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Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus Essay

1112 words - 4 pages

Frankenstein, also known to some as "The Modern Prometheus" is a novel written by Mary Shelley who introduces the protagonist Victor Frankenstein, an unconventional scientist that has an obsession with reviving the dead to life thus creating the infamous Creature. Through an archetypal perspective Mary Shelley uses many allusions, analogies, and parallel structure to convey the underlying meaning of her novel as seen through the characters in her book such as Victor Frankenstein and the Creature. The message of her novel is that technology and science are both powerful tools and when using these tools for great power it can corrupt an individual leading to an evident downfall due to a lack of responsibility and monstrosity within oneself.
A brief synopsis of the novel Frankenstein begins with letters written by Robert Walton, an explorer, addressed to his sister about his adventures at sea near the North Pole where he meets Victor Frankenstein. After nursing Frankenstein back to health Mary Shelley uses frame story, a tactic that makes a story appear as if it isn't directly narrated by Victor Frankenstein but it's actually Robert Walton's recollection of what Victor Frankenstein told him. From Frankenstein's point of view the reader learns that Frankenstein isn't as fantastic as Walton describes him. Frankenstein tells the story of how he was obsessed with life which brings him to tempt the righteousness of humanity by reviving the dead. By doing so he breaks one of the natural rules of life by recreating it from the dead forbidden in many cultures. He is originally repulsed by the Creature's appearance and scared the Creature away with his reaction. Victor Frankenstein flees to the forest and abandons his responsibility to take care of the Creature while the Creature learns to fend for himself. After the Creature and Frankenstein confront each other once again Frankenstein promises to make the Creature a mate but he breaks his promise which enrages the Creature who vows to seek revenge on Frankenstein. This leads to the Creature unleashes his retribution on Frankenstein and his loved ones causing Frankenstein to become insane creating a cat and mouse chase between these two for years driving each other mad. Walter regains control of the narration and soon Frankenstein dies. The Creature shows up at his creator's deathbed crying and informs Walton of his side of his story, of how he had to survive in the forest by himself, learn English, and commit crimes all because Frankenstein neglected him. Walton sympathizes with the Creature but towards the end of the story the Creature says, "He has nothing to live for" and goes off into the Arctic to die.
Throughout the novel Mary Shelley indicates several archetypes seen in various characters. The archetypal perspective in literature means reoccurring plot patterns, images, symbols, shapes, numbers, colors, situations and even characters. All these traits help to convey the universal meaning in the...

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