Frankenstein contrasts his 'thirst for knowledge' with Elizabeth's interest in 'the aerial creations of the poets'.
Frankenstein contrasts his 'thirst for knowledge' with Elizabeth's interest in 'the aerial creations of the poets'. What is your response to Shelley's exploration in Frankenstein of the relative merits of science and literature? Mary Shelley grounded her fiction of the scientist who created a monster he cannot control upon an extensive understanding of the most recent scientific developments during her days. She thereby initiated a new literary genre, what we now call science fiction. More importantly, she used this knowledge both to analyze and to criticize the more dangerous implications of the scientific method and its practical results. Implicitly she contrasted what she considered to be "good" science - the detailed and reverent description of the workings of nature- to what she considered "bad" science, the hubristic manipulation of the elemental forces of the nature to serve man's private ends. In Frankenstein, she illustrated the potential evils of scientific hubris and at the same time challenged the cultural biases inherent in any conception of science. Victor Frankenstein chooses to work within the newly established field of chemical physiology. He must thus become familiar with the recent experiments in the disparate fields of biology, chemistry, mechanics, physics and medicine. The need to span the entire range of science is stressed by Frankenstein's chemistry
What views of 'mankind' does the Romantic writer, Mary Shelley, present in Frankenstein?
What views of 'mankind' does the Romantic writer, Mary Shelley, present in Frankenstein? Mary Shelley was writing shortly after the French Revolution and at a time when numerous scientific theories were being put forward. She was the daughter of two radical thinkers Mary Wollstonecraft and William Godwin, married to the romantic poet Percy Shelley and she was very well read. Hence it was inevitable that her view of 'mankind' would incorporate many different aspects. At the start of the book we see the romantic character Walton preparing to set out on a journey of discovery to the North Pole. Walton exhibits many aspects of the romantic - he is self-educated, has a love of nature, he is ambitious wanting to discover a passage to the North Pole: 'I am going to unexplored regions to 'the land of mist and snow'; but I shall kill no albatross.' and he sees the importance of friendship and feels the lack of it has a serious disadvantage 'I bitterly feel the want of a friend'. Shelley has used the epistolary style of writing in this part of the novel and this enables the reader to quickly get into the story and creates an air of realism. Walton's ambitions are a mirror of Frankenstein's and we see two characters who have become obsessed with the pursuit of knowledge believing that they are doing it for the good of mankind rather than any material wealth. Walton's 'insanity' being
An exploration into the similarity and differences between Mary Shelly’s ‘Frankenstein’ and John Steinbeck’s ‘Of Mice and Men’
An exploration into the similarity and differences between Mary Shelly's 'Frankenstein' and John Steinbeck's 'Of Mice and Men' Mary Shelley, born August 30, 1797, was a prominent, though often overlooked, literary figure during the romantic Era of English Literature. She was the only child of Mary Wollstonecraft, the famous feminist, and William Godwin, a philosopher and novelist. She was also the wife of the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. Mary's parents were shapers of the Romantic sensibility and the revolutionary ideas of the left wing. Mary, Shelley, Byron, and Keats were principle figures in Romanticism's second generation. Whereas the poets died young in the 1820's, Mary lived through the Romantic era into the Victorian. Mary was born during the eighth year of the French Revolution. "She entered the world like the heroine of a Gothic tale: conceived in a secret amour, her birth heralded by storms and portents, attended by tragic drama, and known to thousands through Godwin's memoirs. Percy Shelley would elevate the event to mythic status in his dedication to The Revolt of Islam".(from page 21 of Romance and Reality by Emily Sunstein.) From infancy, Mary was treated as a unique individual with remarkable parents. High expectations were placed on her potential and she was treated as if she were born beneath a lucky star. Godwin was convinced that babies are born with a
