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"Mary Shelley lived at a time of rapid progress inscience. With reference to chapter four, in what ways is 'Frankenstein' an early form of science fiction?"

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Introduction

"Mary Shelley lived at a time of rapid progress in science. With reference to chapter four, in what ways is 'Frankenstein' an early form of science fiction?" "Frankenstein", by Mary Shelley is a challenging book to read. It is written in Chinese box narrative, a kind of narration with two or more persons telling their own story. It starts of with Walter, an explorer, writing to his sister. His ship gets stuck and he goes outside only to find Victor Frankenstein. Victor is in a bad way, dying in fact, and so tells Walton his story. Halfway through Victor's narrative, he creates the creature, which comes in, and tells his account. Then Victor comes back to conclude his tale, and the book finishes with Walton summing up, adding his own opinions, and writing to his sister again. Frankenstein was written in 1817, but even now is regarded as a classic. However, many views on the novel are changing due to the recent alteration in possible genres. Some people see it as an early form of science fiction. There are many reasons for this, which I will be presenting and explaining in this essay. Most of the reasons and theories were placed into the book by Mary Shelley because of the advancements and dramatic progress in the science field around Shelley's time. ...read more.

Middle

All of this scientific mentioning was on one page, and is yet only a fraction of how much science in the entire book. Surely this, if no other evidence, would with at least point "Frankenstein" in the right direction to being named an early form of science fiction genre. Although Victor's own obsession with science drives him to his final fate, there is also the idea of ultimate destiny. "Destiny was too potent, and her immutable laws had decreed my utter and terrible destruction." Many people believe that this was just an excuse for Victor's mistakes, but I believe that it was Mary Shelley's influence creeping into the storyline yet again. Shelley was a romantic; she spent her life against the facts of the world, hoping for the near impossible. She drove herself to the wonders of fate, much like Victor is doing at this time in the book. He told himself that he had little control, and that fate and mysterious wonders possessed him like a puppet on a string. Death is in a way the centre of the story. More then half of the characters themselves die, and the creature is made of dead matter. It is astonishing that Mary Shelley would write about death if she was a romantic. What is even more astounding is that she wrote so much about science! ...read more.

Conclusion

Therefore, theoretically Frankenstein would fall into this category. The only obstacle preventing this is whether or not it should be something else, like gothic horror or even romantic thriller. There are approximately equal amounts of evidence that would finally classify the novel. There are so many genres it could be that it is extremely difficult to comprehend which one it would distinctively fall into. The problem is how do we choose which one? But one thing most people do not consider is why can't something be more than one thing? For years people have combined ideas to save time or just for the sake of it. Things like two in one shampoos, or multi vitamin tablets or even television programmes. So what some people agree upon in this situation is: why can't Mary Shelley's Frankenstein be three genres rolled up into one? After all, this essay has found no reason to suggest why it shouldn't be pronounced science fiction, and I am sure that there will be no way to say how it is not any other genre. If we excluded one genre from the description then it would not fully describe the book to its full temperament. However, against anything else and for the sake of answering the original essay question, I will call it an early form of science fiction, only because there was nothing like it before it was written, and if it hadn't been, there may not be a science fiction anyway. ...read more.

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