Ethical And Scientific Issues In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

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In her work Frankenstein, Mary Shelley discusses and criticizes both scientific issues and moral attitudes of the time. Shelley uses Frankenstein as a platform for taking a side on issues, in part by speculating on what might happen if current boundaries were breached and norms challenged. Scientifically, Shelley takes on the good versus evil debate, giving views from both sides through her characters. Morally, Shelley examines the amount of responsibility one must take for their actions. In addition, Shelley examines the possibility and consequences of “playing God,” a moral and scientific issue. Shelley first explores the good versus evil debate. Shelley examines both views on this issue. The creature believes himself inherently good. The…show more content…
Victor makes a creature that he believes evil, and leaves it alone for an unnecessarily extended amount of time. Shelley criticizes this lack of responsibility. During the time that Frankenstein does not attend to the creature, the creature kills William. Victor realizes that he could have prevented this death if he would have controlled his creature. After this epiphany, Victor tries to take more responsibility for the creature’s actions, to the point, that he eventually becomes intent on destroying his own creation. Shelley, thus takes a stand on the importance of responsibility, by showing her reader the consequences of irresponsibility. The third issue, the question of “playing God” encompasses both moral and scientific issues. When Victor creates life, he crosses a line scientifically. No man has ever created life where none existed. Furthermore, Victor crosses a line morally. Victor elevates himself to a platform above the human race by taking both life and death into his hands. Shelley criticizes the idea of creating life through everything that goes wrong. Victor’s greatest accomplishment becomes his biggest failure and his demise. This paradox aids Shelley in warning against crossing boundaries that should not be
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