Consider the roles and the importance of Safie in the novel - 'Frankenstein', Mary Shelley
Consider the roles and the importance of Safie in the novel. Throughout the novel `Frankenstein', Mary Shelley introduces many characters that although are not either essential or principal to the main storyline, have important roles in highlighting certain issues and also in helping to set up the story to become more believable. In the novel, Safie is the daughter of an Arab and comes to live with the De Laceys, whom the creature calls his `protectors'. Aspects of Safie's life also highlight issues that Shelley feels strongly about. This essay shall consider the importance and the role of Mary Shelley's seemingly insignificant character Safie. When Safie first arrives at the De Lacey's, the creature witnesses an important change in Felix. `Felix seemed ravished with delight when he saw her, every trait of sorrow vanished from his face, and it instantly expressed a degree of ecstatic joy, of which I could hardly have believes it capable..." Ch.13 P.90 The emotions that the creature was witnessing were the emotions of love, and Safie and Felix are the first couple that the creature observes together. Perhaps it is from absorbing the intense emotions that Felix feels when Safie arrives, that the creature learns how to love, and that man and woman are meant to be together. Up until Safie arrives, the creature has only witnessed old De Lacey with his
This essay will focus on the way Walton's letters bring out the main themes that will increase the reader's understanding of the rest of the novel
This essay will focus on the way Walton's letters bring out the main themes that will increase the reader's understanding of the rest of the novel. In Walton's letter, an important character is introduced, Victor Frankenstein. In the second letter, Walton regrets his lack of friends. He feels lonely and remote, unable to find a space in this world for him. When Walton meets the stranger, he picks him up as a friend he always wanted to have. Walton's desire for companionship resembles the monster's desire for a friend throughout the novel when he realizes he doesn't speak the same language as the other people he meets. This parallel between Victor and Walton seems to show that the two have things in common The desire for knowledge and its impacts are important in these letters. The stranger tells Walton, "You seek for knowledge and wisdom, as I once did; and I ardently hope that the gratification of your wishes may not be a serpent to sting you, as mine has been." Walton, like Frankenstein is captivated by the desire to learn, and try to find answers to things no one knows about: "What may not be expected in a country of eternal light?" Finally, Victor and Walton both have very loving family backgrounds. The beginning of the book starts with Walton sending letters to his sister Margaret to update her tells her that he is safe. Victor, on his side, is very loving to
English Literature - Frankenstein
"Frankenstein and his creature are in fact the same person". Discuss When considering this question one must first take note of the discrepancy between the literal presentation of the relationship between Frankenstein and his creature, and the figurative presentation of that. Are Shelley's intentions predominantly to bring our attention to the fixed sequence of events - to perceive the story in a literal manner - or to a more implicit message; an analogy of bodily union between the two antagonists? Of course, today, when one utters the name 'Frankenstein' the first image thought up is that of a detestable, monstrous, green entity with bolts through the neck. This is indeed erroneous when taking Shelley's novel into account, yet it still offers us an allusion to the idea of the double. It has frequently been suggested that the creature assumes the role of a doppelgänger - or alter-ego - to Frankenstein. That he is merely an extension, or reflection of his creator (indeed 'creature' implies 'creator'). They both assume various synonymous roles throughout the novel; for example, their corresponding isolation, the omission of female influence in their matters, their juxtaposed intentions to take revenge, and of course the simple fact that Victor is presented as a solitary 'parent' to the creature - the only person with whom the creature has an emotional bond. So, let us first
Frankenstien;In her 1831 introduction to the novel Shelley explained how she wanted to 'curdle the blood and quicken the beatings of the heart'. Do you think she achieves her aim? Look closely at chapter 20.
