This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Is Mary Shelley's Novel "Frankenstein" A Celebration Or Criticism Of Romantic Ideology?

1774 words - 7 pages

Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein is a critique of the romantic ideology from it's time. Even though there are elements of a celebration to be found within the text, ultimately the criticisms contained in the novel far outweigh the celebratory points thus sending the message across that the novel is a criticism. The text has many different defined themes that are seen constantly in the text, including human nature, social upheaval and corruption, which help to exemplify Shelley's evident criticism of the time she lived in. She uses intertextuality to help her criticism have meaning by linking it to past stories that are placed high on a pedestal in a deity form. She also shows her disapproval of her period's ideology through her "romantic hero" which shifts from Frankenstein to his monster in the course of the novel. All these items help prove to us, as the readers, that Frankenstein is a critique rather than a celebration of romantic ideology.In Mary Shelley's novel, we see many negative aspects of human nature. In a period where individuality is supposed to be highly valued, that individuality is instantly shunned. The definitive individual in the novel is Frankenstein's creation. The creature is rejected almost instantly after he was woken up. As stated in "The Romantic Novel in England" by Robert Kiely (page 171) "The first thing that Frankenstein does after the creation of the monster is to reject him." Thus proving that we, as humans, will reject something on the basis of appearance. It is in our nature, we can't help it - it is how we live. Human nature makes us fear unconventionality and thus the creature is rejected by society on the basis of appearance. This is not the only example of human nature in the novel however. In Victor Frankenstein there is stubbornness which Mary Shelley foregrounds and exaggerates beyond normal human stubbornness. His stubbornness is in his belief that his creation of life was right. At the very end of the novel Frankenstein is not completely repentant as is seen when he begins to warn Walton not to make the same mistake he did ("Seek happiness in tranquility and avoid ambition, even if it be only the apparently innocent one of distinguishing yourself in science and discoveries. Yet why do I say this? I have myself been blasted in these hopes but another may succeed"). In this way human nature is exaggerated, as even though the monster has killed many people and destroyed the lives of not just Frankenstein, the creator still refuses to believe that it was entirely his fault. It is human nature not to accept that we are wrong, even when there is substantial evidence to prove that we are. Mary Shelley is cynical of human nature, especially the aforementioned two characteristics shown, and it is this cynicism, which heightens her criticism of Romantic ideology.Shelley uses the theme of social upheaval, incorporating mainly women's status in the society of that time, to help express her feelings at that time. It...

Find Another Essay On Is Mary Shelley's novel "Frankenstein" a celebration or criticism of romantic ideology?

Evaluation of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Essay

2343 words - 9 pages Evaluation of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Form, Structure and Plot      Frankenstein, an epistolary novel by Mary Shelley, deals with epistemology, is divided into three volumes, each taking place at a distinct time. Volume I highlights the correspondence in letters between Robert Walton, an Arctic seafarer, and his sister, Margaret Saville. Walton's letters to Margaret basically explain his expedition at sea and introduce Victor

Review of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

2499 words - 10 pages films. 'Frankenstein' is a non-supernatural novel; here Mary Shelley is dealing with things that haven't been dealt with before. Prior to Frankenstein the thoughts about life after death was only of ghosts, but Frankenstein created the zombies and other creatures we have in films now. Frankenstein has opened a whole new realm of Gothic Horror.

Frankenstein: Creator of Evil or Evil Creator? - a Response to Mary Shelley's view of science

980 words - 4 pages a clone deemed murder? Is circumventing God and creating life evil? Two hundred years ago, a writer named Mary Shelley wrote about what she thought would unfold if humans were to create life. This book, Frankenstein, is about a scientist who found himself in the same predicament as the scientists of tomorrow. In this book, Frankenstein studied life and the human body until he was able to see the secret to life. However, being an immoral and

Mary Shelley's The Modern Prometheus or Frankenstein

1199 words - 5 pages Mary Shelley originally intended to title her novel “The Modern Prometheus”. She ended up changing it to Frankenstein in the second publication. “The Modern Prometheus” was kept as an additional title, but Shelley separated it by “or”. From the start of the novel, the additional title foreshadows Shelley’s connection of Frankenstein to the myth of Prometheus. The many parallels between Mary Shelly’s novel Frankenstein and the Greek creation

Is Mary Shelley's Frankenstein typical of the horror genre?

