Science in Novel "Frankenstein" by Mary Shelley

Categories: Frankenstein

Frankenstein's influence has impacted the whole world for at least a century. Author, Mary Shelley, gives a highlight of Victor Frankenstein, a young scientist who creates a hideous,creature in a scientific experiment. It is very clear to see that the two main characters, Victor and the monster, both have a equivalent desire for revenge. The book is written in first-person , so readers truly get the direct emotional experiences such as horror and guilt that follows along with each character. Although for unique reasons, this displays numerous themes such as knowledge, human nature, monstrosity secrecy, and humanity.

Nobody in the book is purely for good or evil, which gives arguable morality questions for the readers. After two hundred years of being published, the novel is still just as thrilling and captivating since it first came into the spotlight. This phenomenal piece has inspired a plethora of modern literature, culture, and media.

Frankenstein has been a substantial topic for a few centuries and has provided many themes we seen in other novels today.

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The novel centers itself around the idea of “man shouldn't play god” on how a man playing god would be a man trying to create another. Victor Frankenstein was the face of changing attitude toward science in the early nineteenth century. He was enchanted by the classical experiments of alchemists,these people tried to turn base metal into gold and discover the elixir of life.” His chemistry professor, however, directed his imagination away from the classical to the fascinating new and modern world where the experiments were more pragmatic and focused on more tangible aspects of daily life and the environment” (Burdon,1).

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..”they appeared no less magical for all that, however. Indeed they were perhaps more so, because they implied that there were far more possibilities.”(Burdon,2). Shelley uses Victor Frankenstein to make a glorious masterpiece, but with it all ending in a disaster when the beast leaves, he discovers the harsh reality Of society. “Frankenstein’s creature, envisioned to be a beautiful being with larger features then humans turned out to be a grotesque monster. Once it came to life, Victor Frankenstein himself could not even bear the sight of it, his own creation.”(Danny,1) After gaining nothing but fear and horror Frankenstein promises vengeance upon on everyone including his creator.”The creation of life is beyond man’s control and through the savage killings the monster does, Shelley portrays what happens when man tampers with Gods role of creation.”(Danny,3).This is because we did not create eachother but only god. Equally important, Frankenstein has given literature the added theme of “ knowledge” in books like the award-winning series Harry Potter. Both Harry and Frankenstein realize they are different, and unique from everyone else.This is the tale of Harry Potter, a 11-year-old boy serving as a somewhat slave for his aunt and uncle who learns that he is actually a wizard and is going to attend the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. Unknowing of the worlds around themselves, just like Frankenstein on his own, Harry adjust to the world around himself as he becomes a new wizard.Although knowledge did not stop the both of these characters, Harry finally stops being bullied by his cousin after realizing his potential of a magical successful wizard. While the creature still manages to be independent in the public eye after being shunned, and looks past the negativity to achieve companionship..“Both Harry Potter and the monster of Frankenstein awoke into a world unaware of the challenges and obstacles that awaited him. They both were faced with the torment of ridicule and mockery, but they were able to get passed it”.(Dylan,3) In addition, Frankenstein's influence also takes place in prominent comic books such as William A. Chanler’s sequel which continues in the arctic after the death of Victor Frankenstein and Stephen King’s IT where King’s creature takes the place of Frankenstein’s monster. Even DC’s Marvel has revamped a few spin-offs of the well-known novel.”Marvel has used the monster of Frankenstein in its X-Men series and even created a five-part comic which recreates the original story of Frankenstein (Murphy,2).. “Marvel have printed issues featuring Frankenstein’s monster or loose adaptations taking part in their universes.”(Murphy,3). We have carry Frankenstein's influence with our literature from many differents contents than we may realize.

Furthermore, other influences on culture that Frankenstein has given to the modern world is within the science industry. This helped transform different concepts of medicine as well as the exploration of new developed technology seen within this novel. Victor Frankenstein uses several theories while trying to make his monstrous creation, bending the themes of “knowledge” and “secrecy”. Frankenstein confirmed a knowledge for the transplantation of limbs and organs.”The first successful human-to-human transplant was recorded in 1878, a rare feat as the processing and preservation of human tissue had yet developed,”(History of transplantation,2004). In addition, the transplantation of of living cells and tissues from one species to another (Xenotransplantation), was then later tested and researched still to this day in the twenty-first century. Frankenstein also provides an intake on the proposition of evolution. This creature decides for a companion, but is skeptical of the consequences that are attached with it. There is a possibility that this couple could flee to England and breed, and create a new species, later Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace both explored this concept concerning natural selection. One year later,1859, Darwin wrote “The Origin of Species” that followed his journey on his five-year voyage to research more about genetics. Another scientist, Gregor Mendel, continues even further on his research anda discovered genetic evolutions on inherited traits on pea plants (1866). “Thirty-four years later in 1900, Mendel's principles were independently discovered and verified by Carl Correns, Hugo de Vries, and Erich von Tschermak (Lane,1994)”. These findings pronounced the birth of modern genetic studies.

Likewise, Frankenstein has uplifted from the books to the audience on screen. Frankenstein was one of the first horror movies to ever have been filmed. The monster has influenced the creation of different halloween characters, especially for children. The 2012 kids movie, Hotel Transylvania, is about Dracula, who operates a high-end resort away from the human world, and becomes very overprotective of his daughter, when a boy finds out about the resort and falls for her.. Frankenstein is represented, along with other famous monsters, due to Mary Shelley's creature other monsters we know and love were created. Such as The Invisible Man, Frankenstein's wife, (Eunice), and Dracula. Another example, is the Disney’s black and white film “Frankenweenie”, with a young boy Victor who’s adored dog (Sparky) passes away in a terrible car accident. Victor then gets an idea in attempt to bring his best friend back to life using electricity. Victor and his classmates invade the lab in hopes to pull off his mischievous plan, but end with their work of art running on a rampage causing nothing but trouble. In the end, Sparky saves the day and is renamed the town hero in his short life, only after being killed once again. “This horror/comedy spin off shows another analysis from the original novel Frankenstein and how it is still relevant today.”(Smith,45) As a result, directors, including Tim Burton use Halloween as a way to illustrate the famous creature we call Frankenstein.

With all things considered, the novel Frankenstein has birthed the gothic/horror genre and has influenced many there is the argument of whether or not our students today should continue to read this two hundred year old book. Frankenstein would not only be a good lesson in responsibility, and morality, but the novel is very informative and philosophical. Even two hundred years later the novel shows how we can put too much importance on beauty,that many students can relate too.The characters are tremendously complex, which gives students the opportunity to see each narrative viewpoints. Victor’s narrative shows the path of decisions that of his creation of the Creature and the chaos attached. This novel is also filled with non-stop surprises and secrets spilling constantly.Frankenstein is consistently sharing secrets that is his creator Victor, is trying to conceal. We read Frankenstein, to understand the impact promethean on standards of beauty and the need to confirm.In addition, the themes that Frankenstein gives us creates Shelley is amazingly talented at her storytelling through vivid descriptions and really translates the mood all together as a whole. Most of all, Frankenstein had been ahead of his time, to progress the gothic/science genre itself.


Updated: Dec 12, 2023
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Science in Novel "Frankenstein" by Mary Shelley. (2021, Mar 03). Retrieved from

Science in Novel "Frankenstein" by Mary Shelley essay
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