Frankenstein: the First Modern Monster Story
Frankenstein: the First Modern Monster StoryFrankenstein: The First Modern Monster Story
When we hear Frankenstein the image that many of us think of today is that of a mindless monster with bolts in his neck who wishes to terrorize anyone who crosses his path. This image is far different from that of the monster in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. In Shelley’s novel Frankenstein’s monster is smart, caring, and he posses near super human strength and speed. Frankenstein is thought to be heavily influenced by of many of the places and events in Shelly’s life. For example many of the scientific themes are thought to be influenced by the scientific revolution which was being analyzed during the romanticism period which is when Frankenstein was written. Frankenstein is often considered to be the first modern monster story because it deals with many modern issues, it has many differences from earlier monster stories, and because it is written using a modern romanticism writing style.
The most prevalent modern issue dealt with in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is the boundaries between religion and science. In the novel Victor uses science to create life which is something that only God can do. Frankenstein’s monster compares himself to Adam and Victor to God when he says, “Remember, that I am thy creature: I ought to be thy Adam; but I am rather the fallen angel, whom thou drivest from joy for no misdeed.”(Shelley 66), this quote is an example of Shelley relating religion and science. During the period of Enlightenment science began to push the boundaries of religion which is why the church took a stand against science, these events were heavily criticized during the romanticism period in which Shelley wrote Frankenstein. The battle between science and religion is still a very modern problem today which is one of the reasons Frankenstein is considered the first modern monster story. Another issue dealt with in Frankenstein that makes it a modern story is social upheaval. For example, Victor has to deal with the...