Themes in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

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Several themes discussed and explored in Mary Shelley's ‘Frankenstein’ have stood the test of time. Her topics are intelligently crafted, classically presented and can be identified with, even though broad expanses of time have elapsed. From the commencement of writing, Mary Shelley, 18, explored regions of knowledge beyond her years and expressed a keen eye for psychological and social detail, resulting in one of the first science fiction novels in English literature. Amidst the plot in early 19th century Geneva, Victor Frankenstein is obsessed with the idea of recreating artificial life. His classic mad scientist persona is so overwhelmed with the temptation of success; he doesn’t delay the precise incision of his scalpel to consider the consequences of his creation. This is the pinpoint of the plot which defines the creator’s future life and the suffering he inadvertently causes. A similar topic is mirrored in today’s world with medical advances like genetic engineering, current experiments with fetal tissue, and man’s modern fascination with longer life spans. A question of morality begins to arise in both fiction and reality. Even if the dead could one again live, should they? The lack of ethical consideration and consequence Frankenstein’s aspiration was given gives clue to the fact he couldn’t control his passion, which he knew. Victor Frankenstein had a dangerous thirst for intelligence and an irrepressible desire to gain knowledge of the secret of life. He speaks of life and death as boundaries beyond which he dreams of exploring, ‘I will pioneer a new way, explore unknown powers, and unfold to the world the deepest mysteries of creation.’ He dreams of walking where no foot prints have been and achieving the seemingly unachievable, a relatable human desire. Throughout history, man has gone places to be the first, to make progress beyond established limits because being the first is an eternal title which isn’t buried with death. Frankenstein’s hunt for...
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