Themes of Frankenstein
There are many different themes expressed in Mary Shelly's Frankenstein. They vary with each reader but basically never change. These themes deal with the education that each character posses, the relationships formed or not formed in the novel, and the responsibility for ones own actions. This novel even with the age still has ideas that can be reasoned with even today.
Each character has their own educational background, which in turn has a large effect to the way they react and deal with the issues that face them. One example of this is Victor Frankenstein; he took his education into his own hands. When he went to the University of Inglostaldt he intoxicated himself with the sciences so deeply that he never imagined the morality of what he was doing. He stayed so involved and focused on his experiments that he did not take into mind what could happen because of the size of the creature. Victor said:
Although I possessed the capacity of bestowing animation, yet to prepare a frame for the reception of it, with all its intricacies of fibres, muscles and veins, still remained a work of inconceivable difficulty… As the minuteness of the parts formed a great hindrance to my speed, I resolved, contrary to my first intention, to make the being of a gigantic stature; that is to say about eight feet in height, and proportionately large. (52)
But when he finished the science that brought him there has also scared him away. On page 56 Victor tells about the creation and what it meant to him and what happened when life filled the body:
I had worked hard for nearly two years, for the sole purpose of infusing life into an inanimate body. For this I had deprived myself of rest and health. I had desired it with an ardour that far exceeded moderation; but now that I had finished, the beauty of the dream vanished and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart. (56)
Victor's education has leaded him to be able to create a monster but not let him fully think out the havoc that might be unleashed. His education only let him create a monster but never taught him how to care for it; this ends up resulting in the loss of innocent lives.
This theme is also present when looking at the creation's education. He received most of his education hands on, by hi...
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...inking how his discoveries can help mankind but not how the monster could be a burden to society. When the creature talks to Victor, he starts to see the responsibility that he owes the creature. Victor agrees to start a companion for the creature but finally thinks about what could happen with the two creations together. He tears up the second creation. This shows that he is taking some of the responsibility to the society:
…For the first time, the wickedness of my promise burst upon me; I shuddered to think that the future ages might curse me as their pest, whose selfishness had not hesitated to bury its own peace at the price, perhaps, of the existence of the whole human race. (159)
Victor realizes he is truly responsible towards society and by tearing up the second creation upholds that responsibility.
The novel points out to the reader that education, relationships, and responsibility are important traits to posses, even to the people in the 1800's to present day. Frankenstein is a classic novel that will live on for centuries to come as well as the message deep inside.
Shelly, Mary. Frankenstein. New York: Penguin, 1983.
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