1758 words - 7 pages Is Mary Shelley's Frankenstein typical of the horror genre? To answer the question above, I firstly need to be clear about the term 'genre.' Genre is a particular style in art or literature, some examples of genres are: romantic, Romance, science-fiction and Gothic. Each genre has its own personal features, for example the romance genre deals with love, it normally has exotic settings and it deals with emotional issues. I am going to try

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein-Passions of Romantic Prometheus;When ambition takes over

1900 words - 8 pages oppression. As such, he has been a favourite subject to writers. One of them was Mary Shelley. She wrote her most famous book - " Frankenstein", having the Greek Titan in mind. We can be sure of this, when looking at the book's subtitle which is- "the Modern Prometheus". Inspired by the scientific development of that time, she wanted to show what ambition and crossing the limits of nature could lead to. She thus took Prometheus from Greek mythology and

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein as a Portrait of Evil

1718 words - 7 pages Frankenstein as a Portrait of Evil     Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is more than just a story of a creation gone bad; it is rather a story of evil that compares Victor Frankenstein to Prometheus and his monster as a God-like figure. Mary was able to do this by all of the influences that she had. These influences made her able to write a new, "modern", Prometheus that did not directly call upon God, but, however, it did directly call on

A Sense of Gothic Expressed in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

941 words - 4 pages visualised Dante’s Divine Comedy. In literature, the Gothic novel is credited as starting with Horace Walpole’s Castle of Otranto, (1764) which characterised most of what would become the essential ingredients in the Gothic genre. I will for the purpose of this assignment discuss what constitutes ‘Gothic’ in Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein novel. Mary Shelly’s novel Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus was first published in London in 1818 and again

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

682 words - 3 pages Mary Shelley's Frankenstein An outsider is someone who is not a member of a particular circle or group of people He/She is isolated (separated) from other people and regarded as being different such as people looking, dressing, acting or talk differently. Outsiders have always been around and always will exist! Because society (i.e. - those who are not outsiders) like someone to pick on to make themselves feel better or superior

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

517 words - 2 pages Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Mary Shelley’s, Frankenstein, was written during a period of dramatic revolution. The failed French Revolution and Industrial Revolution seriously mark the novel with hints of moral and scientific revolution. Through Frankenstein, Shelley sends out a clear message that morally irresponsible scientific development can unleash a monster that can destroy its creator. Upon beginning the creation process, Victor

Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein"

757 words - 3 pages Mary Shelley's Frankenstein: Criticized HeroismHeroes are typically the world's saviors. Everyone wants to be one, although most of the true heroes in society are not recognized as they should be. Heroes are by definition those that are much admired or display true courage. For example, Hercules is the man of strength while Spiderman is here to protect his fellow man, but what about Mary Shelley's Victor Frankenstein? All these heroes, created

Similar Essays

Frankenstein By Mary Shelley: Is Frankenstein A Critique Or Admiration Of Romantic Ideology?

1460 words - 6 pages Question: Is Frankenstein a critique or admiration of Romantic Ideology? Frankenstein by Mary Shelley is both a critique and an admiration of Romantic beliefs and ideologies. Examples of Romantic Ideologies are present throughout most of the novel, along with both the truthfulness and admiration in such ideals, and the detrimental effects that these ideals impose on society. Mary Shelley uses the story of Frankenstein as a warning of such

Is Frankenstein A Critique Or Admiration Of Romantic Ideology?

1463 words - 6 pages is placed on this one idea. The idea is represented through one of the main characters, the creature, and is constant throughout the entire novel. Both criticism and support of Romantic Ideologies is evident in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.

Romantic Themes In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

1179 words - 5 pages Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley, follows the conquest of Victor Frankenstein, as he brings the dead to life, and then portrays his guilt and shame for creating such a thing. The monster seeks revenge on his creator’s family when he grasps that he will never be accepted by mankind. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is a gothic novel that utilizes several different romantic themes, such as individualism and alienation, glorification of the ordinary, and

Analysis Of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

1714 words - 7 pages Analysis of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Analyzing a book can be a killer. Especially when it contains tons of subtle little messages and hints that are not picked up unless one really dissects the material. Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is a prime example. It is analyzed by scholars all the time because of the subtle messages it sends through its themes, one of which needs to be discussed that is called Romanticism. Romanticism dealt with