The Enlightenment And Enlightenment In Mary Shelly's Frankenstein

818 Words 4 Pages
The Enlightenment period, which stretched from the mid 17th to early 19th centuries, brought about a new and more advanced society through the radical change in common perceptions. Europeans began to question the reliability of the morals and ideas they have always accepted, and decided to make great attempts in diminishing ignorance and, instead, rationalize the problems present in society. Mary Shelly had written Frankenstein during the end of the Enlightenment era, and was inspired to incorporate the personalities and trends of society into her characters and plotline. It’s clear her novel glorifies the Enlightenment, as she designed the interests of her characters to reflect the interests and lifestyle of the middle class. She …show more content…
Many philosophers wrote their ideas on reform in hopes that their knowledge and ideas of natural freedoms would spread to greater audiences and create intellectual discussion. Philosophical writing is enjoyed by Victor in understanding more about natural sciences, and while he is a scholar, even the creature Victor created pursues an interest in learning about life, its origins, and the patterns observed within it as he observes an impoverished family. The creature, as he became more knowledgeable by observing life and reading books he acquired, had opened his mind to greater thought in trying to understand what his goals were, wonder who he was, what his purpose was, and how to achieve it. It wasn’t uncommon for such middle class men of the era to wonder the same things Frankenstein’s creature had, and thus created an internal pressure for them to discover their purpose in life and how to contribute to …show more content…
Of course, Victor is strongly encouraged by his father to study outside Geneva at a university in Ingolstadt, as it would be necessary for him to be “acquainted with other customs than those of his native country”. Victor desires to travel throughout Europe for two years, and brings along Cheval who is delighted as he expands his mind meeting many intellects who allowed him to have a greater capacity for knowledge. Shelly depicts many adventures and insightful moments of thought in locations outside the character's’ comfort zone, as when he ventured from the sight where he was brought to life into a foreign location is where Frankenstein’s creature learned about the hierarchy of society and the virtues of others. As travel literature was published in the era, it depicted the same lessons learned about morality, property, and government that Shelly incorporated into the second volume of her novel. The novel further pushed the notion of the time that education is greatly derived from traveling away from home in order to banish misconceptions and ignorance about life. Through Frankenstein, Mary Shelly glorifies the Enlightenment through her emphasis on scientific advancement, philosophical thought, and travel, as they aided society in developing a greater sense of knowledge and

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