Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein is a gothic novel which utilizes the idea of human beings having an endless and encouraging, however typically harmful, thirst for knowledge. At the heart of Frankenstein, is a lesson about the search for knowledge, and the dangers that accompany the pursuit. In her book, Victor Frankenstein discovers to develop life from various departed human functions however as the unique progresses the creature which Frankenstein creates rebels versus its creator. Shelley’s Frankenstein can be considered an allegory for the commercial transformation– a warning that looking for excessive power can be unsafe.
Frankenstein also alludes to myths such as “Prometheus: Bringer of Fire”, “Paradise Lost” and “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” and it is through the conversation of these Intertextual references, in addition to the lead characters’ characterisation that this analysis of the pursuit for understanding and its effects is achieved. Frankenstein mentions “Prometheus” and through these 2 texts; readers are demonstrated how the pursuit for understanding has its repercussions. The parallels that are seen in between Prometheus and Victor are exposed as quickly as Victor’s story begins.
The first chapter explains the kind of household that Victor grew up with. His forefather’s had actually been “for many years counsellors and syndics; and his daddy had filled several public situations with honour and credibility” (Ch. 1). This type of upbringing carefully connects to the upbringing Prometheus had actually– raised with the gods, he, like Victor was raised in a world of power, knowledge and wealth. As Victor’s narrative continues, the correlation in between him and Prometheus grows further as he describes his youth and his increasing desire for understanding.
This Intertextual link is vital in enabling the reader to see Victor’s real character in the relation he needs to Prometheus as he is popular in Greek mythology to have been very passionate for knowledge. This curiosity resulted in the ability for both Prometheus and Victor to create life– Victor in developing his animal and Prometheus, the developer of humanity; producing man from clay. This intertext’s value is therefore seen because both of these ‘greater beings’ defied even higher powers in their indulgent quest for understanding and boundaries.
Also, these indulgencies are more illustrated when it becomes clear that Victor is seeking some kind of praise from his production: “A brand-new species would bless me its developer and source many delighted and exceptional natures would owe their give me” exclaimed Victor. (Ch. 8) As the analysis specifies there are repercussions in the pursuit for knowledge, and readers are able to see how Frankenstein mirrors Prometheus, Victor’s failure is anticipated.
Prometheus defies Zeus by fooling him and stealing fire from him after it was prohibited. As punishment, Zeus chains Prometheus to a rock and has his liver consumed daily by an eagle– and it grows back to be devoured once again the next day. This is considerable in how it associates with Victor’s own never ending demise, which comes in the deaths of everyone he’s close to. The isolation and deep distress Prometheus suffers stresses Victor’s mirrored situation as their thirst for knowledge led to these repercussions.
The Intertextual link between “Prometheus” and Frankenstein strengthens the analysis of how the pursuit for knowledge leads to repercussions. “Paradise Lost” written by John Milton consists of numerous similarities with Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. “Paradise Lost” represents an angel– described as Satan, tempts God’s human development to do wrong, harming their relation with God. This is rather alike Frankenstein as the animal seeks vengeance on Victor, his developer, to feel grief and sorrow.
The characters in Frankenstein are a collection of those in “Paradise Lost”. Victor parallels Eve in the Garden of Eden because they would do whatever it required to gain the understanding of all things, while the Creature represents Satan due to the fact that they both wanted to break devoid of their developers and get an opportunity at their own decisions. Shelley mentions “Paradise Lost” in order to develop a connection between the Creature and Satan when the animal attempts to ‘sympathise with his sensations and cheer his gloom’ (Ch. 15).
However in an earlier chapter, Shelley suggests an affiliation between the Animal and Satan and the both make a vow to destroy something good. In the start of Frankenstein, Victor was alerted of the effects of his gluttony, whereas Satan tricked Eve into a desire too strong to quit. Eve’s role in the Garden of Eden triggered her to feel secondary and she presumes that if she might reveal Adam that she can work on her own, then she could construct self-confidence in herself. When the snake, Satan, stealthily assaults her, she is prone to his gadgets.
