The Central Ideas Revealed In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

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Did you know that Frankenstein was written by a teenager in the shadow of tragedy? To say the least, Mary Shelley’s teenage years were action-packed. At the young age of 18, she traveled to Switzerland, where she along with others were challenged to compose the best ghost story. In addition, the death of her six week old daughter, as well as the suicide of her half-sister must have contributed to the novel (Pellet). That being said, the central ideas used in her 1818 masterpiece are far beyond what any ordinary teenager would have considered. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley is a Gothic fiction novel that accompanies a young scientist’s triumph, in his attempt to emulate God and have his name glorified by humanity. His ruthless quest for knowledge proves to be hazardous and, more importantly, he finds himself lonely and miserable due to his inescapable…show more content…
Why did I live? Why, in that instant, did I not extinguish the spark of existence which you had so wantonly bestowed? I know not; despair had not yet taken possession of me; my feelings were those of rage and revenge” (“Frankenstein”). After the creature is abandoned by Victor, and then mistreated by the De Lacey family, he turns to malevolence. However, in taking revenge, the creature ensures that he will never be accepted by society. Furthermore, revenge does not only consume the creature, it consumes Victor as well. While the creature is not considered a “monster” at first, the desire for revenge transforms him and Victor into true monsters who have no aspirations beyond destroying each other (“Frankenstein Themes: Revenge”). As stated previously, Victor ultimately finds himself dead because of his unavoidable loathing of the creature. Additionally, at the end of the novel, the creature implies that the flame motivated him to create havoc, but now that Victor is dead, he is slowly dying. “I shall ascend my funeral triumphantly, and exult in the agony of the torturing flames”
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