Mary Shelley’s "Frankenstein" Essay

Mary Shelley’s "Frankenstein" Essay

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Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein depicts how ideals can be received once they are fulfilled. As a cautionary example of negative reception of an ideal, Shelley uses Victor Frankenstein’s achievement of animating a lifeless corpse of mixed body parts. The actions and reactions of Frankenstein and the Creature highlight how making a dream a reality does not always yield a desired effect. Frankenstein’s images of unendurable ice emphasize Shelley’s admonishment of the danger of realizing an ideal.
Frankenstein is portrayed as an individual who cherishes the conceptual aspect of an ideal but cannot cope with it after it has been realized, and his change of attitude towards ice reflects this dilemma. Frankenstein initially views the ice as an element that he can admire, saying that He does not believe ice to be an unendurable realm, but rather as an area that he can comfortably exist in. These sentiments correlate to the ecstasy that Frankenstein experiences during the creation of his Creature. The ice, just like his ideal, the Creature, is something that can be manipulated. Frankenstein’s comment of the ice looking like a plaything parallels his regard of the Creature’s body before it is animated. Similarly, both the ice and the concept of animating the Creature provide Frankenstein with extreme satisfaction. Shelley develops this parallel as a necessary step to setting up Frankenstein’s rejection of his realized ideal, which is where Shelley’s theme is revealed.
Once Frankenstein’s positive consideration of ice is established, the swift change in his regard of ice reveals how ideals can turn out to be worse than they are as theories. Frankenstein states that he must Shelley’s diction in this statement concerning surviv...


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...d his men endure the ice portrays how Walton’s restraint in fulfilling his goal allows him to endure the ice that Frankenstein can never survive. Shelley makes the point that by abstaining from realizing his ideal, Walton and consequently his men are saved.
After examining Frankenstein’s inability to endure ice and metaphorically his own ideal, the reader recognizes Shelley’s purpose for repeating images of ice in Frankenstein. Every concept is subject to being distorted and utterly rejected, no matter how grand it is. Shelley is telling the reader it is necessary to be weary of any personal endeavor, for it never affects only one person. Sometimes, in achieving an ideal a person does not speculate any consequences and puts others in jeopardy. Shelley is clear to depict that that danger is far greater than subjecting only their self to cope with their ideal.

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