and tension. Wilde's novel is reasonably different. Although events are in sequential order, clever limericks are used frequently throughout which could be seen to deter the reader away from the plot. There is a set of notes as the preface of The Picture of Dorian Gray, the most important reading 'There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book; they are either written well, or written badly.' Oscar Wilde was wildly criticised for his writing and critics openly mocked his work, calling it immoral. The set of notes before the book begins could have been written purely for their behalf, to take a stand, and prove them wrong. In conclusion, the nineteenth century had an unbelievable affect on the writing of Mary Shelley and similarly Oscar Wilde. The progressions in science and in psychology were tremendous and although influences were found elsewhere for the authors, the most prominent were the developments and advancements of their societies. Jaidee Spear ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Mary Shelly section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Mary Shelly essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    The English Patient

    5 star(s)

    She now finds the strength to write to Clara, telling her how her father died, how his men left him after he was burned beyond recognition. Hana mourns the sadness of geography: she, a nurse who knows so much about burns, could not care for her own father because he was far away.

  2. A Critique of Society in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

    without either he was considered, except in very rare instances, as a vagabond and a slave'. The De Lacy's boast neither of these qualities, so should they therefore be considered slaves? Shelley asks us to question what values are more important in humanity.

  1. Comparing Macbeth to Victor Frankenstein

    He takes lives for his own purposes and descisions, killing innocent people. He does this only to keep his power asserted so that no one could even challenge him. In Frankenstein, a human himself, forgets all about human emotions and value of a life.

  2. Compare and contrast the ways in which the writers of 'Frankenstein' and 'The Picture ...

    Interestingly, Shelley goes on to describe the monster as almost childlike, with 'one hand stretched out', muttering 'inarticulate sounds, while a grin wrinkled his cheeks'7. Although the monster is not beautiful, he takes on all the innocent qualities of a baby at this juncture: like Dorian, he is portrayed as entirely na�ve, and therefore entirely corruptible.

  1. With the emphasis on Mary Shelleys Frankenstein and with wider reference to The Picture ...

    a fatal prejudice clouds their eyes, and where they ought to see a feeling and kind friend, they behold only a detestable monster." Dorian understands why he is hated by James Vane, but instead of experiencing genuine remorse for his actions at that time, he fears for his safety.

  2. Compare the ways the writers of your texts create a sense of fear in ...

    to show that there is little distinction between his appearance and his ethics. A lot of fear caused in Beloved is through Sethe and Paul D coming to terms with their painful memories. Sethe and Paul D have ?more yesterday than anybody,? and Paul D believes that ?we [they] need

  1. Literary theory- new historicism applied to Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein"

    Analysis of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley In Mary Shelley?s 1818 Novel Frankenstein, she illustrates personal psychological and social cultural aspects that develop the basis of criticism through New Historicism.

  2. Explore the corruption of morality and its consequences within the texts of Othello, The ...

    Iago reveals his deception to Roderigo and the audience that he is ?not what I am? because Iago is consciously aware he is going to corrupt Othello. The parallel used to show Iago?s alter ego can be linked with Henry since he believes ?there is no such thing as a good influence.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work