Essay on Frankenstein - Fear of the Power of Science

794 Words Apr 30th, 2013 4 Pages
‘Some readers have seen the novel as an illustration of the fear of the power of science’
To what extent do you agree with this view of the novel?

I agree to a certain extent with this view, because Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein during the scientific revolution and therefore was influenced by many ideas and experiences of what science can do to you and how it can represent fear and bring about a change. Victor Frankenstein grabs hold of science and tests it boundaries as much as he can. Yet there is an element that represents his inability to do this. He comes across as if he has no true idea of consequences or outcomes for what he is doing, bringing a true element of fear forward for the reader to deal with. He is our unreliable
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The creature is not given an identity, a species or simply a name, making us believe he is inhuman and scary. Although for me that does not necessary represent a fear of the power of science but more a fear of Victor and his irresponsibility for looking after the creature and what comes about from his cowardice. Is Victor Frankenstein truly the monster? A scary man, who does not understand fatherhood and lets people die in his place. Is he who we truly fear, because he is the one killing off the innocent women in this novel? Is it Shelley’s powers in characterization rather than science that scare us?
Our magnificent creature that tries to be good, is intelligent enough to learn languages and just yearns for a soul mate is not scary for the reader at all. Yet this is the product of the science and the outcome of the research Frankenstein spent years doing. Science brought to life this creature, which has immense power in speed and strength but not in fear. We have to remember that the creature’s representation is through Victor, and therefore Walton with have a clouded view of the creature. However Frankenstein’s writing and storytelling technique changes Walton, and helps him to not be controlled by science and obsession. However the need for Walton to have Frankenstein show him this change perhaps means that Walton is afraid of the power of science and the grip it can gain on you.
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