In her 1831 introduction to the novel Shelley explained how she wanted to 'curdle the blood and quicken the beatings of the heart'. Do you think she achieves her aim? Look closely at chapter 20. Shelley's aim to 'curdle the blood and quicken the beatings of the heart' of the reader instantly prepares the reader for a gothic novel with traditional themes such as, tampering with unknown sciences, revenge, the role of women at the peril of male figures, murder and many more. A typical quality within gothic literature is the physical reactions of characters and how they are portrayed as carrying out dramatic motions in response to events in the novel, in order to emphasise the terror or ghastliness of what they are witnessing. This physical reaction is the key effect Shelley is trying to put upon the reader. This heightens the sense of terror throughout the book. Another point referencing to gothic literature in Shelley's 1931 introduction is her explanation of how the idea for the novel came to her through a dream, dreams are used within the novel to create a sense of unease and foreboding. It has been said, when looking at the structure of the novel, Shelley tries to induce the feelings of unease and instability, 'many critics have described the novel itself as monstrous, a stitched-together combination of different voices, texts, and tenses'. It has been considered
Explore the way that Shelley presents the relationship between Frankenstein and his creature.
"Did I request thee, maker from my clay to mould me man? Did I solicit thee from darkness to promote me?" - John Milton, Paradise Lost. Frankenstein tells his creature that "There can be no community between you and me; we are enemies." However, it can be argued that the creature and his creator are very similar. Explore the way that Shelley presents the relationship between Frankenstein and his creature. Frankenstein and the creature, although have strong feeling of hate towards each other. Frankenstein to creature for murdering his family and friends, and also creature to Frankenstein for creating him, and refusing to make a partner for the creature to have for company. Although there can obviously be no community or relationship between the creature and Frankenstein there are some similarities between them that Shelley makes obvious and shows very well. The first similarity we notice, when reading the novel, is how Frankenstein and the creature feel the same a lot of the time. They are both extremely lonely and feel isolated in their world. Frankenstein cannot talk to anyone about his feelings and what he has done. "...But now that I had finished, the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart." This shows how his realization of what he has done has affected him and made him feel guilty and shocked for what he has done and created,
Feminist critic Anne K. Mellor argues that Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is an attack on masculine Romanticism. To what extent do you agree with Mellor's assessment?
Feminist critic Anne K. Mellor argues that Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is an attack on masculine Romanticism. To what extent do you agree with Mellor's assessment? I agree that Mary Shelley's Frankenstein does indeed attack masculine Romanticism however not totally. Typical Romantic characteristics include heightened interest in nature, emphasis on the individual's expression of emotion and imagination, and rebellion against society. She attacks this through her use of language, setting, characterization, narrative structure, doubling and literary allusions. Firstly, the characteristics of the masculine Romantic hero as displayed by Victor Frankenstein and Walton and why Shelley would want to attack these characteristics must be established. Frankenstein displays the traits of a Romantic hero in that he is seeking for something spiritual in nature that is perpetually just out of reach (as does Walton), for example, his desire to conquer death and nature because of his mother's death. Victor is often at odds with society, and is alienated from it because of this strong desire. Also, he is entirely wrapped up in himself and his own problems and indulges, if not wallows in, his own feelings. It must be noted that the main trait of a masculine Romantic scientist would be his thirst for knowledge and leading to ambition and an appreciation of beauty is also a trait. Shelley's
Compare and Contrast the ways in which rejection is presented in Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein"
Compare and contrast the ways in which rejection is presented in an extract from Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” Mary Shelley presents rejection very much through her characterisation of the Frankenstein monster. I have taken an extract from the novel in which Frankenstein is reunited with his monster. In this extract the monster relates to Frankenstein the troubles he has had in mixing in human society, and he then threatens Frankenstein to build himself a mate. Shelley presents the monster’s rejection through her use of form, structure and language, of which she uses to highlight the significance of the monster’s rejection and the intensity of pain that results from his rejection. Frankenstein’s monster describes a pivotal moment in his life that changes his destiny, or his desired destiny, and propels the story to its tragic ending. The monster approaches the home of his “protectors.” He waits for any opportunity for himself and the blind old man, De Lacey, to be left alone. When the youthful Salfie, Felix and Agatha leave the home, the monster seizes his opportunity to befriend a group of human beings. The tension building to this moment is heightened as the monster relates the nervousness and apprehension he feels before approaching De Lacey. The narrator, the monster, is aware of the great importance that this scene holds for his future, and as a result,