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How is Frankenstein a critique of the society Mary Shelley lived in, and what are the roles of nature and society in the novel?

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Introduction

How is "Frankenstein" a critique of the society Mary Shelley lived in, and what are the roles of nature and society in the novel? Nature plays a large role in the novel, "Frankenstein", both as the natural world and human nature. The book is clearly not a story of amusement, or of fun and happiness. It is a sad but beautiful story of the need for love and acceptance in society. This reflects a lot on Mary Shelley's life, as you can tell simply from the language used in the text that she is writing from experience in many parts of the book. Civilization in the days of Mary Shelley is very similar to modern day society, in certain respects, such as the significant presence of justice and fear of the unknown - both of which play important and pivotal roles in "Frankenstein". Right from the moment of the monster's "birth", he is unwanted, and from that instant, all the way through the book, up until his departure from society, he leads a miserable life, and his shunned existence seems of no use to humankind. The very first things to happen when the monster comes to life is not very welcoming, as Victor Frankenstein, his creator, say, "unable to endure the aspect of the being I had created, I rushed out of the room and continued a long time traversing my bedroom chamber, unable to compose my mind to sleep". ...read more.

Middle

From that moment and for the rest of his existence, the monster knew not to interfere with human beings, for their nature was clearly different to his. The monster, like all human beings, wanted to be accepted for his intellectual abilities and personality, and both him and humans have it in their nature to be afraid of the unknown, yet the villagers had an unmistakable advantage over the monster - the monster was still innocent and na�ve, unsure of the world around him and ignorant of human nature. He was not accepted by anyone, purely because of his appearance. This fact is obvious as no one as yet had even had the chance to get to know the monster's personality, not even the monster himself had had this opportunity, because he could not speak and did not know anything about society. Therefore human nature plays an incredibly important role in the novel, because without it the villagers would probably have accepted the monster, and he would never have turned out how he did. Society is inevitable. It will always be there as a pleasure and a burden. Society puts labels on everything as good or bad, rich or poor, normal or aberrant. Although some of these stamps are accurate, most of them are misconceptions. Shelley simply makes this known to the reader, so that they can see the error of their ways. ...read more.

Conclusion

"Frankenstein" proves that science and nature can both work together in society, and shows how important they are in today's communities. At the time it was written, just after the French Revolution, people were also obsessed with romanticism and Gothicism. This novel incorporates both of these, by dealing with the social issues of poverty, unemployment and violence. It appealed to reader's in Mary Shelley's society, as well as our own today, and opened eyes to the dangers of society and the wonders of nature. The story of Frankenstein is about a man who creates something that meddles with the course of nature, and nature comes back to mess with him, which just goes to show the power of nature. It presents nature as both beautiful and destructive at the same time. It shows that there is more to this world than meets the eye, and that all things are not either good or bad, it simply depends on how you use them. It reflects on Mary Shelley's social background, suggesting that she wanted to try and change the world, or at least warn them of the consequences of certain actions, which are even more important now than ever. The book is very successful in both horrifying the reader, but also in discerning the dangers of interfering with the most powerful force in the world - nature. ...read more.

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