What is "Frankenstein" Really About?

Essay by beegeeUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, December 2005

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The novel "Frankenstein", by Mary Shelley, is much more than a supernatural novel about a monster. The monster explores society on a much deeper level and provides us with several lessons. Then novel examines the issues of man and his creator. The author explores the theme of man playing God in society and the pitfalls endured when trying to do so. "Cursed (although i curse myself) be the hands that formed you!" (Shelley 78) Modern people embrace science as mankind's savior and the novel shows how sometimes science can bring about more evil then it cures. This is a testament to the novel's longevity and its relevance still today. Our modern society struggles with the ethics of things such as cloning and abortion. Victor Frankenstein uses his scientific knowledge to create life bypassing God and normal human creation. This is eerily similar to the ethical battle we face today with issues such as the cloning of animal and human life.

Another lesson that Shelley entwines into the story is the old adage of judging one by their appearance. In Volume 2, we begin to learn of the monsters awakening as a sentient being. We learn of the monster's emotional turmoil as he learns about his environment, while lacking the nurturing of a parent. The monster was not unlike a child that was cast off to learn the ways of the world vulnerable and alone. When the monster plots to introduce himself to the DeLacy family, the way that man judges people primarily by appearance is evident. Since DeLacy is blind, he does not judge the monster as horrible and speaks to him with kindness. But when Agatha, Safie, and Felix see the monster talking to DeLacy, their reaction is one not of kindness, but fear, as "Agatha fainted; and...