Most readers of Frankenstein extract the obvious theme of good vs. evil in Mary Shelley’s novel, however; others find societies corruption and the misuse of science to be the underlining subject matter in the story. Shelley utilizes various themes in her book that were quite popular during the time period that Frankenstein was being written in.
Throughout her novel the reader can reference and distinguish the similarities between Mary Shelley’s life, the events during the time period, and in her unique and time-lasting novel, Frankenstein Mary Shelley’s life seemed to be connected to tragedy from the beginning, with the deaths of three children, her mother, husband, and two suicides. From her pain and misfortune Shelley is able to convey a mental image of what society fears and the evil of man. It is said that there is some sort of “link” between some of the novels occurrences and dates and her personal life.
It is argued that the novel was made out of a “doubled fear, the fear of a woman that she may not be able to bear a healthy normal child and the fear of a putative author that she may not be able to write…. the book is her created self as well as her child.” Upon inspection some of the dates featured in her story match up to significant dates in her life. Shelley interprets some of her struggles and tribulations in the novel, which most readers cannot detect. There are even some references to her moral values and the way Shelley was brought up by the way she expresses the attention to the treatment of the poor and the uneducated in the novel.
During this time period the Industrial Revolution was taking place and many new advancements in technology and science were being discovered. Shelley wanted to think of a story “which would speak to the mysterious fears of our nature and awake thrilling horror…”
Mary Shelley conveyed her worries and opinions on all of the advancements in technology and science that were occurring and could occur by using Victor’s experiment, his desire to re-create and reanimate a dead body, as a sort of symbolism or precaution that one can lose personal freedom and become dependent on machines or in Victor’s case “the monster is more human than his creator” which in turn means that Victor has lost his humanity due to his aspiration and obsession. It is said that “Mary Shelley became one of the first modern thinkers to foresee that science, though having the potential to greatly benefit humanity, might also inadvertently unleash destructive forces”
Shelley anticipated that just like in her novel, Frankenstein, something that was started out as an experiment to improve life or thought to be a good for human kind would end up being the opposite of what its intentions were for. The over -indulgence in science and technology could end in a path of self-destruction. Just like in the novel, Frankenstein, it was shown throughout Victor’s time consuming journey to seek and destroy the monster he had created. The theme of corruption is evident throughout Mary Shelley’s novel, Frankenstein. In the pursuit to further scientific advancement and having the power to produce another human life, Victor Frankenstein was consumed by his creation.
He had wasted and spent many of his last years hiding, running away, hunting or tracking down this “monster”. The creature he had brought to life had in the end taken several of his loved one’s lives and even his own. Ironic as that is, this novel portrays that man does not have a right nor is it their place to create another sort or human creature or being without expecting some sort of reprobation or consequence.