“Frankenstein” is a classic novel written by Mary Shelley. It was first published in 1818. Frankenstein’s other title is The Modern Prometheus and it is a combination of Gothic horror story and science fiction. The novel tells the story of Victor Frankenstein, a young scientist who creates a sapient creature in his laboratory using various scientific methods. However, the creature turns out to be a monstrous being with an insatiable thirst for revenge.
Shelley wrote the novel as a part of a friendly competition to see who could write the best scary story. Mary’s husband Percy Bysshe Shelley, and romantic poet Lord Byron were the other authors included in the competition. Shelley’s novel is by far the most famous piece of writing to come from that composition.
About the Author
Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin commonly known as Mary Shelley was a British novelist, short story writer, and dramatist. She was the daughter of political philosophers William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft. She also edited and promoted the works of her husband, the Romantic poet, and philosopher Percy Bysshe Shelley. Mary Shelley’s most famous work, “Frankenstein,” was written when she was just 18 years old, and she went on to become a prominent figure in the literary world. Her works often explored themes of science, morality, and the human condition.
Themes Of The Frankenstein Story
“Frankenstein” touches on various themes that continue to be relevant in modern times. Some of the key themes explored in the novel include Birth and Creation, Nature versus Nurture, Isolation and Alienation, Family, Dangerous Knowledge, and Ambition.
Birth and Creation
Frankenstein succeeds in creating a human life frame very much as god does.
Nature vs. Nurture
The novel raises questions about the role of nature versus nurture in shaping an individual’s identity and behavior. The creature, despite its monstrous appearance, is initially innocent and docile, but it becomes vengeful and violent due to the rejection and mistreatment it experiences from society. In the end, Victor is destroyed for his evil attempt to manipulate the power of nature.
Isolation and Alienation
Both Victor Frankenstein and his creature experience profound isolation and alienation throughout the novel. Victor becomes consumed by his work, distancing himself from family and friends, while the creature is rejected by society due to its monstrous appearance.
Frankenstein presents the value of the domestic circle. It demonstrates that a lack of connection to the entire family or society leads to murder tragedy and despair.
It is an insane pursuit of knowledge that proves to be dangerous. Victor’s act of creation results in the destruction of everyone dear to him.
Frankenstein shows that human beings are deeply ambitious. Victor dream of transforming society and of bringing glory to themselves through their scientific achievements. However, their actions are profoundly flawed and bring misfortune to all.
Story Of Frankenstein
Frankenstein consists of four main parts: an introductory letter from Robert Walton, an Arctic explorer, to his sister Margaret Saville; three volumes narrated by Victor Frankenstein; and a concluding letter from Walton to Saville.
Robert Walton the captain of the ship bound for the north pole, writes a letter to his sister Margaret Saville saying that his crew members recently discovered a man adrift at sea. The man Victor Frankenstein tells Walton his story.
Victor Frrankestine has a perfect t childhood in Switzerland with a loving family including the beautiful Elizabeth who soon becomes Victor’s closest friend and love. Victor also has a caring and wonderful best friend Henry Clerval. Just before Victor turns 17 and goes to study at the university at Ingolstadt, his mother dies. At Ingolstadt, Victor drives into natural philosophy, with a passion for studying the secret of life. He soon rises to the top of his field and suddenly, one night he discovers the secret of life. But when he animates his first creature, its appearance is so horrifying. Victor abandons it and hopes that the monster has disappeared forever.
The creature, abandoned and rejected by his creator, wandered the countryside, trying to understand his existence and find companionship. He learned to speak and read by observing a family of cottagers, but they also rejected him when he revealed himself to them. He encountered Frankenstein’s younger brother William in the woods and strangled him out of anger and despair. Justine Moritz another adoptee in his family has been accused based on the crime. She is convicted and executed. Victor is consumed by guilt because he knows it is the did of the Monster.
To escape its tragedy, Frankenstein goes on vacation. The creature confronted Frankenstein on a glacier and demanded that he create a female companion for him. Frankenstein agreed reluctantly and traveled to Scotland to work on his second creation. However, he changed his mind at the last moment and destroyed it. The creature swore revenge and killed Frankenstein’s best friend Henry Clerval and his bride Elizabeth on their wedding night.
Frankenstein vowed to pursue and destroy his creation. He chased him across Europe and into the Arctic, where Walton found him. Frankenstein died shortly after finishing his story. Walton then saw the creature mourning over his body. The creature told Walton that he regretted his actions and that he planned to kill himself by burning himself on a funeral pyre. He then departed into the darkness.
The novel concludes with Walton’s final letter to his sister Margaret Saville. He expresses his admiration for Frankenstein’s noble spirit and his sympathy for his tragic fate. He also reflects on the lessons he learned from Frankenstein’s story and decides to abandon his dangerous quest for the North Pole. He hopes to return safely to England and reunite with his sister.
“Frankenstein” is a novel that explores the consequences of scientific experimentation and the themes of responsibility, morality, and humanity. The novel is also a warning against the use of science and technology. The play is also a reminder of accepting those who are different.