Frankenstein is Shelley Mary’s gothic story of which she wrote at the age of 18 and was then published when she was at age of 19 years. As such, it is an example of a science fiction which was specifically meant to warn people in the beginning of expansion of modern man and the industrial revolution. In fact, Shelly’s main thesis is that ambition and the quest for knowledge is a fatal flaw in the characters of Victor Frankenstein, Robert Walton and the creature. The story begins with a correspondence between Captain Robert Walton and Margaret Walton Saville. We are presented to Walton setting out to explore North Pole in expansion of his knowledge in science in order to gain fame and friendship. This is where issues of ice come in as he is trapped and in the process he sees a dogsled whereby there was a figure of a giant man. This shows how much he is wiling to risk in order to discover that which he does not know about nature. Equally important, industrial revolution in the 19th century came along with some discoveries that would harm the human race even though they were the founders.
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Finding Frankenstein in need of nourishment this is where in pursuit of his monster he narrates the story to Walton. It is evident right from the beginning that there was a warning against being too ambitious beyond ones ability from what Frankenstein narrates. Within the narrative, it is a story about Victor’s monster, ‘a fiend’ as he calls it which he created out of his quest for scientific knowledge. This happened after a study of Cornelius Agrippa and later deciding to construct a monster in his scientific experiment. As such, he created an eight feet monster which was much larger than the normal man. In line with this, he gives the monster life of which he regrets later. Subsequently, he frees from the monster in order to forget what he had created and live a normal life. This made the monster to live in fear and was angry at the creator. The following incidents were killings of William, Justine, Clerval and Elizabeth of which the monster did to avenge for the abandonment by its creator.
It is evident that the creature was repelled by normal human beings and thus the only way was to seek its creator to avenge for the loneliness. At one point in time, the monster meets with the creator and the creator agrees to make a female companion, a project he abandons in fear of more destruction like the first. This made the Monster to swear to avenge for this by finally killing Frankenstein’s wife Elizabeth and finally leading to the death of Frankenstein.
Having presented a brief summary of the content of the book, it is evident that ambition and quest for scientific knowledge can be sometimes disastrous if it goes beyond ones capability. Considering the historical background when this story was written, it was actually early 19th century. In reference to this point in time, the themes of the story are relevant. For instance, there is the theme of industrialization and revolution which was taking place during this time. Many individuals longed to discover many things about nature and that is the reason why this story has made it to warn the society of the time of the emanating danger of the scientific discoveries they make.
Needless to state, the author has managed to explain her thesis which warns against being over motivated. One may question the way that she has managed to do this but it is actually from the work she has provided. First, she provides a warning within the correspondence between Walton and his sister Margaret. The author’s argument in this case is that ambition and the quest for knowledge is a fatal flaw in the characters of Victor Frankenstein, Robert Walton and the creature. In line with this, the character of Victor Frankenstein being intrigued by ambition, he used bones from charnel-houses, and "disturbed, with profane fingers, the tremendous secrets of the human frame’ made him to construct the monster.
At one point when he is visited by Clerval in his apartment, he looked pale and as Clerval remarks” I did not before remark how ill you appear; so thin and pale; you look as if you had been watching for several nights. In response, Victor says, ‘You have guessed right; have lately been so deeply engaged on one occupation, that I have not allowed myself sufficient rest, as you see: But I hope, that all these employments are now at an end and that I am at length free’. This reveals the great devotion he had for his scientific experiment that brought about the monster. This however, brought about a dreadful sight that he feared to bear and as such, this dreadful monster lacked the parenthood supposedly to be offered by the creator Victor. At the same time, the monster destroyed itself and committed greater crimes it did not intent owing to its ambition to be accepted and embraced so as to feel as one of the human race. This is why it goes on killing when it finds that the human race is not ready to assimilate it. Following this point, the monster ended up killing the beloved ones of Victor so as to ensure that it avenged for abandonment and negligence shown by its creature.
Besides this point, the author has managed to clearly bring about the theme of racism which was more prevalent early 19th century. This is evidenced by the way the monster is rejected by all who meet it with the example of De Lacey’s family. This theme symbolized the way racism was being practiced with some being rejected and shown no love just as Victor did to the monster. In this case, the monster was not accepted by the generation of the human beings and as such, it lived in Isolation.
From a broader point of view, people in the early 19th century had started discoveries along with the revolution in industrialization. The revolution brought about discoveries that wee beyond human mind. Moreover, looking at the monster, it was braver than Victor who was its creator. He actually says ‘I dreaded to behold this monster’. He further confesses that there are times the monster grasps his neck .This shows how ambition can be self destructive jeopardizing even ones life. In fact Schor, (2003) points out that Frankenstein is about the dangers inherent in scientific research and the predictable consequences of an uncontrolled technological exploitation of nature and female. In line with this, the author has managed to present how being over determined can destroy one. Again and again with are presented Victor being sick from physical and mental illnesses caused by the creature he created himself.
From this point of view, man has a quest to make things happen and in this case they are things beyond his control. Following this point, the great mistakes that men make are not from an out source. They are actually made by the men and thus, it can be argued that the author had seen the fact that many men in quest for more knowledge are capable of making greater mistakes than anticipated. As such, this novel was relevant owing to the revolution that was taking place during the early 19th century. It helped scientists of the time to always check on what they devote themselves to discover as it is in scientific research.
As a matter of fact, Shelly’s work is of great skill and as such, it is contradictory to believe the fact that it was written by an 18 year old. The work has its flaws in the sense that though the monster was made, it has no name and no more detailed explanations of the same. Ambition will not always lead to destruction and as such, it is important to state that the effects of ambition and search for scientific knowledge are overemphasized. Historically, the novel addressed the French revolution as an allegory and the aftermath effects it had.
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