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Scientific progress as seen in Frankenstein.

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Introduction

In the novel 'Frankenstein', scientific progress is seen as immoral particularly as it displaces women's 'function', which, in the 19th Century was solely as a child bearer, and stereotypical mother. Elizabeth falls victim to this portrayal. 'Elizabeth my love, you must supply my place to my younger children' the use of language is of a great deal of interest, note how the term 'supply' is used rather than an alternative such as 'provide'. 'Supply' suggests Elizabeth is to replace the role of Mother in the household. The expression 'my love' implies that Elizabeth is cherished, and that even at her deathbed her mother is still the stereotypical mother despite being weak and vulnerable, she stays strong to be a source of strength for her daughter. The term 'my love' also shows that Elizabeth is cherished and her Mother sees her to be fit to obtain the role of Mother of the household. 'She indeed veiled her grief' whilst being meek Elizabeth is forced to be strong for the family's sake. However, when Victor 'supplies' the monster, the role of child bearer is taken from women, and they are portrayed in a different manner, a man making a creature defied not only science but also the role of women, perhaps in some ways women are freed of their only weakness, yet Frankenstein is unwilling to accept this. ...read more.

Middle

Only God has the awareness to distribute life. 'This was the commencement of a nervous fever, which confined me for several months' Victor has only just created the monster and yet he soon becomes sick, indicating that already the extent to his experimentation is taking its toll on Victor. Victor's happiness with Elizabeth soon comes to an unexpected end with her murder, which affects Victor deeply. 'Revenge alone endowed me with strength and composure; it moulded my feelings, and allowed me to be calculating and calm, at periods when otherwise delirium or death would have been my portion' This quote includes alliteration 'calculating and composure' and 'delirium or death' which promotes Victor's despair and his need for vengeance. An inevitable outcome of scientific experimentation is one of the main themes throughout the book- death. Death is to be expected and is necessary, as the tragic death of the main protagonists is needed to restore the harmony and tranquillity that there was before the experiment. The monster has to kill Elizabeth, as the monster believed that if he was unhappy then his creator was not entitled to happiness either. 'Dared to hope for happiness; that while he accumulated wretchedness and despair upon me, he sought his own enjoyment in feelings and passions from the indulgence of which I was for ever barred'. ...read more.

Conclusion

Instead he disowns the monster and selfishly seeks his own happiness, thus the monster feels resentment and resolves to 'punish' Victor. ' But where was mine? He had abandoned me: and, in the bitterness of my heart, I cursed him'. The language used causes sympathy for the monster, and also creates an analogy of a defenceless young child, the word 'abandoned', and 'heart' only reinforcing this. The rhetorical question also suggests self-pity and bitterness, but also vulnerability on the monsters part, you begin to appreciate the monsters resentment. Victor brushes aside any guilt he may have, he may say, he had metaphorically 'suffered living torture' but if it was so, he would have admitted to the monsters existence, or in some way attempted to put an end to the destruction the monster could, and would cause, not only for Victor himself but furthermore to his family and wife. Only God can create, and the tragic ending for the monster and for Victor, both of whom were the main protagonists throughout the book only succeeds in emphasising this. The moral being that attempting to take over God's role can only cause commotion, to not only yourself, but to everyone else. The use of cloning and scientific exploration may evolve, but at the price of others lives, it should be destroyed. Therefore, Frankenstein is largely a book illustrating a view, which has relevance to us even now. ...read more.

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