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Frankenstein Biblical Allusions Essay

Marco Ng
Mrs. Hawes
English 11
14 January 2016
To what extent does one’s collective intellect and diligence increase his/her capacity to achieve greatness? Is it feasible to believe that humanity—with adequate knowledge and wisdom— may be capable in imitating the abilities and power of God? These questions are flamboyantly revealed in the novel, Frankenstein, written by Mary Shelly, as a result of numerous biblical allusions focusing on the relationship between Victor Frankenstein and the monster. Through the biblical allusions in Frankenstein, Victor and the monster are utilized to emphasize the terror of uncertain human boundaries and also portray the duality of the two questionable protagonists in the novel. The duality depicted serves to critique the dominant religious beliefs developed up to the time period of the novel and challenge the axioms formed due to religious faith towards the Bible. The primary biblical allusion illustrated in Frankenstein is the reflection of Victor and the monster as creator and creation. In other words, Victor represents God and the monster represents Adam. By forming this allusion, Shelley illustrates the uncertain boundaries of human capability and arouses fear towards the power of human achievement. This biblical allusion inducing fear in human achievement first appears in chapter four through implicative dialogues involving the reanimation of life. While Victor defines reanimation, he accentuates, “A new species would bless me as its creator and source”, indirectly defining himself as a Godlike figure in terms of Christianity (Shelley 53). Clearly, Frankenstein is consumed by his ambition, triggering a dark ego and a sense that Frankenstein’s actions to come are taboo. A feeling of fear is further developed due to the results of the plot, demonstrating negative repercussions to human pursuit of power and knowledge. Frankenstein’s success in the ambition of creating life results in a “daemon” that murders most of his family. Clearly, Mary Shelly intends to highlight the dangers of pursuing vast ambitions, and by doing so, she emphasizes the overwhelming terror of uncertain human capabilities. By describing the monster as a “daemon”, Shelly redirects the focus of the story on the duality of Victor and the monster. More explicitly, the monster is defined as the devil, which is placed in contrast with the allusion of him as Adam in chapter fifteen. This reveals two main biblical allusions (the monster is Adam and Lucifer), and through these two biblical allusions, the monster is portrayed as both good and evil. Due to the influence of Paradise Lost, the monster had stated, “Like Adam, I was apparently not united by a link to any other being in existence” (Shelley 135). This phrase is in support of the good partition of the monster. As Adam, throughout the beginning of creation, was considered a perfect being fashioned from the image of God. But the monster also mentions, “When I view the bliss of my protectors, the bitter gall of envy rose within me”, portraying himself as Lucifer, who grew jealous of God’s omnipotent power (Shelley 135). The two biblical are related in that both Adam and Lucifer were created in a state of perfection and only grew more evil once God cast them away from his guidance. Thus, the allusion reflects the monster’s original state of purity and goodness developing to a more sinister and unsympathetic state, showing duality.
The biblical allusion of Victor Frankenstein also shows duality, but in this case, it also involves criticism towards religious axioms formed due to the Bible. Yes, the Bible says, “God is perfect”, but Shelley’s allusion of Victor as God portrays Him as an evil being. Since Victor cast away the monster, he appears to be a very unsympathetic God, which is why many readers may consider the monster to be the protagonist. In fact, the monster is in a degree of agony and despair triggering him to say, “Accursed creator! Why did you form a monster so hideous that even you turned from me in disgust?” (Shelley 136) Evidently, Victor’s abandonment of the monster is the cause of his evil deeds, and this challenges the axiom formed stating the “God is perfect”.
Without a doubt, there is much controversy between the implications of Frankenstein and the Bible, and the biblical allusions formed in the novel strongly appose key concepts in the Bible. Although this may appear to be a strong blow towards Christianity, people should recall that this is simply an individual opinion, but this opinion may also be foreshadowing the rise of the Atheistic Era .

Works Cited
Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft. Frankenstein. Charlottesville, Va.: U of Virginia Library, 1996. Print.

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