Science in Frankenstein

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Frankenstein: The Scientific Comparison from Novel to Film

Created in 1816, Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” has been enjoyed countless times by readers worldwide. It is renowned as a story of horror and the unthinkable. However, it has also been a story that transcends beyond the thrilling creation of a monster and opens the pages to various interpretations of its main character, Victor Frankenstein. In Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein”, Victor Frankenstein is motivated to solve whether or not life could exist with what he sees as raw material. This raw material is what in the end destroys his life. His obsession with creating life ironically results in his own life crumbling down around him. In Kenneth Branagh’s film, Victor further establishes his role in the natural sciences by wanting to help a scientifically evolving society with this monumental discovery. This can be seen differently in Mary Shelley’s “Frankentsein” because his intention towards creating this creature came from total selfish and egotistical reasons. Although Victor Frankenstein is obsessed with the power of science and allows this to take full control of his life, his reasons for creating this monster differ between Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” and Kenneth Branagh’s film.

The making of Victor's creature is presented as an extraordinary feat of scientific discovery which leads Victor to his eventual mental collapse of total isolation. This seclusion from his loved ones had stemmed from Victor’s love for science and natural philosophy. This passion is made obvious when he says that “natural philosophy is the genius that has regulated my fate” (Shelley 20). Victor learns that his interest in alchemy is useless and outdated. Instead, science and natural philosophy are the accepted forms of thought. In Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein”, these accepted forms of thought are constantly encouraged by his chemistry professor M. Waldman. He is the man that led Victor to “new...
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