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Frankenstein Essay

1804 words - 8 pages

Percy Bysshe Shelley, as could be expected, gave Frankenstein an excellent review. He more lovingly dealt with flaws in the novel than other critics did. He was the only reviewer of the time to recognize why Frankenstein's human creation had turned to evil. Percy actually mentioned that the creature had originally been good, and was only turned evil by his poor reception by society (Shelley 185). He points out, like no other critic did, the scene where the creature introduces himself to the blind DeLacey, and is perceived a kind being. It is only when the sight-endowed DeLaceys return, that the being is again hated. Percy also points out the closing scene - one that is hard to forget - where ...view middle of the document...

" They were upset about a possible lack of morals, and worried readers might miss the point that such knowledge as presented in the book would only destroy people, as it did to Victor Frankenstein in the novel.The reviews only get harsher. The British Critic was completely offended by the book; they wrote, "these volumes have neither principle, object, nor moral… when we did not hurry over the pages in disgust, we sometimes paused to laugh outright." These critics even went on to complain about Mary's lack of organization of thought. They ended by dismissing the novel "without further comment" because she was female, a condition, which they believed, was "an aggravation of that which is the prevailing fault of the novel (its offensiveness)." John Crocker of The Quarterly Review actually called Mary Shelley insane. The magazine believed that the only praise they could give Frankenstein was moderated criticism: "But when we have thus admitted that Frankenstein has passages which appall the mind and make the flesh creep, we have given it all the praise which we dare to bestow." John Crocker was, like many others of the time, afraid of this new book. He saw it as improper and disgusting, just as the magistrate at Evian (to whom Frankenstein attempted to tell his story) did. The Edinburgh Magazine and Literary Miscellany had a bit of a problem with a mere mortal obtaining the title "Creator," though they expressed a desire to read more by this author, so long as she prescribed to "the established order of nature as it appears." However, for those who were offended more, it was just an unacceptable and unspeakable wrong in their eyes.Today, Frankenstein is regarded as a classic. It is much more appreciated now than it was during its time, as is the case with many other famous pieces of literature. It is the novel by which all other horror novels are measured.Frankenstein has brought up many discussions on man's right to "play God," and in particular on cloning. Scientist have cloned sheep, and need only find how to convert that knowledge to humans to clone them. They probably have not yet read Frankenstein, or did not get the message.As for reviews, Frankenstein was reviewed as a book when it came out about 180 years ago. Modern reviews are much more in depth, and concentrate more on the moral implications and deeper relationships between the characters than just the writing style of Mary Shelley.Marilyn Butler examined Frankenstein by its effects on the public, and effects of then current scientific topics and beliefs. In its original form, the book was viewed by some as blasphemous. After more than a decade of controversy, religious and scientific discovery, and Mary Shelley looking at her book in retrospect, she reissued it, revised so as to be less offensive, including a sort of apology in the Preface. As Butler said, it was in this new version, released in 1831, that the religious ponderings of Victor Frankenstein, on which much modern...

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