Themes In Frankenstein Seen In Contemporary Society

1804 words - 7 pages

In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, many themes that are present are also present in contemporary society. Many of these themes are universal. The term universal pertains to the "relating to, extending to, or affecting the entire world or all within the world; worldwide; all time periods" (American Heritage Dictionary pg. 1401). These universal themes are seen everyday in life; the theme of playing God, the theme of having control, parenting, and the theme of seeing the perpetrator as the victim or visa versa. These themes reflect the way in which people live today. In Frankenstein, both Victor and the monster are seen as playing God. The monster is a victim, who is seen as a perpetrator, and Victor is seen here as a parent, a neglectful parent.To start off, the first theme that is present in Frankenstein that is also seen in modern everyday life is the theme of playing God. Victor here plays the role of God. He has stolen the power to create life from God, just as Prometheus had stolen the power to create fire from the Gods. Although Victor possesses the knowledge to put life into an inanimate creature, he doesn't possess the wisdom to use it wisely. The scene where he creates the monster is a biblical allusion to creation. "It was already one in the morning; the rain pattered dismally against the panes, and my candle was nearly burnt out, when, by the glimmer of the half-extinguished light, I saw the dull yellow eye of the creature open; it breathed hard, and a convulsive motion agitated its limbs" (Pg. 56). At this moment in time the monster is playing Adam, and Victor, his creator, God. Victor creates the monster as an innocent being without sin. The monster is not born evil, nor is his corruption his fault. The monster becomes a violent creature after he learns of humanity, and what a cold, cruel thing it can be. The monster was shunned, beaten, chased, and persecuted. His reward for saving a girl was being shot. He was like Adam, in that Adam was also born innocent by God, until "he tasted of the Tree of Knowledge and opened his eyes to his world, and was then cast from the blissful paradise of innocence" (The Forbidden Fruit). This relationship between Adam and the monster is very important because from this another theme can be seen; a victim being seen as a perpetrator.One constant theme that is seen everyday in contemporary society is the theme of perpetrator as victim. In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, the monster is a victim, however he is cast out as a perpetrator. When one looks superficially at the monster, he sees a cruel and heartless being. But when one looks closely and deeper he sees a poor soul that is trying to fit into society but is being shunned, beaten, and chased. "I am alone and miserable; man will not associate with me; but one as deformed and horrible as myself would not deny herself to me" (Pg. 137). When the monster is first created, Victor is horrified at the way he looks. ""His limbs were in proportion, and I had...

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