The Role Of Science In Dracula And Frankenstein

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The authors of Dracula and Frankenstein lived during an era of ideological conflict. During the nineteenth century religion heavily influenced every social class, but science was advancing at rapid pace challenging the traditional institutions of society. Many began to question and challenge the methods of the old institutions, such as religion or the old sciences. This provoked anxiety among many, due to the exponential growth of the sciences. Such fear is seen within the scientist characters in the novel. The scientists in the novels are a reflection of Stoker and Shelly interpretation of the conflicting ideals. The conflicting ideological clash has set similarities and differences between the acting scientists of the novels, which in turn …show more content…
Frankenstein states the importance of understanding the old institutions of reasoning when he says, “The ancient teachers of this science promised impossibilities… They have acquired new and almost unlimited powers; they can command the thunders of heaven, mimic the earthquake”(Shelly 87). In the passage Victor states “the ancient teachers of this science promised impossibilities”, like Van Helsing, he emphasis the gain in understanding the old institutions. This is obvious to the reader since his tone of voice contains a euphoric tone. Frankenstein becomes obsessed with the old science to confront the unknowns of the world, which for him is creating life. When he states “command the thunders of heaven, mimic the earthquake,” Frankenstein is already entertaining the possibility of exploring the unknown and understands that it is only possible through the understanding of both the old and new institutions. The Grandeur that Frankenstein is portrayed with is his understanding of the …show more content…
Shelley viewed the exponential growth of science as a danger to society. To her view science would isolate the humanity from the individual. This is represented in Frankenstein who isolates his humanity to achieve greatness. If an individual is not prepared to control himself with an overwhelming amount of knowledge they are in danger of losing their will, or even their sanity, which occurred to Frankenstein. Frankenstein states this in the book, “Increase of the old knowledge only discovered to me more clearly what a wretched outcast I was.”(Shelly 132). Frankenstein calls himself a wretched outcast, which makes him sound as the creature itself. So in a sense the more knowledge he obtained the more of his human nature was lost. Hence according to shelly the more we know about the world the less humane we become, which is the opposite of what stoker believes. Frankenstein also states: “Learn from me, if not by my precepts, at least by my example, how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge.”(Shelly 35). One can’t also help to notice that this quote and the previous quote are an allusion to Napoléon Bonaparte. Bonaparte believed as well that science was power. The reason being is that Shelley states this in her personal journal: “Bonaparte has entered France” (Shelley). Both Frankenstein and Bonaparte were both eager for greatness; their

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