In most readers’ minds, there seems to be no doubt as to who the real monster is in Frankenstein. The definition of the word “monster” is “any fictional creature, usually found in legends or horror fiction that is often hideous and may produce fear or physical harm by either its appearance or its actions” (Powell, 182). The creature that Frankenstein created was not only physically hideous but also murdered many innocent human beings. However, when we look beyond his physical appearance and start understanding the reasons behind his actions, we begin to realize that the monster is not the real monster in the story, his creator is. Although Victor Frankenstein creates a monster in the novel, he himself becomes the real monster throughout the process.
Frankenstein was written in a time when romanticism and realism were two competing styles of cultural thought and practice. Realism was intended to convey the real experience of other people or cultures, whereas romanticism focused on the heroic power of an individual. Romantics’ work focused on nature, mysticism, and magic. Romantics were also quite suspicious of the science industry and technology, which is something we can clearly observe in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. This novel is filled with the heroic power of an individual but also filled with troubling questions about science.
After Luigi Galvani, professor of Medicine and Anatomy at the University of Bologna, published his research on animal electricity in 1791,