Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein as Science Fiction and Allegory
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Literature is a medium that absorbs the most significant concerns and the brightest hopes that society has at any historical stage. In this context Mary Shelly’s novel Frankenstein is a reflection of ideas and fears that the beginning Industrial Revolution brought about. Combining the concepts of supernatural and science fiction, the novel explores the theme of human progress and degradation as a result of newly brought opportunities and discoveries. The author warns about the danger of using science as an instrument against nature, which results in the ruin of several characters’ lives.
Throughout centuries, the novel has been interpreted in several ways as it has different dimensions to be considered. First of all, the story of Victor Frankenstein and his creature can be interpreted as mythology and as a reference to the Bible. By contrasting the ways a being is created, the author focuses on the difference between moral and immoral aspects of science. Victor Frankenstein is a new type of scientist, a modern alchemist, whose thinking corresponds to the uprising trends of Shelly’s epoch. This character is a total sum of features which reflects the bargains and the faults of a new ideology, brought about by technological breakthrough of the early nineteenth century. Victor is not only an educated person, his scholarly studies are superior to anything else in his life. Originally, he is inspired by a noble idea of enlightenment and knowledge, which are the core values of the epoch. However, this keen interest borders on vanity and obsession. It is mentioned in the novel that Victor spends too much time on his research;...