The novel “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley is not just a work of literature of the beginning of the 19th Century, but it is a work that depicts the young mind of Shelley. In addition, this book widely talks about the many scientific discoveries that took place between the 17th and the 18th Century. The “Frankenstein”, also known as the “Modern Prometheus” is a novel which was authored by Mary Shelley. She talks about a monster which was born by experiments of science. At the age of eighteen years she began to write the book which was later anonymously published when she reached the age of twenty one in the year 1818.
The perception of Mary Shelley on science is that it has been and continues to be a very powerful component of the society as well as the world. Nonetheless, Mary Shelley takes keen note that science has got enormous dangers if it is not controlled by the society. She has endeavored to preserve the truth in the elementary principles of human nature (Shelley, 5). The aspect of the extent to which uncontrolled science can be dangerous or the fear that Mary Shelley has towards science is exceptionally depicted in the character of Victor Frankenstein as he is driven by science to create his monster. The monster is well portrayed in the end when his application as well as reliance on science eventually caused his death. Shelly's life experiences are clearly demonstrated in her “Frankenstein” writing where she uses science to connect to the various scientific discoveries that took place from the 17th to the 19th Centuries. A significant discovery that took place during this period and one which she talks about in exceptional detail is the discovery of the nature of electricity.
Using the experiences of the much well known scientist called Benjamin Franklin who had done his studies on the different scientific properties of electricity during the 1700's. Benjamin Franklin is recognized for undertaking invaluable experiments using the kite as well as the lightning (Shelley, 12). In addition, he undertook further studies on the different benefits that electricity have in the medical field. In fact, the book “Frankenstein” can be said to be a product of the crucial discovery on electricity. In “Frankenstein”, Mary Shelley explains how the discovery of electricity as the basis under which life is created and also a monster is created. Electricity is seen as giving life to that which is lifeless. A good example, looking at the early areas of medical experiments where a frog has a dead leg is jolted through the injection of electricity. This serves as a connection between biology, electricity and chemistry.
Victor Frankenstein is seen as a person who fantasizing on the different possibilities of designing methods of creating life with the use of electricity power and the corpse of a human being. He actually becomes totally obsessed with the issue of regenerating life or bringing someone to life. Victor therefore undertakes immense research as well as studies widely on this issue and states that he succeeded in the discovering of what causes generation and life (Shelley, 35). Further he adds by saying that he became capable of giving life to a matter that is lifeless. He has come to a point where he recognizes the power in him as a result of the knowledge he has acquired and also is aware of the dangers that come with it. This can be found in his statement, “When I found how astonishing the power that was placed in my hands, for a long time I thought on the ways which I could use it". This is an open realization of significant danger that is in Victor's conscious and realization of unwillingness to ignore or disobey it.
Frankenstein's discovery gives an introduction of the duality of science, Victor Frankenstein and electricity explain how science experiments are done for a particular purpose which at times is a reverse purpose and mostly ends up causing negative effect. In the similar manner in which science develops a dual reaction, electricity has the same ability of dual creations. Electricity is known to have the power of magnetism which contains both the negative as well as the positive forces. This power of magnetism developed by electricity is applicable in many different aspects of Frankenstein approach which involves the good against evil. Victor is in a position where he understands the kind of power he has and yet continues to act with utter disregard of this fact (Shelley, 47).
In the beginning he is portrayed as having a lot of control as well as knowledge but in the end he is left powerless. Victor Frankenstein has a lot of greed which leads him to deep desire to create life and as a result this monster follows him to the end. It is astonishing how the monster, with which he is working extremely hard to create life for, has gotten to a point where it is now depriving life off him. The duality of Victor Frankenstein with his monster is viewed as a truly powerful force. It is discussed how Frankenstein together with his creation appeared as representing as a single being that is a being which forms relationship such as one of a doppelganger.
The challenge is in getting to distinguish between which among the two parts of the single being is a representation of the good and a representation of the evil. There is an assumption that the monster is the representation of the evil while it is Victor Frankenstein who had created the monster in the first place and he is seen as running away from the responsibility. He is a coward and leads to the demise of his younger brother and also to the death of the young girl who had been accused of his murder. The monster is in the particular moments depicted as possessing considerable rationality and intellect. Moreover, the monster appears to be a part of Frankenstein's conscious. As a result of the selfishness as well as the evil activities of Frankenstein, the monster begins to haunt him unceasingly. The perceptions of Mary Shelley on the subject of science as well as the harmful power it possess are intuitive. An outstanding example is by looking at the modern science which has brought about issues, many of which were the issues that Shelley was elaborating in the book “Frankenstein”. Shelley has introduced the aspect of ethics in the study of science which is designed to raise conscious to the subject of science.
There is an argument that Shelley uses literature to act as a conscious for science just as the monster acts as the conscious for Frankenstein. Shelley appears to recognize that the future of science could be extremely dangerous if it not controlled. “Frankenstein” is a book that written to warn the readers on the current as well as the past powers of science. Mary Shelley is depicted as capable of seeing 200 years into the future in 1818 by disclosing issues such as the current scientific discoveries of nuclear power and nuclear weapons and human cloning as would be the eventual cause for the death of the human race.