Modern Society Issues Mirrored in Frankenstein

Topics: Frankenstein, Mary Shelley, Percy Bysshe Shelley Pages: 5 (1403 words) Published: October 21, 2010
Chowdhury 1

Issues of Society Past and Present

The passage of time may bring about many new changes in American society but, conflict will always remain a constant in people’s lives. A number of moral problems occurring in the past continue to be prominent issues of modern society. In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, there is a correlation between the preeminent issues described in the novel and the morally unethical conflict occurring within modern society.

Some problems are so deeply engraved in human society that they remain leading issues amongst people, despite the changes encompassing their day-to-day life brought on by the passing of time. One of the major issues in Frankenstein is crime. Whether it is genetic engineering or murder, these crimes still hold their place in society today. Another crime of sorts expressed in Frankenstein that is a prominent issue today is the abandonment of children by both paternal and maternal units. This leads to abandonment issues, made worse by the judging of one’s character based solely on their appearance, leaving one on a constant search for acceptance. All these issues conveyed in Frankenstein mirror many of the pressing problems in society today.

Crime is a part of every society. It is one of the ever-lasting components that make up society. No matter how much effort people put in to purge life of all its depravity, the fact remains that crime cannot be removed from life. People are influenced, if not controlled, by their emotions which clouds their judgment and justifies, to themselves, the crimes they commit. Crime will always remain a part of the human community.

One crime that is becoming notorious today is genetic engineering. Genetic engineering is an issue of morality. The act is frowned upon by many people in society because the scientists committing these acts are modifying God’s creations, putting themselves in a godly position. Genetic engineering is also an issue due to the fact that it is going against the laws of nature. The beings produced in laboratories should not even exist, yet they do, creating many problems for all other living beings and life itself. “Crosses [in the species barrier] are made which would never have happened in the natural world…But GE [genetic engineering] is much different [than mankind interfering with evolution through breeding and habitat management] because scrambling genomes will lead to the total destruction of evolution” (Franchino). The issues of genetic engineering are eminent and are growing worse in society today.

The genetic engineering in Frankenstein was also an act of moral turpitude. At that time, such acts were unheard of. Victor Frankenstein’s scientific endeavors led him to the creation of an unnatural being unknown to the world. He went against his religious beliefs and his set of moral standards in an attempt to fulfill his unnatural obsession. Genetic engineering is a crime in the sense that it goes against moral, ethical, and religious standards.

Another crime in society that has been a major issue throughout history is murder. No matter what era a person lives in or what their culture is, murder is unjustified. Today, murders are occurring on a daily basis. Serial killers, double homicides, and even the killing of children are not uncommon. In 2009 alone, there were a total of about 15,241 murders in the United States (United). Murders will always exist as long as people let their emotions rule and let them get in the way of their better judgment.

Just as murder is commonplace in current human society, Mary Shelley incorporates it in her novel as well. The creature, fed up with no one acknowledging its existence and angry at Victor for bringing it into this hateful world, resorts to murder as a way to alleviate its suffering by bringing suffering to its creator. Murder is one critical issue that has been occurring since long ago and will continue occurring so long as a person’s better judgment takes...
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