Symbolism of Frankenstein by Mary W. Shelley

Essay Topic:

The dramatic aspects of the symbolism of Mary W. Shelleys Frankenstein.

Essay Questions:

What role does the symbol of the monster play in terms of the physical and spiritual beauty?

Why does Mary Shelley pay special attention to the symbolism of the electricity?

In what way the symbol of th efire in the novel gives a hope for a better future?

Thesis Statement:

The symbolism of the monster, fire and electricity are essential for the message of Mary W. Shelleys Frankenstein.


Introduction: Very often she authors of any novel uses certain symbols to represent the messages which need to be delivered to the reader. Mary Shelley is not an exception as she presents two major symbols which are crucial for the message of the story. Mary W. Shelley uses the monster, the fire and electricity and the weather within the novel to reveal the reader the true essence of the social message she shares with the reader. One of the brightest symbols of Mary W. Shelley’s “Frankenstein” is the monster itself. This symbol represents the depth of the personal tragedy and the inability of human beings to take responsibility for their actions. The creator that has been created by Viktor Frankenstein is not a monster but Viktor Frankenstein is one in the first place. Viktor’s ambitions and is ego make his create a human form of life without even thinking about the consequences. He creates a creature to suffer and eventually suffers himself. Generally speaking, the monster is a symbol of the ignorance and brutality of the society: it suffers himself and after realizing that he cannot be happy she hurts other people. Another important symbol of the novel is the symbol of fire and electricity within the novel. It represents the fact that science still has not discovered the sacred secret of life. The Symbol of fire and electricity is the symbol of the scientific achievements and the enlightening knowledge acquired by the society members. It is the light of hope ahead that makes the society think that they are in control but nevertheless no light can reveal the natural secret of the birth of life and its reason. Fire does not only give light, warmth and hope for the people but also can strongly hurt and burn everything around. It was Viktor who tried to give the new light to the society without knowing the real meaning of life and what to do with his newly born creature. Conclusion: The symbols presented in Mary W. Shelley’s Frankenstein are of an extreme value for the novel as they reveal the major concept which needs to be delivered to the reader. Though humanity has achieved scientific progress, a man should not intrude in the natural course of life and death. The society in general and its certain representatives in particular are not ready to take the responsibility that can be taken only by God.


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