An Analysis Of Mary Shelly's Frankenstein

1279 words - 5 pages

Mary Shelly wrote Frankenstein in a time of wonder. A main wonder was whether you could put life back into the dead. Close to the topic of bringing life back into the dead was whether you could create your own being, like selective breeding however with more power. Perhaps she chose to write this story opposing to one of a Ghost as she felt it was more relevant to her era and wanted to voice her own opinions and concerns to what the future may hold.

Playing God, pinching corpses, pretention is this a morally justified thing to do?
These are all traits of Victor Frankenstein. Was this morally right for a Georgian man?
Would this even be right for a modern day man? What was Mary Shelley trying to say?
What was the “monster” like and was he really born evil?
These are all questions to be explored as well as many others.

In the 1700’s things were very different to life today; this included the medicine of the time. The idea of medicine came from the Greeks and they came up with the four humours (consisting of water, fire, air and earth.) By the 1840’s most anaesthetics were accepted as James Simpson presented a powerful case for them; however they didn’t make surgery safer and the amount of people dying from operations increased. The final breakthrough for anaesthetics was when Queen Victoria accepted the use of Chloroform during the delivery of her eighth child. Even though being anesthetised was less painful surgeons did not take any precautions to protect open wounds and infections were spread by the reuse of old bandages!
Since the sixteenth century medicine has progressed further and it will continue to do so until...maybe when a miscreated ‘monster’ is born. We can now perform acutely complex operations and offer surgical enhancements and give choice of ‘designer babies’. Maybe Mary Shelley was anxious of the future and what it held. Maybe her message was to be careful of what we would be able to achieve, to know where it is right to stop; and perhaps if it is right to meddle with mother nature?

Like Shakespeare Mary Shelley uses the weather an awful lot to set the mood and give clues to what is about to happen. In the start of chapter 5 the first thing that she refers to is the weather (a typical brit!) and says it is “dreary” and continues to explain how the “rain pattered dismally against the pains” which immediately suggests that something damaging and ruinous is about to happen.
She uses a lot of symbolism within chapter 5 and actually throughout the whole novel. She continues to say things such as “my candle was nearly burnt out” , the candle symbolising life and could therefore mean he was in bad health and about to die. Then again it could also suggest that his goodness may be going or that he is physically exhausted or in fact that all good may be wiped out as the ‘monster’ was about to be born. It is a complete contrast to the previous chapter(s) when Victor was so hooked and excited on creating the ‘monster’ that he...

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