‘Some readers have seen the novel as an illustration of the fear of the power of science’ To what extent do you agree with this view of the novel?
I agree to a certain extent with this view, because Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein during the scientific revolution and therefore was influenced by many ideas and experiences of what science can do to you and how it can represent fear and bring about a change. Victor Frankenstein grabs hold of science and tests it boundaries as much as he can. Yet there is an element that represents his inability to do this. He comes across as if he has no true idea of consequences or outcomes for what he is doing, bringing a true element of fear forward for the reader to deal with. He is our unreliable character that has refused to take responsibility for his misdeeds, bringing shame on all his family. Mary Shelley has chosen this character to be in charge of one of the most damaging ideas in this book, science. This alone sends shock and nerves through your body. In Frankenstein there is a strong element of Science, especially when Victor mentions to Walton his research into the scientists, Franklin, Ritter and Galvani. By looking into these scientists there is a real element of supremacy to their work and excitement; however what they are doing is extremely dangerous and risky, some even putting their own lives at risk in the name of science. Therefore it is evident that science truly represents power and control over people, and by Shelley choosing to write about these scientists, that power and control is transferred over to the novel and Victor’s own story. I believe that scientific experiments themselves create a fear of the unknown and produce an uncanny feeling. It is unclear what the outcome will be, and results can only truly be guessed at. Therefore when something as serious as creating life is being dealt with, and only by a student of science, the outcome comes across more like a risk, bringing fear about the...
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