Themes of “Frankenstein”

Themes of “Frankenstein”

Life, Awareness and Presence

This theme can be easily named the main style of the book. Mary Shelley questions the essence of life by making her hero an inspired researcher willing to play god and resolve the secret of death. After completing his comprehensive work he can not comprehend the existence of awareness in his creation and all occasions that followed have its source here. He developed an apparently living body however did he likewise developed a soul, a mind? These questions are eventually responded to in a manner, by means of representation of Victor’s encounters with his creature, however the nature of life, awareness and presence remain a secret. Quotes on this style show that even Victor himself continuously doubts it and is unable to answer concerns that haunted him till the end of his life.


In duration of “Frankenstein” creation, the science was perceived as something between a victory of human mind and magic. Progressive school of thought tried to leave “alchemy” behind, so Victor is most likely a little old-fashioned, in spite of his set of mind. Moreover, while classic science is a fruit of extensive studying, young Frankenstein jumps kind one branch to another: practically every quote from his memories points at restlessness of his mind. It is totally the author’s will that he eventually reaches the success. Mary Shelley’s book can be perceived as a caution, advising that science must be approached with a specific cautiousness,


This is just another significant theme of the book. Victor sees his animal and right away identifies it as a “brute”. No wonder, a human body consisting of varied pieces stitched is not an admirable view, provide or take. Surprisingly enough, the description of monster’s body suggests that it might be stunning, save for seams and eyes. For Victor, the monster is an ugly thing, probably since the creator understands the origins of its development, so the medical professional never ever gives beast’s nature a second thought.

On the other hand, all great persons, specifically ladies, are referred to as beauties right from fairy tale (see quotes). They are simply too perfect to be real: the style of than epoch demanded this. By giving the beast a voice, a cultured speech and a variety of excellent objectives, Shelley reveals that appeal is not an obligatory home of an excellent nature. Remember, the anonymous animal turned bad only after being threated bad– since of its ugliness.


After unavoidable marginalization, the only thing that a minimum of looks like some emotions is left for monster: vengeance. Really, it is a revenge of abandoned child, thrown in the huge unidentified world without any possible aid. Victor never behaved as an accountable person, so most likely this revenge is well should have, specifically after he assures to make a female for his creature and later damages a nearly total work. The most prominent example of his irresponsibility, besides the greatest one, is his fast marriage with Elizabeth– right after the beast guarantees that he will exist at his wedding night.

Provided the way Victor treats his creation (see quotes), he deserves it well, particularly after destruction of beast’s future female body. That was the last straw that started the massacre.


Theme of family forms a particular background of the novel. Young and not too delighted in her life, Mary Shelley uses a significant amount of text to inspect this element. The reader sees the Victor’s household with universal dispute of generations; it is rather possible that Victor’s vices mainly have their roots in his relations. One may say that family treated a young hopeful researcher quite well: he was able to be tense and inconsistent in his education, lived abroad and so on. On the other hand, his father’s obvious disapproval of Victor’s inspiration was that proverbial stone that began an avalanche.

At this, Victor weds Elizabeth Lavenza, who was adopted and raised by his mother. Appears like Victor, in spite of his rebelliousness, feels quite comfy about weding a woman who was so dutifully gotten ready for him in his own family. Beast or no monster, the presence of love in this marriage is doubtful (see the oversweet estimates portraying Elizabeth) and, most likely, would not be happy: Victor is not rather a family man.

The only pleased family is the among De Lacey and Felix, Agatha and Safie, however again, they are too sweet and angelic to be true. Shelley does not truly think in family, that’s all.


Victor’s explorations were basically useless and too enthusiastic, but Mary Shelley provides to reader yet another popular character: Robert Walton. He is rather enthusiastic too, however at least his ambitions are much easier to reach and far more practical: he wishes to reach the North Pole and trace a secure way through seas (see quotes). His exploration looks worthy and beneficial, this guy had actually committed himself to grand job. A simple yet deep thought is sent through this character and his deeds: a male must understand his limitations. Walton tried and failed, returning to England with dissatisfaction. Oddly enough, he never ever thought that his journey worked, both for him and for those with whom he will have the ability to share his experience. In spite of his loneliness and a sort of misanthropy, he will. Possibly later he would comprehend that his explorations were ultimately valuable.

