Why has Frankenstein Prevailed?
Mary Shelly's Frankenstein has continued to hold public interest for nearly two hundred years. It has prevailed because of the timeless sentiments explored by the text. Perhaps the story is even more pertinent now, as it becomes more and more plausible. Since it's publication in 1818, the tale of a scientific experiment gone terribly awry has maintained relevance. The ambiguity of creation and of what constitutes as "natural" is and will continue to be an imperative question for some time.
The story details the experience of a scientist, Dr. Frankenstein, who discovers the secret of creation, and the propensity for this invention to initiate disaster. There is also an element of emotional relevance displayed in the text. The oppression faced by Frankenstein's creation and the hurt and anger he felt led to his eventual retaliation against his creator. This shows a distinct cycle of how misunderstanding and fear can lead to disaster.
The civilians that encountered and mistreated Frankenstein's creation, whether by nature or socialization, were simply afraid of what they did not understand, or of what they had not previously been exposed to. We are led to feel sorry for the "monster" who, despite his killing spree, seems only to be a product of his treatment.
A major theme explored in the text is the nature of creation. Many questions are brought up. Is it humane to tamper with nature? What are the consequenses of playing god? The story is a forewarning about the ethical issues surrounding advances in science. Shelly is advising caution when it comes to these breakthroughs in scientific research. This theme is especially significant in the twenty-first century. Science and technology are progressing at an expeditious rate. Many ethical and moral issues are being brought up every...