Frankenstein, a Mixing of Two Eras
Romantic writer Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin Shelley’s Frankenstein is a novel that ended up being completely different than my initial hypothesis of what it was about. In popular culture, when someone hears the name Frankenstein they imagine a tall green skinned monster with bolts sticking out of its neck and stitches surrounding its cranium. The creature, Frankenstein, was created by the power of lightning in a dreary castle on a hill by a deranged doctor and his deformed sidekick Igor. After reading the novel I have realized my interpretation was not true. Shelley’s Frankenstein at its core is a science fiction novel, a story about a young scientist who creates life from death. Science overcame nature, but nature overcame science in the end. The nature I speak of is human nature, our typical way of acting, feeling, and thinking that normal humans share. Emotions sometimes get the better of us, emotions corrupted philosophe Victor Frankenstein’s scientific marvel, and emotions expressed by the characters are really what makes Frankenstein extraordinary. Frankenstein is an interesting product of the Romantic era because it mixes an Enlightenment set story with the Romantic period’s concentration on emotions. If emotion is taken out of Frankenstein a reader is left with its bare bones, a story about a philosophe during the Enlightenment. The Enlightenment, otherwise known as the Age of Reason, was a movement glorifying the questioning of established doctrines. “Sapere aude,” Latin for “dare to know” was a motto for some philosophes of the Enlightenment.1 The philosophes were an international group of intellectuals seeking removal of hindrances to humanities progress. If something was not logical, then it should not be done, and should be pruned off for the advancement of humanity. Frankenstein, our protagonist, fits many characteristics of a typical philosophe. Frankenstein is an upper class French speaking male from Geneva,...
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