Novel "Frankenstein" by Mary Shelley

Categories: Frankenstein

In the novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, the monster was nothing more than a significant source of horror over the centuries but Victor, “man of science,” is very authentic and relatable to 21st century who had come to a symbol of “mad scientist.” Victor Frankenstein improves synthetic biology and artificial intelligence throughout the process of creating unique types of creatures however, he does not know how to deal with them afterward. The Frankenstein novel is an illustration of an unestablished sense of ethics emerged by scientific breakthroughs, hence issues that were once considered science fiction slowly becoming a reality in the 21st Century.

First, Victor brings together his creature's body collecting body parts from a charnel house without the consent of the dead and their families. Secondly, the monster does not belong to any community Victor brings him to life without providing life sources for his creature. Lastly, he is dedicated to creating a unique creature for science, but he does not correctly think about the consequence of his action.

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With the revolution of science and medical practices how a scientist can stay ethical in future scientific observations?

Right off the bat, Victor's desire to renewing a life where the dead body had devoted to eternity becomes an obsession for him. In Chapter 4, Victor Frankenstein's fascination with death becomes significant, where he says he has never been afraid of the graveyard. He organizes a new research venue for his scientific experimentation creates life from death and regenerating a dead body. To make his creature Victor 'collected bones from charnel-houses,' 'dabbled among the unhallowed damps of the grave.

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' (Shelly, Chapter 3) The charnel houses are not enough for him thus, he visits frequented dissecting rooms and slaughterhouses. Victor states: 'The dissecting room and the slaughter-house furnished many of my materials.'(Shelly, Chapter 4) To practice on his experiment, he had to collect samples without consent of dead and their family. The ethical issue of his action is he uses different body parts from multiple dead bodies, in the same way, he cheats the nature of death by bringing life back to the clinically dead. In the 21st Century, organ trade had become a crucial issue among medical workers and traders. There is a global demand for healthy body parts for transplantation since average time waiting for donor organs varies significantly depending on the patients. The number of patients is higher than the number of donor organs received by medical fields thus, organ trafficking, and transplant tourism remain widespread. The idea the author suggests that collecting body parts from the dead comes with its consequences which Victor faces in this novel. The moral permissibility of markets for organs is a sensitive issue regarding selling and buying of internal organs. Black markets workers kidnap poor to force them to sell their body parts or kill them to receive more money from demanders for the organ. There are lots of unethical medical procedures happening with this issue, in particular using people's internal organs without their permission which can be associated with Victor's action. Victor is a passionate scientist about his experiment, but his obsession leads him to collect dead bodies to reach his goal without thinking about its consequences.

Besides creating the monster by collecting dead bodies, Victor does not think about the consequences that it can bring the beast does not belong to any community. He views his creation as inferior and improper to human beings. Victor States: 'there can be no community you and me we are enemies.' (Shelly, Chapter 10) Even he does not accept him to his life monster would not be able to suit the society brought by Victor. Victor feels overwhelmed with guilt and anger despises his creature. He says, 'He approached his countenance bespoke bitter anguish, combined with disdain and malignity, while its unearthly ugliness rendered it almost too horrible for human eyes.' (Shelly, 83) Humans will deny the creature because of the way he looks, and even he is made from human body part to adjust to the community of humans. The ethical issue occurs in Victor society is that he did not think how he could provide new life for his creature. Scientist study on the idea of low-temperature freezing called Cryonic: they plan to freeze a human with the hope that resuscitation may be possible in the future. Those who undergo this procedure hope that future technology will succeed in reviving them, but they do not think about how they are going to suit in a new society. The novel suggests new experiments like Cryonic will not resolve with the satisfactory result because it takes years to suit in a new environment how these people are going to survive that they do not belong to the society. Victor brings the monster to his community that it does not belong to without providing life sources for it.

Lastly, Victor's creation is a result of society's inability to understand his advanced scientific experiment and its consequences. Society's perspective of appearance judges Frankenstein’s creation while he is describing it before showing it to the community. He says “his yellow skin scarcely covered the work of muscles and arteries…his hair was of a lustrous black…his teeth of a pearly whiteness but these luxuriance only formed a more horrid contrast with his watery eyes…his shriveled complexion and straight black lips” (Shelley 60) Victor does not want to accept his creation to his life thus he tries to keep the monster away from him. He states, “when [he] looked upon him, when [he] saw the filthy mass that moved and talked, [his] heart sickened and [his] feelings were altered to those of horror and hatred” (Shelley 126). Victor's society's phobia of advanced science that has been transferred into modern-day concerns by scientific advances. Scientists are experimenting on animals to use their organs on the human the experiment is unethical in every way. Pigs are one of the closest animals to humans physiologically, in terms of weight, size of organs and other biological factors. There are a lot of different perspectives that could associate with this experiment to resolve ineffective such as religion problems and animal rights. Most religions would not accept to use of pig or any kinds of animal suitable for the human body, and since animals cannot communicate with people, it would not be right to decide for them. Victor is passionate about his science, but his society cannot cope with his advanced experiments.

Given these focuses, the term Victor's advanced science applies to the 21st-century's science the name of the novel has become a symbol for bad science. Science can go too far without considering the issues may be brought with it. The Frankenstein novel is an illustration of an unestablished sense of ethics emerged by scientific breakthroughs, hence matters that were once considered science fiction slowly becoming a reality in the 21st Century. The book suggests that science should be part of our lives, but people have to consider consequences. Victor experiments his idea of regenerating dead from dead bodies in an unethical way. Victor's obsession with the idea of life and death leads him to create his creature by collecting body parts from the dead. He does not accept his being to his life even he does not want the monster, he cannot provide new life for his creation in his society. Lastly, every experiment comes with its consequences, and he does not consider how his advanced science and production would accept by his community. Victor Frankenstein may have been a brilliant scientist, but the lack of responsibility he showed his creature that was his ultimate tragic with ethical issues.

Work Cited

  1. Shelley, Marry. Frankenstein. London, England: Penguin Books, 2003.
Updated: Jan 18, 2023
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Novel "Frankenstein" by Mary Shelley. (2021, Feb 03). Retrieved from

Novel "Frankenstein" by Mary Shelley essay
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