Summary: Historical Influence On Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

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Wes Flaa
Mrs. Phillips
History
11/30/15 Historical Influence on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein In 1816, the classic novel Frankenstein, was written by Mary Shelley after a dream that inspired the tale. The themes in the story are reflective of the time period in which she lived. The Early 19th Century was a time of great turmoil and a period when many movements were occurring simultaneously in Europe and rapid changes were occurring in society. The Enlightenment or Age of Reason, which spanned from roughly 1685-1815 (History, 1) had been the major influence on the culture. The focus of the period was on logic, reason and the pursuit of knowledge. Mary Shelley grew up among family and friends who strongly believed in the
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There was tremendous growth in the use of machines for the production of goods in what would be called The Industrial Revolution. Society began to shift from a primarily agricultural and rural way of life to a more urban lifestyle. Factories were built that could employ many workers and produce large quantities of goods. An unfortunate down side of this was the rapid spread of contagious diseases. The mortality rate rose sharply due to the number of people living and working in close proximity(uidaho,4). The idea that the advancement of science was more important than human life is demonstrated by Dr. Frankenstein’s desire to go farther in the field than anyone had ever gone before, regardless of the cost. He said, “In other studies you go as far as others have gone before you, and there is nothing more to know; but in a scientific pursuit there is continual food for discovery and wonder.” (Shelley,…show more content…
Frankenstein can be viewed as a reflection of Romanticism. He is immediately abandoned after he is given life by Frankenstein. He feels rejected and lonely and only wants a connection with his creator. He is left to learn through observing other humans from the shadows and teaches himself the ways of the world. He quickly realizes that he will never be accepted by anyone, especially his creator. Monster tells Victor, “All men hate the wretched; how, then, must I be hated, who am miserable beyond all living things! Yet you, my creator, detest and spurn me, they creature, to whom thou art bound by ties only dissoluble by the annihilation off one of us.” (Shelley, 86) Even though Monster kills, he is seen a the more sympathetic character because he shows emotion and is rejected by Dr. Frankenstein who pushes the boundaries of science, but refuses to accept responsibility for his
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