Preview
Preview

Essay on The Dangers of Science in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

No Works Cited
Length: 1030 words (2.9 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Purple      
Open Document
Need writing help? Check your paper »



- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The Dangers of Science in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein


Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein cannot merely be read as a literary work of the early 19th century. It represents the workings of young Shelley's mind. Further, it represents the vast scientific discoveries of the time, combined with Mary Shelley's intuitive perception of science. She views science as a powerful entity, but also recognizes the dangers if uncontrolled. Shelley demonstrates this fear in the book as science drives Victor Frankenstein to create his monster. In the end, it is also his use of science that inevitably becomes his demise.

Mary Shelley's life experiences are blatantly displayed in her writing of Frankenstein. Her use of science in the book directly relates to the many discoveries of the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, specifically the discovery of the nature of electricity. For example, Benjamin Franklin was a well-known scientist who studied the scientific properties of electricity in the 1700's. He not only performed the infamous experiment with the kite and lightning, but also studied the possible medical benefits of electricity. Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is undoubtedly a product of his research of this crucial aspect in the book, electricity.

In Frankenstein, electricity serves as the very tool which creates life -- creates the monster. It gives life to the lifeless. Early medical experiments demonstrated this phenomenon as a dead frog leg jolted with the injection of electricity, serving as a bridge between electricity and biology and chemistry. This bridge, along with his study of out-dated scientific works, leads Victor Frankenstein to fantasize about the possibilities of creating life using the power of electricity and the body o...


... middle of paper ...


...ience and the dangerous power it potentially holds are intuitive. Modern day science deals daily with the exact issues of which Shelley was apparently keenly aware. She introduces ethics to the study of science, even gives science a conscious. As the monster acts on Frankenstein's conscious, some would say that Mary Shelley writes literature to act as science's conscious. It was as if she acknowledged that the future of science, if uncontrolled, could be disastrous. The book serves to warn readers, both past and current, of our own powers. It was almost as if Mary Shelley in 1818 could see nearly 200 years into the future, recognizing that our scientific discoveries of nuclear weapons and cloning could eventually be our demise.

Works Cited:

Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft. Frankenstein Or, The Modern Prometheus. Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1984.


Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »







