Frankenstein Theme Essay

Shelley details this theme in her book, making an allusion to the counter-humanist idea in chapter four when Victor warns Walton not to follow in his footsteps, saying, Learn from me, if not by my precepts, 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.Indeed, to Shelley and many others of her time, some riddles of nature should never be discovered by man.

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Shelley discusses how Frankenstein has used his laboratory or 'workshop of filthy creation' (page 53) as a kind of 'womb' as he has worked on his creation.A third, subtler theme, indicts society for its sexist viewpoints.Throughout his narrative, Victor portrays women as weak, suffering, subservient beings who live for and depend on the men in their lives.Clearly, Victor Frankenstein is this modern Prometheus-in a way, he stole the idea of creation from God and used it for his own ill-advised purposes.A second theme stresses the idea of human injustice towards outsiders.Even the alternate title, The Modern Prometheus, undeniably relates this point.Prometheus, a figure in Greek mythology, took fire from the gods in order to give it to man and consequently suffered eternal punishment.He also refers to his task as his labour, suggesting that he has literally given birth to his creation.After so much time spent in painful labour (Page 51) The passing of time from when Victor first began his creation and finished it is also significant.Had she been a man, she would probably have been set free.Frankenstein succeeds in removing the only powers that women had, as well as stripping God from his role.


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