Is Mary Shelley's Science Going Too Far?

Superior Essays
Science Going too far?
Mary Shelley’s visionary classic Frankenstein brings about many different questions about life, morality, and love and right vs wrong. These questions overlap in your mind as you read a science fiction story in a world where science itself was still discovering what can or should be done. Frankenstein is arguably the first science fiction novel of its kind. Frankenstein is a formidable “ghost story” written in a time dominated by men and revolutions. Mary Shelley brings to the forefront the queries of good and bad, nature vs nurture and can science be evil or innocent? Victor being obsessed with lust for knowledge and science consumes his life and his ability to make better decisions. He never asks himself “should I be
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Even as he sees his own gruesome creation, he doesn’t seem to take responsibility for it “How can I describe my emotions at this catastrophe, or how delineate the wretch with such infinite pains and care I had endeavored to form” (Shelley 35). Mary Shelly was heavily influenced by the Romantic era which promoted personal expression and yet didn’t have a definitive style. Knowledge and personal ideas without bounds may have inspired Mary Shelly. She and Victor are most certainly not mirrors and Victor is not used as a substitute for Shelley’s voice but there are similarities. While learning at Ingolstadt “Frankenstein assumes that his ambition to conquer death through science is fundamentally unselfish (Poovey 346).. Even though this is a work of fiction, it closely toes the line with Shelley’s real dealing with deeply cerebral and scholarly people. Shelley was no ordinary 18 year old girl backpacking through Europe. She had been writing since her youth encouraged by her father (Hunter xii). In the romantic era Mary Shelley would have been heavily influenced by being more of an individual, emotion over reason. This whole era was influenced by the French revolution and the industrial evolution where science and technology where exploding …show more content…
Paul Hunter. "Frankenstein and Radical Science. “Frankenstein: The 1818 Text, Contexts, Criticism. New York: W.W. Norton, 2012. 404-16. Print.
Jones, Gregory. Romantic Era Powerpoint. N.d. Power point slides.
"Introduction to the Romantic Movement." YouTube. YouTube, n.d. Web. 24 Oct. 2014.
Mark Cartwright, Mark. "Prometheus." Ancient History Encyclopedia. Ancient History Encyclopedia, 20 Apr. 2013. Web. 29 Oct. 2014.
Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 29 Oct. 2014.
Poovey, Mary. "My Hideous Progeny." Frankenstein. Norton Critical Editdion ed. New York, London: J. Paul Hunter, 1996. 328-324. Print.
Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft, and J. Paul Hunter. Frankenstein: The 1818 Text, Contexts, Criticism. New York: W.W. Norton, 2012.

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