Science And Religion In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

1298 Words 6 Pages
On the surface, Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley, is a novel about science going too far. Diving deeper, there were recurring themes about religion and mythology as Frankenstein tried to take on the role of God. Victor wanted to learn the secrets of immortality by creating life but did not think of the consequences, leading to his tragic downfall. He believed that knowledge was the greatest power to obtain, however, his pursuit of it, Victor disrupted the balance between nature and science, making him the author of all or the tragedies in his life. Despite Victor’s other sins, Shelley showed that trying to play God was his greatest crime. This immoral crime against God was described by creating parallels between mythological and religious figures, …show more content…
Today, people are conflicted about the advancements in stem cell and GMO research and how it may be intruding on God’s domain. Mary Shelley used her novel to explain when scientific development crosses the line into religious territory. In Ecclesiastes 7:13, it states, “Consider what God has done: Who can straighten what he has made crooked?” Although the Bible asked for religion to be superior to science, there has never been a balance. By creating the monster, Victor disrupted the scale even more. Instead of allowing for imperfections, Victor thirsted for more knowledge because, in his mind, knowledge was equivalent with godliness. Driven by his pride and hubris, he strove to create the perfect man and learn the secrets of God without thinking of the consequences. Before Victor set off on his quest to create life, he explained, “It was the secrets of heaven and earth that I desired to learn; and whether it was the outward substance of things or the inner spirit of nature and the mysterious soul of man that occupied me, still my inquiries were directed to the metaphysical, or in its highest sense, the physical secrets of the world.” (23) Shelley uses phrases such as “secrets of heaven” and “the mysterious soul of man” to show Victor’s desire to replace God. His obsession with being equivalent to a higher power made him blind to the possible consequences, …show more content…
Science was his religion for so long that his only way to finally cope with the magnitude of his grief was to surrender control to God. Characters, such as Justine, had always found safety in their belief of a higher power and ultimately Victor realized the only way to redeem himself from his heinous acts was to also submit to this higher power. After refusing to create a second creature for the monster and sacrificing his happiness for the sake of the future, Victor disposed of his scientific instruments by throwing them in the lake. This is an illusion of Baptism, the Christian sacrament of purifying the soul and removing sin. After disposing of the instruments, Victor stated, “But it refreshed me and filled me with such agreeable sensations that I resolved to prolong my stay on the water…” (149) This satisfaction Victor feels his sin being released by the symbolic holy water. In the Bible, water symbolizes purity, but, also God’s Word and His knowledge. By placing the instruments in the water, Victor was giving up his scientific discovery and his power as the creator to God. Victor has just sacrificed any hope of happiness in his life to keep the future safe from his Creation. With the help of God, Victor accepted his punishment and tried to redeem himself. When he realized that his life was out of his hands,

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