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Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein Essay

1577 words - 6 pages

Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley, to this day is one of the most important and largest books in the genre that is Romanticism. Romanticism itself, is made up of multiple elements such as these; Supernatural, emotion, imagination, nature, social progression, endless potential, and spiritual growth. Throughout the whole story of Frankenstein, Mary Shelley implements most, if not all, of the elements of romanticism, whether the elements are portrayed by the monster or by Victor Frankenstein himself. These elements are present in every part of the story of Frankenstein and are strongly shown through the writings by Shelley. It is no question that Mary Shelley is a writer of the romantic period of 1800 to 1850.
First and fore most, the Romantic Movement is one of the most important literary periods in history; affecting the literature, music and art of the period. Before discussing the aspects of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, it is a necessity to explain the ideological groundwork of romanticism. Many critics say that Frankenstein is more sophisticated and higher class than other writings of the time because the novel, “initiates a rethinking of romantic rhetoric” (Guyer 77). Also, Shelley implements the elements of romanticism in different ways making the novel “more complex than we had earlier thought” (Goodall 19). “The romantic period was characterized by a marked departure from the ideas and techniques of the literary period that preceded it, which was more scientific and rational in nature. Romantic poetry and prose, by contrast, was intended to express a new and visionary relationship to the imagination (Fite 17). For the relevance of this essay it would have to talk about the subject of the actual use of Romanticism in the writings of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. In the beginning she writes about how Victor Frankenstein discovers the fiendish world of alchemy, a medieval chemical science and speculative philosophy aiming to achieve the transmutation of the base metals into gold, the discovery of a universal cure for disease, and the discovery of a means of indefinitely prolonging life.” (Merriam-Webster). Harold Bloom, a professor of the humanities at Yale University states, “If Victor Frankenstein’s frenzied discovery of the “new alchemy” makes him the first mad scientist, the existence of the Monster presents him with the first and most enduring symbol of modern technology”(Bloom 13). When Bloom says this he simply gives an example of the elements of social progression and endless potential. These are not the only elements that Mary Shelley uses in the story of Frankenstein. An example of another element given by Professor Bloom, is the element of emotion.
Bloom writes, “The Monster is, on the deepest and most personal level…” perceived to be a, “…projection of Mary Shelley’s feelings of isolation”(Bloom 14). This clearly displays that Mary Shelley portrayed his emotions through the Monster in his book. Bloom also tells of the...

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