Introduction to Frankenstein
1. Having an imaginative childhood filled with dreams that could change her perspective on the occurrences of her native land area, Mary Shelley was already on the path towards authorial greatness. Her inspiration to write the story of Frankenstein was extracted during her talks with Lord Byron that evoked the experiments by Luigi Galvani. What kept her synapses working overtime was whether past electric experimentation would actually bring animation to an inanimate object, thus the embodiment of the story of Frankenstein came to being.
2. Mary wanted her audience to realize first that inventions do not necessarily have to arise from a void. Inventions could be inspired from pre-existing chaos and the materials involved be easily available to give form to gruesome, shapeless affluences, but cannot bring into factuality the element itself. She thus wanted her audience to experience the thrill of fear that chilled her spine when she came up with the idea of a once thought to be inanimate being looking down on its creator while the creator slept in a ghoulish room. If her nightmare scared her half to death, then her audience would resonate with her.
3. Taken from the preface then, themes of the enlightenment era are clearly presented. This coupled with romanticism and hierarchical concepts integrate to bring about a gothic sense within the novel.
4. Luigi Galvani accidentally discovered the effects of electric currents on biological limbs, specifically on a frog’s legs. Having it twitch when the current passed through resulted in him performing more experiments and coming up with the doctrine of galvanization and neurology. In a parallel world, Victor Frankenstein’s monster was breathed life into by running electric currents right into its cold, dead culminations of a sewn up body. As Luigi Galvani was criticized on his work by Alessandro Volta, so was Victor Frankenstein by the native folk of his era.
5. The enlightenment era had a majority of people rallying for crucial changes to occur, with the attitude of the era questioning everything and critically thinking about their meaning. Victor embodies enlightenment by taking us back to his childhood when lightning splinters a mighty oak tree. He concludes that neither age nor strength is any match for fate, thus his idealism illuminating his quest to his blaspheming creation, calling it an eventuality of fate.
6. Victor’s description of his adventures is more rooted in romanticism. Creating his monster showed a collective visual imagination of Victor’s dreamer attitude and attempt to express a contemporary understanding of the world with near perfect beings.
7. Victor Frankenstein is quite much like Prometheus when he refuses to accept his own limits, creates a man out of raw elements and in a way, like Prometheus, uses the fire of life in the form of electricity to bring his creation to life.
8. Victor should however not be considered a hero as he abandons his creation. Unlike Prometheus, he does not fulfill his fatherly role, as do most creators.
9. Thus in doing this, the creature is in a way punishing Victor Frankenstein. He is forced to isolate himself from society. He does this despite his creation or the society’s ignorance of his experiments in his laboratory.
10. The Prometheus Bound painting, which depicts a mythic bird consuming Prometheus’s insides on a daily basis, does not necessarily show parallelism to Victor’s suffering. Prometheus did not have a choice in his suffering. He died every day and resurrected to relive the horror. Conversely, Victor’s suffering was self-inflicted. At any moment, he could have decided to come out of isolation and end his suffering by accepting his folly.
11. From Mary Shelley’s novel, we see elements profound in gothic novels. A particular element in the novel being horrifying (or terrifying) events or the threat of such happenings, coupled with dungeons, underground passages, crypts and catacombs which, in modern houses, are spooky basements or attics.
12. The novel adequately fits Heinlein’s description in that practitioners of science may counter strong beliefs held dear by human beings, assisting them to think critically thus enabling them to question real world norms increasing their understanding of nature and science.