This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
Responsibility and The Dangers of Science in Frankenstein by Mary Shelley - ... With all of these scientific discoveries and theories being discovered and hypothesized, there was a lot of concern about the responsibilities and the dangers of science. There were many people who were very cautious about what kind of areas they pried into, especially those that had not been charted by any other human being before. Some even chose not to go any deeper than the human race already had, for fear of what the consequences might be. Other scientists, like Darwin, had an immense affect on the world as we know it today....   [tags: victor, cloning, immortality] 1126 words
(3.2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Story of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley Essay - The story of Frankenstein is a warning to the discovery of science. Mary Shelley was interested in science and she did lots of researches in the 19 the century to create this novel “Frankenstein”. Shelley shows the reader, how the desire to learn and utilize knowledge and technology to help mankind and if not utilized carefully can harm and destroy mankind. In Frankenstein, Shelley relays the role of science through Victor, an isolated scientist. “Her vision of the isolated scientist discovering the secrets of life is no mere fantasy but a plausible prediction of what science might accomplish.” (Mellor,1988:89)....   [tags: Dangers of Science] 1901 words
(5.4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Science, Technology, and Morality as Perceived in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein -    In Frankenstein, Mary Shelley challenges the motives and ethical uncertainties of the scientific developments of her time. This critique has become increasingly relevant as modern scientists endeavor into previously unimagined realms of the natural world through the use of cloning and genetic engineering. Through careful analysis, we can see how the novel illustrates both the potential dangers of these exploits and the irony of the conflicts between science and creationism.      Prior to the birth of the story, Mary Shelley had begun to learn of advancements and speculation in the scientific world of the early nineteenth century; in Frankenstein's introduction, editor M....   [tags: Frankenstein essays]
:: 9 Works Cited
1968 words
(5.6 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay about Ethical Uncertainties of Science in Frankestein by Mary Shelley - ... . various philosophical doctrines were discussed, and among others the principle of life, and whether there was any probability of its ever being discovered and communicated," wrote Shelley in her 1831 introduction. It is apparent that in her story Mary Shelley chose to convey a symbolic meaning concerning the scientific pursuits of her era, but the question remains: what was her intended message. In her 1818 preface, Shelley writes, "I have thus endeavored to preserve the truth of the elementary principles of human nature, while I have not scrupled to innovate upon their combinations" ( Shelley, 13)....   [tags: scientific studies, modern science] 776 words
(2.2 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Comparing and Contrasting Chapters 5 and 11-16 in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein - Mary Shelley wrote Frankestein when she was 18, in 1816 but it was published in 1818. Frankenstein is about a man, Victor Frankenstein, who is obsessed with science and who learns how to create life and creates a being in the likeness of man. The being is referred to as ‘the creation’ or just Frankenstein. Mary Shelley was married to Percy Bysshe Shelley who was a Romantic Poet and a great philosopher. In this essay I’ll be comparing and contrasting chapters 5 and 11 – 16 and exploring the language and structure and I will comment on Mary Shelley’s themes....   [tags: Frankenstein Essays] 1520 words
(4.3 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Folly of Science Exposed in Shelley’s Frankenstein and E.T.A. Hoffman’s Sandman - Folly of Science Exposed in Shelley’s Frankenstein and E.T.A. Hoffman’s Sandman In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and E.T.A. Hoffman’s Sandman, elements of science are portrayed in a negative light, warning the reader of the dangers of the unknown. Many aspects of science and technology are portrayed from alchemy and robotics in the Sandman to biology and chemistry in Frankenstein. The stories feature similar main characters that break the boundaries of conventional society in order to investigate their desires....   [tags: Frankenstein Essays]
:: 2 Works Cited
696 words
(2 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Blind Ambition in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Essay - Blind Ambition in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Mary Shelley, the renowned author of Frankenstein, explores the consequences of man and monster chasing ambition blindly. Victor Frankenstein discovered the secret that allowed him to create life. His understanding of how bodies operated and the science of human anatomy enabled him to make this discovery and apply it to the creation of his monster. Walton wished to sail to the arctic because no sailor has ever reached it. The monster was created against his will, his ambition was to avenge his creation as a hideous outcast....   [tags: Frankenstein essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
770 words
(2.2 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Science in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Hard Times by Charles Dickens - The 19th century was a time of massive change socially, politically and scientifically. This time saw the rise of Imperialism and of the Industrial Revolution in Britain, seeing massive changes in the way industry was run. Also during this time the literary movements of Romanticism and Victorianism emerged. Romanticism dealt with the issues of reality versus illusion, childhood and man versus nature. The first book I will examine in this essay, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, comes from this literary period and focuses on the man versus nature theme, namely the theme of scientific development and it’s contrast to nature....   [tags: 19th Century Literature]
:: 13 Works Cited
3616 words
(10.3 pages)
Research Papers [preview]
The Most Important Element in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Essay - The Most Important Element in Frankenstein        When reading a novel or watching a play, most people are deceived into believing that the plot is the most important element.  Many people believe that the characters, setting, and situations simply exist to develop the plot.  It can be argued, however, that the theme is the most important aspect of a given work, and that the plot exists merely to solidify the underlying messages that the author actually intends to communicate.        Theme is the most important element in Mary Shelley's novel, Frankenstein.  In this novel, Victor Frankenstein's passion for scientific progress leads to the birth of a horrific monster that, i...   [tags: Frankenstein essays]
:: 7 Works Cited
1192 words
(3.4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on Frankenstein - Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus can be interpreted as a chilling warning of the dangers of scientific overreaching and ambition. Mary Shelley was already aware of the works of scientists such as Erasmus Darwin and was being influenced by writers such as Byron when, at “the age of nineteen, she achieved the quietly astonishing feat of looking beyond them and creating a lasting symbol of the perils of scientific Prometheanism” (Joseph, 1998, p, xiii). The fact that Shelley parallels her story of Frankenstein with the myth of Prometheus is interesting and gives an immediate insight into the extent of criticism she bestows on Victor Frankenstein’s scientific ambition....   [tags: Literary Analysis, Mary Shelley] 1727 words
(4.9 pages)
Better Essays [preview]