“Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley Essay
“Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley
The novel Frankenstein is about a man named Victor Frankenstein who wanted to tamper with life and death by “exploring unknown powers, and unfold to the world the deepest mysteries of creation” (Shelley, pg.44). The novel Frankenstein has had continuing popularity ever since its publication in 1818 for many reasons. The main reason is that Frankenstein is a book that teaches lessons and morals that readers of all ages can appreciate and learn from for years to come. Frankenstein is a book that has been read and enjoyed by successive generations. In other words Frankenstein can be considered a classic novel. Frankenstein is a novel that shows the reader there is a way to achieve immortality, but also reveals many important things about human nature and emotions.
Frankenstein is a novel about how to defy death. Ever since Egyptians and their beliefs of a life after death, people have found overcoming death to be fascinating. Death is something that is not understood completely by humans, it is frightening as well as scary. This is portrayed in Frankenstein when the creature is looked down upon by society because he looked different from them and they did not understand him. People are scared of what they do not understand, which is why they were frightened by Victor’s monster.
The novel fascinates people because death has been overcome. Being able to create life from something that is non-living is just like cheating death. People like to have control over it, which is what people want in the first place. Frankenstein is a novel that shows the reader there is a way to defy death, which is why the novel has enjoyed continuing popularity ever since publication in 1818.
Frankenstein reveals many things about humanity. The creature has the same feelings that all humans do including love, anger, sadness, happiness, confusion and so on. When talking of the family that the creature lived beside in the woods he says, “…when they were unhappy, I felt depressed; when they rejoiced, I sympathized in their joys” (96). Just because the creature is able to distinguish between these emotions and have feelings for other forms of life is enough to say that he is human. The only thing that makes him different from human beings is the way he looks and the way he was brought into the world. Just because a baby is born with a deformity that makes them look different from other people does not mean they are not human, they are just different.
Since the creature is considered human, Frankenstein shows the reader what can happen to the human nature when it is abandoned of all forms of communication and love from others. The author is trying to show that the creature had the ability to be a kind and decent being, but because it is denied the basic human needs of communication and love from others, it resorts to an evil attitude. The unfortunate creature was abandoned and everything it knows about life and values was completely self-taught. The creature resorts to evil doings because no one has taught him right from wrong or how to deal with the emotions that he is feeling.
Victor’s creature feels abandoned by his creator and does not know how to deal with these feelings. He does not even know why he was created in the first place after the cottagers that he has grown to love turned their backs on him. The creature curses his creator and questioned his existence by saying, “Cursed, cursed creator! Why did I live?”(98) These feelings towards abandonment are similar to the emotions that humans feel when people that are supposed to love them abandon them. The novel reveals many things about humanity that are not often discussed or thought about by humans.
In conclusion, Frankenstein has experienced such continued success for several reasons. In one aspect it is a simple novel about defying death and achieving what many people have been fascinated with for centuries, which is immortality. On the other hand, it is an emotional story about a tragic creature that is forced to live in society that rejects him. It offers a close up into the creature’s emotions and shows a side of humanity that people do not normally have the chance to see. Because Frankenstein fascinated the simple concept of death as well as the idea of the power of humanity to affect human emotions and reactions, it has become a novel that has been and will continue to be read for ages. Frankenstein is clearly a classic novel.