Frankenstein, the classic novel written by English author Mary Shelley at the young age of nineteen, contains heavy influences of the Christian religion, which played an imperative role in European culture during the early nineteenth century. Shelley's novel is replete with biblical allusions and parallels as it tells the story of a young, knowledge-seeking scientist, Victor Frankenstein, and his human-inspired monstrous Creation. Throughout Frankenstein, connections to Christianity through biblical references such as Paradise Lost by John Milton are evident, as well as the overwhelming and undeniable notion that God will undoubtedly punish those who threaten his superiority.
The main character, Victor Frankenstein, said, "Learn from me…how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge, and how much happier that man is who believes his native town to be the world, than he who aspires to become greater than his nature will allow." (50, Shelley). By nature, Mary Shelley was referring to God, as she warns man not to challenge or aim to be more powerful than God. With Shelley's warning of obtaining knowledge accompanies the connection to the biblical tale of The Creation of Adam and Eve. Victor Frankenstein's knowledge is a significant representation of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, while his Creation represents the Tree of Life, both of which were prohibited by God. Frankenstein's scientific revelation threatened the very foundation of God's superiority, his sole ability to create life. God gave Victor the ultimate punishment of death for such an unbelievable threat. On page 269, when Shelley says, "About half an hour afterwards he attempted to speak, but was unable; he pressed my hand feebly, and his eyes closed...
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...e who threaten his superiority in the way that Victor did by planning to destroy the Creation.
Although Mary Shelley's first romantic piece of writing, Frankenstein, has lost some of its vast meanings since the influence of the horror-ridden 1931 Frankenstein movie featuring Boris Karloff, the novel itself allows for a variety of complex interpretations. Undeniably, there are many biblical connections throughout the text, which relate to the heavy influence of Christianity in England in the early 1800s. As a major ideal of Christianity at this time, Mary Shelley's book reflects the notion that God is all-powerful and holds ultimate superiority throughout the universe. Frankenstein originated as a novel intended to exploit the power of God and his intolerance to those who aim to threaten his greatness, and act as an example of what happens when God is challenged.
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