Frankenstein: Natural and Artificial Dichotomies

555 Words

In the classic novel, Frankenstein, Mary Shelley saturates her plot with profuse foreshadowing, homages, and contrasting images. The contrasted images, used to set up foil characters, scenes, or ideas, accentuate their respective significance and traits. One of the more noteworthy contrasting images is found in Shelley's use of the Natural and Artificial.
Shelly's portrayal of Victor Frankenstein is morose and conniving. Frankenstein has sacrificed his entire life to the pursuit of knowledge, though his pursuits are tabooed and deemed unlawful- they are condemned akin to witchcraft. With the advent in science and experimentation during the19th century, Shelley and many others feared (and still fear) the secrets of nature would be uncovered. It was common belief that nature was the purview of God, not man, and that its secrets were best appreciated without an answer. Frankenstein's pursuits are thus considered to have "the tendency to weaken your affections, and to destroy your taste for those simple pleasures (33).” Accordingly, Shelly exhibits the dichotomies of nature and scienc...

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