Frankenstein is a novel that was composed by Mary Shelley, an English author. This novel is about Victor Franklin, a scientist who developed a ridiculous but intelligent creature through a personal scientific experiment. Frankenstein is an example of the ancient scientific narrative because the main character uses scientific experiments to develop fantastic results. Moreover, Frankenstein is a story that has both scientific and horror fiction, and the readers mostly get disturbed and horrified by the event happening in this story. For instance, the event when Victor collects dead body parts in order to have materials for his experiment is terrifying. Accordingly, the paper focuses on giving an analysis of major themes and a discourse of the novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.
The novel Frankenstein is based on various themes that include injustice in the world, knowledge versus ignorance, and loneliness.
Injustice in the World
The characters in this novel seem to be all innocent, this includes Dr. Frankenstein who created the monster and the monster which was responsible for many of the killings in the story. These characters simply become fatalities of their circumstances and thus they all experienced injustice. In the story, the monster and Dr. Frankenstein experienced natural injustice. When Frankenstein created the monster, he certainly violated the natural rights of being born, in which Dr. Frankenstein should not have thought of creating the monster. The monster was not created with a companion and therefore it experienced injustice when it lamented that, “…even Satan had his companions, fellow devils, to admire and encourage him; but I am solitary and abhorred” (Shelly, 2017). Therefore, the statement proves that Dr. Frankenstein committed injustice to the monster by denying him a companion. Moreover, natural injustice experienced in the story is when Victor leaves the monster despite having created him. Also, when Dr. Frankenstein says, “Never will I create another like yourself, equal in deformity and wickedness” (Shelly, 2017) he breaks his promise and causes natural injustice to the monster.
Knowledge versus Ignorance
The author uses the character Victor Frankenstein who is a medical doctor to express the man’s ambition. Mary Shelley compares Victor with mythical figures like Prometheus and she feels that he is more superior. Nevertheless, even though Victor is knowledgeable to an extent of creating life, he still has his imperfections. He created a monster that caused many deaths in the story and this suggests that Dr. Frankenstein knowledge is too dangerous. Ignorance is good but knowledge can be evil, and Victor’s knowledge posed a threat to himself and also to people around him. However, the novel condemns the scientists, especially those who have a quest for knowledge although the author does not try to reject the man’s ambitions, what Mary Shelley is trying to explain is that knowledge must be accompanied by a sense of responsibility. Science can unravel many of the world’s mysteries, but then knowledge is very dangerous when attained by man. Furthermore, the novel Frankenstein recommends that some knowledge should not be exposed to men.
In the novel Frankenstein, loneliness is another significant theme that the author presents. Mary Shelley takes the audience on a mysterious journey that reflects how solitude can tragically conclude. However, Robert Walton is one of the characters who is suggested to be lonely, he even says, “I desire the company of a man who could sympathize with me, whose eyes would reply to mine” (Shelley, 2017). He, therefore, attempts to console himself by sending his sister letters but this does not eliminate his loneliness. Writing his sister letters was also a clear indication that, Walton did not have close friends and possibly he was desiring for one. He states that “I have no friend…” (Shelly, 2017). Moreover, the monster also was subjected to loneliness and great anxiety after Victor abandoned him because of the monster’s physical appearance. The rejection from its creator and also by human beings, makes the monster feel more emotional, lonely and angry which leads to the unbelievable acts of violence.
Additionally, the novel Frankenstein tries to represent man as a God, thus, a man can give life to a lifeless object which is supposed to the work of God. In the novel, Victor created the monster and gave it life. Regarding the fact that, Victor created the monster through his scientific knowledge, in this respect, science can also be a god. When Victor says that, “…we can design life” (Shelly, 2017) it suggests that what was impossible is becoming possible through science. For instance, today heart surgeries are practiced and were made effective by science. Therefore, Mary Shelley’s novel tries to explain about the scientific transition. The creation of the monster signifies the victory of science, and thus science can give life. Nevertheless, it is suggested that no one can be perfect like God. This can be reflected from the part of the novel when Victor attempted to create a superior being than the humans, but instead, he developed a monster. Victor had struggled for long to create a being, but yet a monster that he later rejected. Back in the laboratory, Victor thought of how his species would acknowledge and bless him as its source and creator but instead, even the monster despised its condition. It cried in agony, “Why did you ever form a monster so hideous that you turned from me in disgust”(Shelly, 2017).
The novel Frankenstein comprises of a great deal of biblical symbolism, especially following the emphasized point of creation. For instance, a similar way that God created people in his own image, but they are not like Him, is the same way that the novel presents Victor’s creation. The monster becomes bitter and angry after being rejected and averted from engaging with the humans, similarly, Adam was turned out of the Garden of Eden. What makes the difference is that Adam was turned away due to his sins, but for the monster, its creator, Dr. Frankenstein creates the hindrances which makes the monster to be rejected. Furthermore, the monster views humans as closer to God since it witnesses their capability to work in the world of God. This is reflected in the novel when the monster says that, “I admired virtue and good feelings and love and gentle manners… which rather increased than satisfied the desire I had of becoming one among my fellow” (Shelly, 2017).
The novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley is horror science narrative that evaluates the onset of the scientific revolution. The novel is based on various themes such as; injustice in the world, loneliness, and knowledge versus ignorance. However, Mary Shelley’s novel also discusses how the man can be effective through science and also how imperfect and unjust man can be through science. Moreover, the novel Frankenstein emphasizes that, through science, man can be God; and the world is unfair.