Essay about Romanticism in Frankenstein

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Having lived between 18th and 19th century, author Mary Shelley was greatly influenced by the intellectual movement of Romanticism. Since she was closely associated with many of the great minds of the Romantic Movement such as her husband Percy B. Shelley and Lord Byron, it is natural that her works would reflect the Romantic trends. Many label Shelley¡¯s most famous novel Frankenstein as the first Science Fiction novel in history because its plot contains the process of a scientist named Victor Frankenstein creating a living human being from dead body parts, but that is only a part of the entire novel. At its core, Frankenstein is a product of Romanticism featuring the traits of a Romantic hero on a Romantic quest, the embracement of…show more content…
Frankenstein at first may seem to be promoting the ideas of Enlightenment with Walton exploring the North Pole and Frankenstein studying natural philosophy and trying to find the secret of life through the deductive reasoning of science. However, with Walton failing to explore the North Pole and Frankenstein¡¯s scientific creation spinning out of his control, Frankenstein emphasizes the theme of the danger of discovering knowledge with reason and science. Frankenstein devotes almost his entire life to the study of natural philosophy and the creation of the monster in eagerness to understand the secret of life, yet this act of creation eventually results in the destruction of everyone close to him and his ultimate isolation. Likewise, Walton attempts to surpass previous human explorations by navigating to reach the North Pole but eventually finds himself trapped between sheets of ice unable to reach his goal. Mary Shelley is conveying a message as a Romantic, with the characters of Walton and Frankenstein, that the thirst for knowledge and the attempt to explain life through science, both of which are valued during the Enlightenment movement, can be destructive. Nature¡¯s sublimity and intense emotions realized through connection with nature, a major emphasis of

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