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'Frankenstein' addresses many important ideas which were controversial at the time, and which have remained controversial. Discuss these issues in relation to Chapter 5 in particular and in the novel as a whole.

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Introduction

'Frankenstein' addresses many important ideas which were controversial at the time, and which have remained controversial. Discuss these issues in relation to Chapter 5 in particular and in the novel as a whole. 'Frankenstein' is a Gothic Horror novel written by Mary Shelley. An ambitious scientist, Victor Frankenstein, creates a creature from Human body parts in secret. Instead of taking responsibility for the creature he abandons it. The creature spends its life learning about Humans, learning to read and trying to find Frankenstein. Finally, it takes revenge on Frankenstein and his family because he abandons it. The controversial issues are: Scientific research-thinking about the consequences of a 'breakthrough' like creating life, Frankenstein's obsession which shuts him off from friends and family, Frankenstein's responsibility for what he has done and the dangers of knowledge which Frankenstein found out about , and so he warns Captain Walton about them. Shelley was a radical thinker, much like Victor Frankenstein in the novel. When she was 16 she met Percy Shelley, and in the summer of 1816 she was staying with him and Lord Byron on the shores of Lake Geneva. She would later on become the wife of Percy Shelley. One evening Byron suggested that they should all write a ghost story to see whose was best. Much like her childhood, Mary Shelley had a dream about the story she should write. ...read more.

Middle

He calls his creation a "catastrophe" and a "monster". Maybe it was fate that the project he had devoted two years of his life to, turned out to fail miserably. The effects of his scientific research carry on in the rest of the novel. The creature demands that Frankenstein should continue his research and create another creature, ''my companion must be of the same species and have the same defects. This being you must create.'' But before he finishes the other being, Frankenstein realises what he is doing is wrong so he destroys it, ''she might become ten thousand times more malignant than her mate and delight, for its own sake, in murder and wretchedness.'' He also considers the prospect of the two monsters having children, ''a race of devils would be propagated upon the earth who might make the very existence of the species of man a condition precarious and full of terror.'' He decides to make another create because if he did so, the original creature would leave him alone. However, he changes his mind at the thought of what the offspring might do to mankind. Frankenstein's breakthrough in scientific research seemed a good thing to him in chapter five. The rest of the novel shows that he should not have taken it too far. At the end of the novel Frankenstein advises Walton not to go any further with his exploring. ...read more.

Conclusion

Frankenstein says to Walton, ''I fell, never, never again to rise.'' Walton is so moved by his story that he takes notice of Frankenstein's warning and turns his ship home. This part of the plot shows that Mary Shelley wanted to get across the idea that if you disturb the relationship between God and Man, bad things will happen. In Frankenstein's case, the catastrophic consequences of his work are that the people he is close to are killed by the 'monster' he created. This links with the death and suffering that Frankenstein has experienced during the novel. Frankenstein has had to suffer the deaths of so many people who are close to him. As I have already explained, these deaths include Clerval his best friend, Elizabeth his wife and William his son. His servant Justine also died as a consequence of William's murder, through the means of Frankenstein's creature framing her as the murderess and her being executed for it. There is one more death. The creature promises to kill itself so that ''no curious and unhallowed wretch'' can create ''such another that I have been'' But there is an open ending so the reader is left in suspense and there is no idea what has happened to the creature, so it still haunts. The only clue that you are given about the creatures whereabouts is the last sentence in the novel, ''He was soon borne away by the waves and lost in distance and darkness.'' The ending of the novel is controversial because it makes you think that the creature can come back and haunt again. ...read more.

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