Language and Interaction

Victor (e.g., Mary Shelley) did not bother to call his creature, thus the poor monster has no real identification. The concept of personality keeps leaving him, for this reason the easiness of his homicidal actions: he has no proper perception about worth of human life and personality (see, for example, quotes of his discussion with William). How to interact with this animal at all? Furthermore, though this odd intellectual can self-education and did learn to speak and even had developed a rather advanced speech way, he often has no chance to say a word: his appearance prevents people from wanting to communicate. As quickly as he gets the chance to speak, his motivations and intentions are exposed in eloquent saga (rather pleasurable reading, see quotes).

Compassion and Forgiveness

In spite of her at times too sweet and romantic style, in this aspect Mary Shelley is rather sarcastic and poignant: empathy is uncommon in Frankenstein’s world. Victor goes through a row of troubles and deaths of his kin however practically never ever reveals any emotions that last more than 2 or 3 short paragraphs. Even the death of his “most valued” Elizabeth causes only a number of oversweet sentences. Victor discusses that he was devastated but his concentration on other problems shows that this devastation was not a big deal– see quotes.

Each other character seems to have his own fish to fry and does not appreciate anybody, so all manifestations of compassion are left for monster. This practically human being comprehends other’s discomfort and is willing to help– well, wanted, prior to his first encounter with furious peasants.


Victor’s self-sacrifice looks outrageous and selfish, after he in fact sacrificed his relations and his entire family to result of his irresponsibility. He envisions himself as a hero and never appears to comprehend that his method to so-called sacrifice is paved with blood and bones of (potentially) precious ones. For instance, offered the information of his wedding event night and beast’s see, only a completely selfish person can concern the very same conclusions (Victor believes that the beast will eliminate him, in spite of monster’s promise to kill all he loves), so all Victor’s musings about the sacrifice for the sake of humanity look a little far-fetched and do not prove out. Anyhow, the book’s subtitle is “Modern Prometheus”, so the theme of sacrifice is here– however not Victor’s, as it turns (see quotes).

Lies and Deceit

Lies and deceit are the engine that drives the plot. Would this book be that fascinating and captivating reading, would it give a life to countless replicas, motion pictures and references if not for Victor’s unconcealed lie and stupidity? The answer is “no”. This theme is closely associated to the following one, however here are some words to say: when Victor chose to deceive his “son”, he reluctantly exposed all his vices at the same time– irresponsibility (covered by proclaimed care about mankind, see quotes), inability to be truthful and keep a pledge, aversion to communicate with the monster and treat him properly so on, the entire arrangement of true Victorian good manners in the worst sense. Dr. Frankenstein is too focused on keeping his hands and credibility tidy to be a truthful person.


Real gentleman keeps his tricks and preserves his credibility. Victor is ashamed of his creature, so he keeps its existence in trick. Even when the requirement to notify at least someone about it becomes immediate (numerous people passed away), Frankenstein keeps his silence. He is a hero, this is his deed and he will handle it himself, no matter what. His lovely (and irritative) little sibling killed; his sincere servant, Justine, is accused in murder rather of the monster; the sweetest animal, Elizabeth, is killed on her wedding night; all these events would cut the ground from under everyone and make a secret keeper to spill all possible beans about the menacing monster– however this is not Victor’s case. Quotes from his musings on the subject offer only lame reasons of a selfish individual with myopic state of mind.

Fate and Free Will

Victor is continuously whimpering about the fate (see various quotes). In spite of his education, which is inconsistent but rather great, and his progressive thinking, he blames all his ill luck on fate (what else, he is a hero and he understands it). His free choice is uncertain, too: no one forced him to wed Elizabeth right when the beast hovers at his life horizon; no one prohibited him to secure poor Justine from unfair accusation; no one demanded keeping the presence of the monster in trick. At all these points (and more) he had a choice and made it. The result is known.

On the other hand, the bad monster takes his fate in his hands as much as possible: the fact of his self-education and his frightening perseverance in chasing his creator are strong proofs on this point. The beast had not much of options due to his primary condition but, especially in case of De Lacey’s family, he at least looked for a much better way to deal with human beings.

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