Mary Shelly’s “Frankenstein” Essay

Essay Topic:

The general interpretation of Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” and its profound message.

Essay Questions:

How does Mary Shelley view the possibility to create a new life?

What was Frankenstein’s philosophy of life?

What is the main agreement of the novel?

Thesis Statement:

The author tries to say that life is a gift. After this gift is given no one can take it away and it becomes the responsibility of the creator. The novel makes the reader concerned with the question: “Is a human being able to take responsibility to give life?”


Mary Shelly’s “Frankenstein” Essay


Introduction: Mary Shelly’s “Frankenstein” has is more than just an ordinary novel. It is a book that carries a profound philosophical message. The novel touched me to my very soul. It turned out to be a book not about a struggle against a monster but a tragedy of a scientist, who reached the goal of his work and life and realized that breathless horror and disgust filled his heart but all of these is on the surface. The deepest philosophical thought is covered and hidden, but is very deep. The author tries to say that life is a gift. After this gift is given no one can take it away and it becomes the responsibility of the creator. The novel makes the reader concerned with the question: “Is a human being able to take responsibility to give life?”.

“Frankenstein’s” philosophy is a conflict between the value of human life and the value of a scientific discovery. This story is not only the tragedy of Victor Frankenstein but also of his creation. It is the tragedy of loneliness and fighting alone with the world.The tragedy of Viktor Frankenstein was a tragedy of him being a toy in the hand of his own parents for the believed that he “was in their hands to direct to happiness or misery”[p.34]. The next quote shows exactly how he grew up: “they were not the tyrants to rule our lot according to their caprice, but the agents and creators of all the many delights which we enjoyed…”[p.37]. This subconsciously led him to the desire to have somebody he could control, to have another toy, another enjoyment, but he was unable to take responsibility for the creature he brought to life because this was not a toy but a living being. His childhood was like a dream come true but behind all the joys his parent forgot to teach him something much more important - what is right or wrong, morality and other vital categories. Mary Shelley expressed her concern about not bringing up children properly. She shows that a tragedy may start even from a childhood full of happiness. One of the events that “predicted” the tragedy was when his mother brought Elizabeth for little Viktor, a “pretty present for my Victor” as she introduced it [p.35].

This very moment taught him to take a human being as a property and it was the beginning of the future end. ” …She presented Elizabeth to me as her promised gift, I, with childish seriousness, interpreted her words literally, and looked upon Elizabeth as mine-mine to protect, love, and cherish…” – and from that moment Elizabeth became a life-toy for him, only his toy [p.35].So one of the reasons of the was the parent’s “love” connected with the inability to give anything to their child except providing joys for him. There was nothing little Viktor could do. The other reason is having Elizabeth as his property. Could be that the “blank” that Viktor’s parent left in his head about the true things around him made him study too much and everything at the same time which later led him to the “wrong path”: “ …My temper was sometimes violent, and my passions vehement; but by some law in my temperature they were turned, not towards childish pursuits, but to an eager desire to learn, and not to learn all things indiscriminately…”[p.37].“…After days and nights of incredible labour and fatigue, I succeeded in discovering the cause of generation and life; nay, more, I became myself capable of bestowing animation upon lifeless matter… “[p.51] – Viktor finds a grown-up toy and creates a monster that is doomed to be lonely and never be loved by anybody. The creature that was doomed to suffer without even understanding why!

The novel argues that no one in the world should ever consider himself to be “the creator”. Each living being has the right to live and to be happy in this world – which is the simple philosophy of life.When the creature asks Viktor to create somebody to love it gets heartless reply:” …Devil ... do you dare approach me? ... Be gone, vile insect! or rather, stay that I may trample you to dust! ... Abhorred monster! Fiend that thou art! the tortures of hell are too mild a vengeance for thy crimes. Wretched devil! you reproach me with your creation; come on then, that I may extinguish the spark which I so negligently bestowed”[p.68]. For him the life on this creature is nothing, just another caprice, just something used to want and does not need anymore. He, considering himself to be “God”, does not care about what the creature feels and how lonely it is. Whom to blame?Analysis shows that Victor is the victim of the mistakes his parents did, and the Creature is a victim of Victor’s ill perception of reality. Thee answer says to it self!

Conclusion. Life is a gift – and that is the main philosophy of the novel. If you give life to somebody as a parent or create a life like Viktor Frankenstein you have to know beforehand what to do with it and be able to take full responsibility for giving the best to your creation. The creature was Viktor’s toy and Viktor was the toy of his parents. Everything happened in a chain reaction. One good deed generates another good deed and vice versa – one evil generates another evil.

Mary Shelley share’s a philosophy that should be inside the heart of each reader: life - is not a toy to play with! There is only one source of life and there should be no others: “ Learn from me, if not by my precepts, at least by my example, how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge, and how much happier that man is who believes his native town to be the world, than he who aspires to become greater than his nature will allow”.

What I learned from this book is that things are not always the way they appear to be. And what seems terrifying may turn out to be just the pain of someone’s heart. So “sharing pure love” is the only philosophy of life that should be kept in mind of each person.


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