The Dangers Of Romanticism In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

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Mary Shelley once wrote in her book Frankenstein, “Beware, for I am fearless and therefore powerful”. Today, we know Frankenstein as one of the first science fiction novels and an occult classic. Shelley wrote this novel when she was 18 while in Switzerland with her husband, sister, and their friend Lord Byron in the year 1816. She came up with the idea for Frankenstein during a scary story contest with her peers. This novel has many complex and interesting themes that not only link to the time in which it was written but also the topic being covered in our class. Frankenstein is relevant to today, was relevant to political and social concerns of the time, and my own life and goals. To put it simply, though Frankenstein was written hundreds …show more content…
The themes of romanticism included emotions/ irrationality, the dangers of science, and the exotic, occult, and the macabre. You can see these themes present at all points throughout the novel. The big one that is stressed throughout the entire novel is the dangers of science. Opposite to the enlightenment, people in the Romantic Era saw scientific and logical thought as bad or evil. Shelley represents this in Victor Frankenstein’s creation of the monster and the initial fear the monster inspires. Victor himself realizes the dangers of science after he makes the monster, when he is almost forced to make another, and when the monster kills everyone he loves. Which brings us to the next themes, emotions and irrationality. The novel is practically oozing with these two themes at all times. Irrationality when Victor is deliriously building his monster, emotions when his brother dies. The monster shows quite a bit of these two themes during his journey in the novel. Emotions are what guide him, desperation for someone to love him, disappointment that Victor doesn’t care for him, and anger for the injustice he believes Victor has committed against him are just a few. Irrationality is what comes from these emotions. This is seen in his framing of Justine, his killing of William, and then his killing of the two people who mean the most to Victor, Henry and Elizabeth. Finally, the monster was the living embodiment of the last themes; the exotic, the occult, and the macabre. Its scientifically impossible to reanimate dead tissue and so the occult is brought into the novel considering that Victor was able to do exactly that. Also, the constant connections of the monster’s appearance in conjunction with the moon ties into these themes. Frankenstein perfectly reflects the Romantic

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