Contextual Concerns in Frankentstein

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In what ways are the “contextual concerns” influenced in this initial extract?

Texts reflect changing values that were present at the time of their composition even if they are composed at different times. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein was created during the 18th to 19th century, a period where romanticism began to establish in a time of industrial revolution. She wrote when predominant writers such as Godwin, Coleridge and Byron were around, and so her work manifests philosophical and social contexts of the time.

While scientific advancements flourished within Shelley’s era, she undermines the necessity of science through the adulation of Mother Nature in the extract. In the 19th century the exploiting of nature by scientific discoveries were prevalent, especially after Giovanni Aldini’s attempt to reanimate a corpse through a process called galvanism. Shelley’s work clearly reflects contextual concerns that were prevalent at the time, as she criticises the social exemplar with Romantic notions of inspiration through Nature. In the extract, Robert Walton, an Englishman with a passion for seafaring, acknowledges, the “lands surpassing in wonders and in beauty” and describes his attachment to Nature as it, “braces my nerves and fills me with delight”. The emotive language that reflects his appreciation for the natural world, emphasizes Shelley’s belief in the Romantic notion of the intrinsic link between nature and humanity.

Shelley also criticises the rise of ambition through questioning the notion of ‘progress’ and its relation to corruption of humanity. The rise of the Industrial Revolution in the early 19th century was due to the strive for advancement, as technology outdated craftsmanship in attaining maximum profit. Mary Shelley took particular importance in this issue as, due to her intellectual understanding, problems occurred whilst Lord Bryon appealed to the House of the Lords against the revolt of the agrarian workers. Shelley reflects this...
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