These destructive deceptions explaining the omniscient power just deepen her curiosity. Satan then constructs an argument specifying that if God requests that Adam and Eve to not dedicate sin, then how would they be able to tell what is ideal and wrong if God keeps them ‘low and ignorant’. This act leads to the destruction of man, simply as how Victor’s desire resulted in his ending. Through the use of allusions, which result in the intertextuality of the novel Frankenstein and “Paradise Lost”, Mary Shelley creates an awareness of the threat of the unmanageable desire for knowledge.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein are allegories to the inevitable desolation in contradicting God and nature through acquisition of prohibited understanding. In “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” the Rime tells the tale of a wedding guest faced by an ancient mariner who informs a chilling tale of his exploration to the South Pole where he shot down an innocent and serene albatross, used throughout the poem as a sign of nature and pureness– and the supernatural revenge that followed.
He hence doomed himself to a presence in which he must travel the land forever informing his tale. In Frankenstein, Victor Frankenstein is afflicted by his monster produced in what can be considered a mockery of God, violating and understanding just too late that the knowledge he looked for was not suggested for guy. This trespassing of God in the unjustified thirst for knowledge is shared in between each of the texts. There are also other links in between the poem and Frankenstein, such as the involvement of the Southern Pole.
Frankenstein starts with letters from Watson, who was likewise an Antarctic mariner, entailing his travels to the ice cap where he meets similar problems as the ancient mariner did when he first shot down the albatross. This is because of the symbolic nature of the arctic continent as a desolate and removed place. Additional linking the two texts together is the regret that Victor and the mariner feel after the deaths that follow their actions. Both not just feel guilty for triggering the deaths of the people near to them, but feel guilty for surviving when they died.
Through contradicting God and nature through the acquisition of understanding, Shelley and Coleridge create the analysis of understanding leading to effects and failures. Frankenstein was composed throughout an early phase of the industrial transformation, at a time of dramatic advances in science and technology. The coming of the industrial transformation was the start of an age where the difficult unexpectedly appeared possible. With the arrival of new technology, the world saw the dawn of early Industrialism.
This duration of industrialisation emerged in Great Britain in the mid 1700’s and by the 1850’s Western Europe was well on its method to becoming a globalised and industry-dominated entity. Frankenstein reflects fear of the scientific revolution and symbolises lots of elements of the advanced spirit of the age. In the novel, Shelley demonstrates how male’s look for concealed understanding could eventually lead to downfall and chaos. She composed Frankenstein as a warning against the growths of modern-day male in the commercial transformation.
Shelly was making a statement towards the early stages of the industrial transformation which the monster itself represented the increase of industrialisation and the supremacy of ‘male over nature’. Shelley speaks of what knowledge would do, in this case what technological improvements would do, and represents it as the Creature. In context, as the novel Frankenstein was composed throughout the times of the industrial transformation, it can connect to the analysis of how knowledge can have extreme repercussions, and during the commercial revolution, understanding represents the technological improvement.
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- Knowledge In Frankenstein
Therefore Shelley is trying to reveal readers the outcome of the commercial transformation if it went too far, and how the pursuit for knowledge has its dangers offering readers an awareness of the threats of knowledge. Mary Shelley’s unique Frankenstein can be translated in lots of ways, among them is that the pursuit of knowledge will result in a genuinely defying repercussion. This interpretation is created through the allusion of other texts such as “Paradise Lost” by John Milton, “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge and “Prometheus”.
Through these Intertextual links, readers are able to see the connections in between Victor, the Animal, Prometheus, Adam and Eve, God, Satan and the mariner, the desire for understanding is shown in these texts resulting in extreme repercussions for the significant characters. John Milton’s “Paradise Lost” is a biblical allegory which alludes to Frankenstein where the Animal and Satan can be compared presenting their repercussions in each. This is likewise achieved by comparing Victor with Prometheus.
Both Victor and Prometheus produce life with their knowledge, leading to the perpetual penalty for Prometheus and the demise of Victor. The analysis of the pursuit for knowledge is also produced as Frankenstein is an allegory for the industrial revolution– a caution that looking for excessive power can be unsafe. These conventions together, demonstrate how pursuing for understanding and wanting it will cause serious effects.