Third year English undergraduate at Exeter University. Some information about me: I gained the highest year percentages in Religious Studies GCSE and English Literature GCSE, AS and A Level at my school. I was published in an academic magazine (eMagazine) aged 17 with an article on Frankenstein; won school English and Creative Writing prizes; and was elected president of the creative writing society at university. I have spent two months teaching in a school in Shanghai over summer and two months teaching in India. I have a 120 hour TEFL qualification (teaching English as a foreign language.) I also have six months experience volunteering in schools tutoring English language and literature students for their GCSE exams. I am hoping become a teacher and am very enthusiastic about tutoring.
To what extent is Frankenstein by Mary Shelley a condemnation of transgression?
Frankenstein was written during the popularisation of Renaissance Humanism: a
social movement in Europe that celebrated the power of man and moved away from
religious beliefs. Shelley uses the character Victor to illustrate an example
of this ideology going too far. Victor is inspired to pursu...Frankenstein was written during the popularisation of Renaissance Humanism: a social movement in Europe that celebrated the power of man and moved away from religious beliefs. Shelley uses the character Victor to illustrate an example of this ideology going too far. Victor is inspired to pursue natural sciences after seeing the devastating effects of a lightening bolt on a tree: this in itself is a metaphor for how science will rupture every aspect of Victor's own life. In his act of creation, he usurps the role of God and commits an unredeemable sin. The language surrounding the creature's creation is filled with metaphors of death, inverting the labour process with items from a slaughterhouse and body parts from graveyards. This is an example of how he destroys the sanctity of birth. However, he goes on immediately to commit an even more unholy act: that of abandoning his creation, going against all laws of nature and motherhood.
Shelley may be drawing on the story of Icarus, who aspired to touch the sun and who's wax wings melted, causing his death. This story of high aspiration leading to ruin is a moral story to warn other's not to become too proud. Victor's trajectory can also be compared to that of many biblical stories: including Milton's Paradise Lost. He can be seen as the character of Lucifer, falling from grace when he tries to transcend his rightful position: but he can also be seen as Adam, who eats from the tree of knowledge and is punished for knowing things humans are not allowed to. Shelley's novel shows a clear path of sin and then punishment for that sin. In Frankenstein there are clear examples of Victor being condemned by the world for his unforgivably transgressive actions, demonstrating that science must be handled ethically and with caution. see more
5 days ago
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