Science And Romanticism In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

1252 Words6 Pages
Frankenstein exposes the dangers of scientific exploration, the destruction reaped by progress for progress’ sake. Shelley cautions against playing God without consideration for the natural order, using the relationship between masculine power and feminine fragility to parallel the interaction between science and romanticism. The novel extols the romanticism of nature’s indescribable splendor and energy, and villainizes many of the concepts of the scientific revolution, especially those that encourage irreverent exploration, or the glorification of oneself. The turmoil of innovation and progress distracts from the values of the past, completely antithetical to a higher power. Author Fritjof Capra argues that nature exists as an inherently feminine power to for exploitation, yet Shelley’s text reinforces the notion of nature as both a feminine and masculine force, contrary to Capra’s assertion.
The text details the dichotomy of feminine and masculine power, yet insists on the existence of both in the natural world. Where Capra fixates his argument solely upon the femininity and exploitability of nature, Shelley also addresses nature’s masculine power. After the death of William, the nurturing, familiar and feminine landscape of the Alps allays Victor’s psychological distress, and he “[ceases] to fear” his horrid creation. Yet once Frankenstein renews the odious task of creating life, the desolate Orkneys stand as his foreboding backdrop. The vicious storms and steep crags of
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