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Advocating Social and Political Attitudes

“Frankenstein” or “The Modern Prometheus’ is a novel created by the British author Mary Shelley during early 18th century. The novel centrally illustrates the corrupting effects of man’s pursuit of knowledge and modern technology. Frankenstein, the main character of the story, created life from dead parts in his desire to help mankind conquer diseases and death, but when he finally finished the act of creation and saw its implications and ugliness, he turned away from the monstrosity he has created. Hence, this novel basically demonstrates the horrifying effects of the careless use of science.

In many ways, the book reflects the era when it was written—the period of Industrial Revolution during the 18th century, when major initial and dramatic changes took place in science and technology. In this novel, Shelley seems to stress the limits of human capacity. She gave the readers an idea about the extent of human ignorance in terms of man’s relationship with his creator. The character of Frankenstein in this novel was dominated by the power of human reason through technology and science instead of faith in God.

When one believes in the existence of a Supreme Being, he or she is likely to recognize the limitations of human nature. However, in this novel, Frankenstein attempted to create a human being that is better than the existing creation, “he wanted to find the secrets of life so that all people could live without fear of death…” (Shelley 7). Thus, this story somehow illustrates some of the shortcomings of the contemporary world in the midst of modernity in science. Although Shelley considered the fact that scientific experiments are for the sake of humanity, these experiments have the potential to destroy it as well.

Hence, through the novel, Shelley showed that, by being ignorant of the consequences of creating something new and superior, the entire race may be jeopardized and be destroyed by the same creation. Frankenstein way of creation contrasted with God’s creative and redemptive process of creation. In addition, the author highlighted the incompetence of humans in attempting to play “God. ” Human’s knowledge is sometimes used that will destroy them eventually at the end. For instance, Frankenstein’s arrogance in playing “God” for his attempt to create life resulted in the death of his friends and family.

This caused him to be consumed in grief and guilt as he endured the terrible loss of friends and family who died by his own hands. The story of “Frankenstein” can be read as a timeless tale of warning. Like Frankenstein, some contemporary scientists make it their goal and purpose to study and understand the unknowable and to improve our standards of living. However, critical foresight and moral considerations are more significant than faith in science. The novel is a perfect illustration of how a scientist should not be.

Knowledge affects humanity in a more complex way. Human miseries and life’s complexities can be caused by humans’ obsession in the pursuit and application of knowledge. Shelley in this novel seem to highlight modernity as an apparent political and social attitude during the time of industrialization where science was attempting to unconsciously alter the traditional way of living. Work Cited: Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft. Frankenstein. California. Saddleback Educational Publ, 2005

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