By: Logan Emlet
Frankenstein is a literally fantastic novel, in which a gentle creation, the Monster, is shunned by his creator, Victor Frankenstein, as well as all other humans. The Monster becomes so dejected that he turns murderous and vows to destroy Victor’s life. The book is definitely fiction, as the Monster happens to be eight feet tall and superior to humans in almost every way save looks. Although this is probably the most evident distortion from reality, many others appear although not quite so blatantly. In her novel Frankenstein, Mary Shelly uses symbolism and distortions between the world of the book and the real world to demonstrate the truth of Romantic ideals.
According to Webster’s dictionary, symbolism is defined as, “artistic imitation or invention that is a method of revealing or suggesting immaterial, ideal, or otherwise intangible truth or states.” The dictionary defines distort as, “to twist out of natural, normal, or original shape or condition,” and as, “to cause to be perceived unnaturally.” While these two words may not always mean the same thing, in the case of this essay, they complement each other to better describe the differences at hand. One of the principle beliefs of the Romantics was that symbolism is the cleanest way to communicate truth. Their literature supports their thought that symbolism has the power to mean many different things simultaneously. In their literature, romantics do not use literary realism, but instead use this symbolism to critique or comment on reality by distorting this reality. One of the things that the Romantics strongly believed and is clearly portrayed in Frankenstein is the evil of the unnatural, and that nature is inherently good. For the Romantics, unnatural meant anything mechanical; hell was unnatural as well, along with evil, and knowledge. The unnaturalness of knowledge is a particularly important part of Frankenstein.
Repeating throughout the novel, examples