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

"How do the themes explored by Mary Shelley in 'Frankenstein' relate to a modern audience?"

Extracts from this document...


Natalie Davidson 11ZA3 "How do the themes explored by Mary Shelley in 'Frankenstein' relate to a modern audience?" The beginning of civilisation brought the evidential classification of people as insiders and outsiders in any close society, due to the narrow stereotypical minds of the masses and often the simplistic facts of life. People are separated from the rest of the community as a result of perhaps their physical appearance or a difference in their personality. Stereotypical idols in today's society are greatly influential; we are quick to identify faults in others and use this excuse to ostracise them from the world and ourselves. Mary Shelley embodies this 'outsider' through the monster that Frankenstein creates. He is isolated and rejected by everyone, so we are made to empathise with him; human beings have a natural instinct to do this, so the text is universalised. Ironically, at times the monster is more humane than those who consider themselves human, those who consider themselves 'insiders', opposed to the monster- an outsider. This novel opens on a personal note, Shelley uses the device of letters as a hook to draw in the reader; an invasion of privacy universalises the thoughts on paper, like reading someone else's diary. This makes it easier for us to empathise to Captain Walton and subsequently Victor Frankenstein, who is very similar in many aspects to him. ...read more.


After the death of Victor's mother, the weather is automatically cold once more; the temperature fluctuating according to the fate of the characters. A modern audience can relate to this as we all react to the weather due to natural human instinct. Love is what Shelley bases her novel 'Frankenstein' on. Us, as human beings understand the need for a loving relationship in life, and Victor Frankenstein reminisces about his first memories; which were ones of unconditional love from his family, shown in this quote; "My mother's tender caresses, and my fathers smile of benevolent pleasure while regarding me, are my first recollections. I was their plaything and their idol." (Ch1, pg33, line37) On the other hand, the monster that Victor creates is starved of this love; denied the very thing his creator lusts, purely because of his appearance. He is rejected at first sight and denied unconditional love, as he stumbles blindly after Victor, who runs scared. It is perhaps this lack of nurturing that enables a creation with the potential to be overwhelmingly good, almost angelic, to also have the qualities of the utmost evil; a killer. The product turns against its maker as commonly happens, and Victor results in repulsing his own creation. Also in 'Frankenstein', there is a theme of forbidden love between Victor and Elizabeth, a relationship of incest. ...read more.


the monster are able to decide the fate of the characters, for example, when Justine is hung unfairly without trial after she is accused of murdering Willy, as she pleads guilty although innocent; "I did confess; but I confessed a lie." (Ch8, pg87, line7) We are also like God today, and can relate to Victor Frankenstein in that he tries to create a faultless being. The modern audience are acquainted with genetic engineering and as we are always making scientific advances, like at the time of publication, the fear of the unknown is still very relevant today. Just like Frankenstein, who attempts to eliminate something that isn't perfect, we today have the power to do this through abortion and also are able to 'perfect' a child before it is born, dismissing blemishes by choosing the colour of their eyes or skin. We are currently making mistakes in this area and will result in paying for this blasphemy and already are. The moral of the story is to accept life for what it is, if not we will create the ultimate evil, embodied by the monster. Mary Shelley's 'Frankenstein' can therefore relate as much to a modern audience as a contempary audience at the time of publication, due to specific devices and themes that are used by the author to prevent it becoming stagnated and topics that hold an area of interest for the viewers. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Mary Shelley 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 GCSE Mary Shelley essays

  1. How are family and domestic affection explored in Mary Shelleys Frankenstein

    Victor was disgusted and terrified at what he had done, creating something so hideous, yet so impossible. So he himself was split between ecstasy of the creation of an extra being, and fear that this being could potentially eradicate him.

  2. 'Frankenstein is full of ideas and warnings which are relevant to a modern audience.' ...

    Shortly after this Percy Shelley's wife, Harriet also committed suicide. An effort was made to resuscitate her, although she died later. The next year she had a premature baby girl, Clara, who died at four weeks old- she was haunted by a recurring dream about her dead baby, where Clara was revived and brought back from the dead.


    The reason this atmosphere was created for this chapter is because this is when the creature comes to life and by setting this kind of scene, would make it seem as if here was a dark ritual occurring, this would make the reader think that Frankenstein's hardships are not good

  2. Compare The Treatment Of Outsiders In Frankenstein - Mary Shelley and The Outsiders - ...

    The events before the book are brought up at the start of the book to explain things, like they tell you about Ponyboy's mother and dad being killed in a car crash. It is set in America in the early 60's.

  1. How is the role of the family and domestic affection explored in Frankenstein

    No father could claim the gratitude of his child so completely as I should deserve theirs." He seems to want to create a being which would be his child, as a child loves its parents without exception. He likes the idea of this until he realises how ugly his creation is.

  2. Frankenstein is full of ideas and warnings, which are relevant to a modern day ...

    This is when the writer uses the weather to describe the mood of the current scene. An example of this is in chapter 5 when Frankenstein is gathering the parts for his monster and he quotes 'It was one in the morning, the rain pattering dismally against the panes, and my candle was nearly burnt out'.

  1. How is the role ofFamily and Domestic Affection explored in Frankenstein?

    This is one of the biggest understatements that could ever be thrown at a great novel. Simply put, 'gothic' means a style of fiction characterised by the use of desolate or remote settings and macabre, mysterious or violent incidents. This, however, deals only with the outward appearance of the genre.

  2. How do things Explored by Mary Shelly's Novel Frankenstein Relate to a modern day ...

    the crew, "This breeze, which has travelled from the region towards which I am advancing, gives me a foretaste of those icy climbs." Letter 1 Pg15 This is just one example of Walton's ambition; any audience would find this want of success and fame commendable.

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