I do not agree with the statement: “Students in the twenty first century have little to learn from Frankenstein.”
Mary Shelley’s novel demonstrates the type of language and intricate structure rarely found in novels today from which students in the twenty first century can learn much from. Mary Shelley puts forward timeless lessons of one’s confrontation with one’s self taking responsibility for your own actions, the result of being shunned from society and the dangers of tampering with nature. The novel foreshadows our very real fears of the double-sided nature of scientific ‘progress’ making it relevant today and proving the statement: “Students in the twenty first century have little to learn from Frankenstein.” very wrong.
Shelley puts forward the issue of one’s confrontation with one’s self due to Victor’s power of creation entailing this. Victor symbolises modern man; Victor’s is the predicament involving the moral and intellectual conflict between the values of self and the values of society: “Natural philosophy is the genius that has regulated my fate.” (p87)
Unfortunately, through Frankenstein’s arrogance he puts his personal interest above that of society and so is the cause of his own destruction.
This is an important lesson for the youth of the twenty first century to learn.
Shelley uses emotive language and an intricate structure from which students can learn to support a novel full of moral lessons. Shelley’s language creates pictures in her reader’s mind which intensify the atmosphere: “The sun is forever visible, it’s broad disk just skirting the horizon and diffusing a perpetual splendour.” (p11)
The structure of the novel subconsciously gives the reader the feeling of loose ends to which we must apply or imagination, just as science is uncertain and full of loose ends.
The technique of layering the novel that Shelley uses adds a sense of unravelling a mysterious myth. Students studying Frankenstein in the twenty first century can learn a lot from the structure techniques and layering that Shelley uses in the novel.
A value drilled into the youth of the twenty first century is to take responsibility for your actions. This lesson is demonstrated when Victor Frankenstein, displaying a lack of moral forethought, rejects his creation leaving it to fend for itself both physically and mentally. Victor’s attempts to make excuses for his lack of responsibility prove futile and he pays the ultimate price: “My feelings are profound, but I...