Frankenstein is a novel by Mary Shelley that was published in 1818. The novel has been generally well-received by literary critics and is considered an important work of both the horror and science fiction genres. Frankenstein is, perhaps, best known for its exploration of the nature of man and his place in society. However, another significant theme in the novel is that of romanticism.
Frankenstein can be seen as a quintessential work of romanticism in literature for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it is a story about creation – specifically, the creation of life. Frankenstein’s monster is an example of what can happen when man meddles with things that he does not fully understand. In many ways, the creature is a symbol of the dangers of science and technology.
Another key element of romanticism that is present in Frankenstein is the idea of the sublime. The word “sublime” can be defined as something that is so beautiful or majestic that it takes your breath away. In Frankenstein, there are a number of scenes which could be described as sublime. For example, when Frankenstein first sees his creature come to life, he is both terrified and awestruck by what he has done.
In addition to the themes of creation and the sublime, Frankenstein also explores the idea of alienation. The creature is, quite literally, an outsider – he does not fit in with society and is rejected by everyone who meets him. As a result, he becomes angry and resentful, which ultimately leads him to commit a series of murders.
While Frankenstein is certainly a work of horror, it also contains many elements of romanticism. Mary Shelley’s use of these themes makes the novel an important and timeless work of literature.
Some of the essential issues discussed in Mary Shelley’s novel, Frankenstein, are likewise concerns not just of the Romantic period and epoch but also of modernity as a whole. Discuss these Romantic preoccupations, as well as why they are still relevant today.
Frankenstein, first published in 1818, was conceived during a chilling Swiss winter and written while Mary Shelley was just nineteen. It is an instant classic and has been in constant print since its conception over two centuries ago. The novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, Shelley’s most famous work, concerns a young doctor named Victor Frankenstein who creates a monster from dead body parts. Frankenstein abandons his creation, which then embarks on a series of horrific murders. Frankenstein ultimately destroys himself and his family in his obsession with destroying the creature.
The novel Frankenstein can be seen as embodying some of the key characteristics of Romanticism. These include a focus on the power of the imagination, a fascination with the supernatural, and a preoccupation with death and destruction. Frankenstein can also be seen as a critique of the rationalism of the Enlightenment, which championed science and reason over emotion and imagination.
The novel Frankenstein has continued to be relevant and influential in the modern world. It has been adapted for stage and screen numerous times, and its themes have been taken up by artists across a range of mediums. Frankenstein can be seen as a cautionary tale about the dangers of technology and scientific progress run amok. It is also a reminder of the importance of empathy and compassion, even for those who may seem monstrous at first glance. Frankenstein remains an essential text for understanding both the Romantic movement and the modern world.
Many literary critics attribute the novel Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley, to be the finest Gothic work of its era. Many of her own life experiences and a very strong imagination fueled this literary creation. It was a popular experience for the reader during the early 18th century, when society was embracing romanticism in its developing stage. During the 17th and 18th centuries, Romanticism “has crossed all social barriers” (Lowy, 1998) , and it entered many genres of literature during this period.
Frankenstein is one of these examples. Lowy goes on to say that Frankenstein “represents the dark side of romanticism- a genre which Frankenstein has come to personify” (Lowy, 1998. 76). In other words, Shelley used the horror story in Frankenstein as a way of depicting what could go wrong if people overstepped their bounds and began to play with things they did not understand. This is very much in line with the thinking during the Romantic era which was suspicious of science and technology and saw them as potential threats to society and nature.
The novel Frankenstein is full of imagery that would have been familiar to readers at the time it was written. For example, the scene where Frankenstein bolts awake from a nightmare in which he envisions his creation coming to life is “reminiscent of Milton’s Paradise Lost in which Frankenstein Frankenstein recalling his own version of the Fall” (Lowy, 1998. 77). This would have been a powerful image for readers who were well-versed in the classics and would have added another layer of meaning to the story.
Shelley also makes use of light and dark imagery throughout Frankenstein which was a common theme in romantic literature. The contrast between light and dark can be seen as a symbol for good and evil, or knowledge and ignorance. Frankenstein himself is torn between two worlds- the world of science and reason, represented by the light, and the world of emotion and passion, represented by the darkness. Frankenstein is ultimately destroyed by his own ignorance and it is only when he comes to understand the true nature of his creation that he is able to find peace.
Frankenstein is a novel that has been widely praised for its use of romanticism to explore deep philosophical questions about life, death, and the nature of humanity. It is a classic example of how literature can be used to explore the darker side of human nature, and it continues to be popular with readers today.
Romantics were concerned with compassion for humans, feelings, nature, and individual freedom. Frankenstein is a superb illustration of the importance of English Romanticism and there are few other novels that are as accurate. Feeling and emotion were highly emphasized during the period of Romanticism, which was also true for Shelley’s work.
Frankenstein accurately reflects the literary movement of Romanticism in numerous ways. The novel creates an idealized, almost magical vision of Nature. Frankenstein frequently refers to flowers, sunlight, and sparkling water in order to contrast the horror of his creature. This allows for a greater appreciation of the natural world, which was a key belief of the Romantics. Furthermore, Frankenstein rebels against society’s conventions by choosing to play God and create life.
While most people at the time believed in God as the creator of all life, Frankenstein instead takes it upon himself to create and control life. This ultimately leads to disaster, but it is still a act of defiance against society. In addition, Frankenstein is deeply concerned with feelings and emotions. He is constantly grappling with his own emotions as well as the emotions of his creature. Frankenstein even goes so far as to say that he must create a mate for his creature in order to ensure its happiness, showing just how important feelings were to him.
Overall, Frankenstein is an excellent example of Romanticism in literature. It contains many of the key beliefs of the Romantics, such as a reverence for nature, rebellion against society, and focus on feelings and emotions. Mary Shelley was clearly influenced by the Romantic movement, and her novel Frankenstein is a testament to that influence.