Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein combines the fundamentals of Romanticism and the dangers of innovation. Published in 1823, the novel tells the story of Victor Frankenstein, a scientist motivated by progress, and his pursuit for human creation. As his creation comes to life, the monster epitomizes the wrongness in his life; moreover, the solutions to his problems lie within the sublimeness of nature.

The monster created by Frankenstein creates issues for its maker, yet a plethora of injustices are also inflicted upon the creation itself. “Did I request thee, Maker, from my clay To mould me Man, did I solicit thee From darkness to promote me?” This quotation, which is located at the beginning of the novel, highlights the feelings of the monster. While Frankenstein creates the monster in attempt to push scientific progress to a new level, the end product creates a new set of ethical issues. Did the monster ask to be created? Was it ethical and moral to bring this life into existence? Clearly, the monster faces obstacles previously unknown to him. He has no place in life, and his mission is unknown. This theme within the novel proves that, though scientific progress is good, we will never be sure what unintended consequences hide beneath human innovation.

I believe the most important theme in Frankenstein is nature. Similar to music, literature is reflective upon the time period in which it is created. For Mary Shelley, the fundamentals of Romanticism were a crucial aspect of the novel. Advocating for progress and innovation with emphasis and the beauty of the natural, Romanticism dominated the 19th Century. Nature serves as both a remedy for Victor Frankenstein and the monster. Victor Frankenstein retreats to the mountains as his problems develop, and the monster’s spirit rises as spring arrives. The problems that science and technology form need a solution. I fully believe the most prominent and effective solution to such problems lie within the environment we survive in.

 

Sources: Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft, 1797-1851. Frankenstein, Or, The Modern Prometheus : the 1818 Text. Oxford ; New York :Oxford University Press, 1998. Print.