How Is Context Related to Central Themes in Br and Fr? Essay

Submitted By bordopole
Words: 1424
Pages: 6

Similarities:
• Intelligent figure “trying to play god” through the creation of life
• Creatures mistreated by their creator and society
• Audience is left feeling greater sympathy for the creatures, than for the creators.
• [THEME] Warning for humanity against the dangerous, unrestricted pursuits in knowledge and science. However, each text is reflective of their own context.
• [THEME] The notion of humanity and monstrosity being depicted in ironic ways between the creators and the creatures, define the values of humanity itself.
• [THEME] The existence of nature itself also reflects humanity or values of human sources.
Frankenstein:
Techniques:
• Epistolary novel - the opening focuses on Walton, a metaphorical representation of humans before they have fallen prey to science and knowledge.
• Dark experiments conducted through “profane fingers” and exemplified through the motif of sickness, result in the creation of Frankenstein’s “monster”.
• Characterization of the creature’s stature and power is reflective of the threats posed by the pursuits of science.
• Romantic motif of nature serves as a healing entity, contrasting to the destructive abilities of science and knowledge
• Victor is the embodiment of monstrosity; His rejection of companionship serves as Victor’s fall from humanity, exemplified through his own use of animalistic language.
• Through intertextuality, in the form of Milton’s “Paradise Lost”, Shelley allows the creature to replicate the language and views of the time, shown through his sensitivity and benevolence towards Victor on the latter’s deathbed. The creature to replicates the language and ideas of the time, making him more human.
• Irony implied through the creature being more compassionate and caring towards humans than Victor is, embodying the human values that Shelley thought most important (particularly during the Romanticist era).
• The biblical allusion presented through the creature’s claim that he “ought to be thy Adam, but [is] rather the fallen angel,”
• The characterization of the creature as a being which could end Frankenstein’s life at a moment’s notice is also reflective of the threats posed by the pursuits of science, beyond man’s own boundaries.
• Nature - Victor approaches nature and his homeland of Geneva, Switzerland, showing the “healing” power of nature. The bucolic scenes of Geneva are depicted in scenes where Victor is seen to be relatively “human”, uncorrupted and unaffected by disease.
• Dark, Gothic imagery is used to portray Victor’s experiments and his creation of the creature “in a solitary chamber, or rather cell, at the top of the house, and separated from all the other apartments by a gallery and staircase...[his] workshop of filthy creation”.

Quotes:
• “One of the phenomena which had peculiarly attracted my attention was the structure of the human frame, and, indeed, any animal endued with life. Whence, I often asked myself did the principle of life proceed?” – Victor refers to the elixir of life
• “Learn from me, if not by my precept, at least by my example, how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge, and how much happier that man is who believes his native town to be the world, than he who aspires to become greater than his nature will allow”. Victor’s obsessive desire to defeat nature, led to the many tragedies that befell him.
• Victor’s wish to “command the thunders of heaven”, is reflective of Shelley’s context where electricity was harnessed by such figures as Luigi Galvani
• His desire to learn the “secrets of heaven and earth” accentuates the threat of unbridled pursuits for knowledge and science and presents the notion of man overstepping man’s boundaries.
• The creature that “even Dante could not have conceived” – Even the lord of Hell and the 7 sins himself would not be able to creature such an abnormal and scary figure.
• Victor is depicted as the embodiment of monstrosity, tainted by ambition and darkness, having…