Mary Shelley's Frankenstein: A Warning against Greed and Knowledge

Topics: Frankenstein, Paradise Lost, Mary Shelley Pages: 4 (1237 words) Published: July 1, 2014
Literature: Frankenstein Essay
Frankenstein is a gothic horror novel that was written by Mary Shelly and was published in 1818, when gothic aesthetic, romanticism and science were beginning to spike in western culture. The novel follows the story of Victor Frankenstein in creating a monster which causes destruction around him, as Victor had ambition and thirst to reveal the secrets of nature. The novel could be viewed as a warning to the readers and audience about having a greed for knowledge and power. Mary Shelley explores the idea of having obtained too much knowledge and curiosity and playing god which involves consequences and dangers that come with it throughout the text. It also compares the human development of emotions and has a factor of religion that affects it. Mary Shelly is able to portray this to the readers through the use of literary elements such as characterisation, events, shifting perspective and intertextual analysis such as “Paradise Lost”. Victor Frankenstein had a simple childhood, as he developed he gained a thirst for more knowledge, which can ultimately bring destruction towards humanity. Victor Frankenstein studied chemistry and alchemy; this requires a lot of persistence that Victor had managed to develop. Victor became a very ambitious mad scientist that wanted to pursue the secretes of life into his own hands. “I collected bones from the charnel houses and disturbed with profane fingers, the tremendous secrets of the human frame… The dissecting room and the slaughterhouse furnished many of my materials…” – Page 66. This quote could also represent Victor as God in comparison to Paradise Lost where he creates life with his own hands in attempting to play the role of God. Victor then finishes creating his creation although he was horrified with the results. He soon realised that having too much knowledge came to this result, and the destruction and despair of humanity that surrounds it and the regret that he has to carry...

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- Shelly, M. (1992). Frankenstein. England: Penguin Classics.
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