The science of life and death in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

The classic theme of perversion of family is a major component in Frankenstein.

3 Major Themes of Frankenstein | Interpretation of Literature

Shelley’s novel follows the work of a promising chemist, Victor Frankenstein, who makes a remarkable discovery that has the potential to forever alter the scientific study and nature of human life....

Victor Frankenstein's life was destroyed because of an obsession with the power to create life where none had been before.

Free Essays on Dangerous Knowledge Frankenstein …

The idea that true character is the result of experiences and societal interaction is a theme deeply explored throughout Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein....

In the novel, Frankenstein, Victor Frankenstein pursues knowledge in an obsessive manner that blinds him to the possible effects.

In 1815, shortly after the death of her first baby, Shelley recorded a dream that may or may not have had a direct influence on the plot of . On 19 March 1815 she recorded in her journal: "Dream that my little baby came to life again--that it had only been cold & that we rubbed it before the fire & it lived." Her anxieties about motherhood and the inability to give life may have led her to write the tale of the aspiring scientist who succeeds in creating a being by unnatural methods. For example, Frankenstein's act has been read, by Robert Kiely and Margaret Homans among others, as an attempt to usurp the power of the woman and to circumvent normal heterosexual procreation.


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Mary Shelley’s novel, Frankenstein, written in 1816, demonstrates through characters that an obsessive desire for more knowledge may ruin ones life....

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It is in these periods where Smith argues that Frankenstein is not a natural philosopher but a natural magician due to his affinity for the ancient natural sciences, the romantic genius he posses and by contrasting Frankenstein against traditional, enlightenment stereotypes of the natural philosophers...

SparkNotes: Frankenstein: Themes

Encouraged by Percy, Mary developed the little ghost story into a novel, which she finished in May of 1817 at Marlow and published in March 1818. To those who have not read the book, the name Frankenstein is often associated with the monster rather than its creator. The mistake is perhaps not altogether erroneous, for as many critics point out the creature and his maker are doubles of one another, or doppelgängers. Their relationship is similar to that between the head and the heart, or the intellect and the emotion. The conception of the divided self--the idea that the civilized man or woman contains within a monstrous, destructive force--emerges as the creature echoes both Frankenstein's and narrator Robert Walton's loneliness: all three wish for a friend or companion. Frankenstein and his monster alternately pursue and flee from one another. Like fragments of a mind in conflict with itself, they represent polar opposites which are not reconciled, and which destroy each other at the end. For example, the creature enacts the repressed desires of its maker, alleviating Victor Frankenstein's fear of sexuality by murdering his bride, Elizabeth Lavenza, on their wedding night. Identities merge, as Frankenstein frequently takes responsibility for the creature's action: for instance, after the deaths of the children William and Justine, both of which were caused by the creature, Frankenstein admits they were "the first hapless victims to [his] unhallowed arts."

Frankenstein Quizzes | GradeSaver

By examining knowledge in relation to the characters of Victor, Walton and the Creature it can be seen that the theme of knowledge is used a warning against the Enlightenment and a personification of the social injustices of the time.

St. Mary School | Frankenstein, MO

The theme of creation is highlighted by the many references to (1667), 's epic rendition of the biblical story of Genesis, which becomes an important intertext of the novel. "Did I request thee, Maker, from my clay / To mould me man? Did I solicit thee / From darkness to promote me?--," from book 10, is quoted as the epigraph, and 's poem is one of the books the creature reads. The monster is caught between the states of innocence and evil: like Adam he is "apparently united by no link to any other being in existence," but as an outcast and wretch he often considers "Satan as the fitter emblem" of his condition. Victor Frankenstein, too, is at once God, as he is the monster's creator, but also like Adam, an innocent child, and like Satan, the rebellious overreacher and vengeful fiend. Throughout the novel there is a strong sense of an Edenic world lost through Frankenstein's single-minded thirst for knowledge.