It is evident that the themes in Frankenstein are by no accident. I will take a philosophical look at three themes that interest and stand out most to me. Death, as we know it, is inevitable. Mary Shelley incorporates death into her piece in a way that I haven?t seen before. It takes a role in nearly every other aspect of the novel. Another theme is just the opposite of death: life. Frankenstein becomes obsessed with learning about death, and then, he becomes obsessed with prolonging or creating life. He wishes to bring a huge scientific discovery that will enlighten the world and of course, he fails at that task. Not only does he fail at that, he brings destruction, turmoil, and despair on himself and amongst his family and friends. Frankenstein wanting to do good and having good intentions, but ending up doing nothing good is called the Prometheus theme. However, he does succeed at creating life. Even then, after he created life, he abandoned it. How could he bring enlightenment to the world if he doesn?t show it by caring for his creation? This topic is known as the ?Adam and Eve? theme. Now, let?s go into depth!
In my opinion, the most important death in the novel is Frankenstein?s mother. Her death triggered the bitterness and depression that arose in Frankenstein and influenced him to study death. His despair took over and he took it to the extreme. He actually became obsessed with death. He spent 3 years at Ingolstadt studying death. He said, ?To examine the causes of life, we must first have recourse to death.? He examined the skeleton of the dead and he even studied the natural decaying cycle. During this period of study, he wanted to create life and bring a creature into the world that would bring joy over the great accomplishment of creating a life. He was trying to be God-like. He succeeded at creating the life, but then he deserted him because he was ashamed of the thing that he had created. Upon birth of his creation, Frankenstein does not rejoice or reach out to his child, but instead rushes out of the room, incredibly repulsed by the disgusting and abnormal physical appearance of his creation. The birth itself is unlovingly described: ?I saw the dull yellow eye of the creature open: it breathed hard and a convulsive motion agitated its limbs.? This act completes his desertion of the monster. Indeed, many parents follow this same pattern of neglect and abuse, sadly as Frankenstein did.
The monster greatly resembles God?s creation, Adam. The monster merely wanted to be accepted by society or feel loved. He wanted an affectionate companion. Just the same with Adam, and God gave him a companion Eve. Adam and Eve received the loving and caring of a master. That is all that the monster wanted. Frankenstein couldn?t even bear to do that. He couldn?t even stand the sight of the monster. Frankenstein virtually punished the monster and the monster did nothing wrong. However, God punished Adam and Eve when they violated the law, and even then, he didn?t desert them. The monster cannot be held accountable for his abandonment, for he was forsaken and unloved from the moment he was created. Frankenstein never processed any loving feelings for his creation. However, God took full responsibility for his creation, nurtured him and never fully abandoned him. The creature is fully aware of the absence of a parental figure in his life. His encounter with the De Laceys?, displaces him from his natural state, and displays to him the family unit, education, and the laws and customs of society. The monster understands his alienation from society. Because of Frankenstein?s abandonment and society?s rejection, the monster became a wretch and fiend determined to pay revenge on society and even more so on his creator. It all started when the monster killed William?
William?s death was very sudden and since he was so young, everyone was grieved over his or her loss. This really shocked Victor and eventually realized that it must have been the monster?s actions. The whole family was beside themselves over the injustice of Justine?s fate. The thing that hurt the most was that they were sure that she didn?t kill William. William?s death also triggered the rage in Frankenstein to get revenge on the terrible monster that he created. He also blamed himself for the murder because it was his hands that created the fiend that committed such a horrible crime. He also put the death of Justine on his shoulders. When he created the monster as saw it come to life, he knew that he had made a mistake. He journeyed to England to create the mate for the monster. After their encounter, and him tearing the body to pieces, he was afraid. The monster said, ?I will be with you on your wedding night,? and Frankenstein became concerned for his family. He was shocked and fell into sudden despair when he learned of Henry?s death. Not only that, he was being accused for it. Once again, he knew that it was the monster that committed the crime. He became very ill and the Italian magistrate took care of him with a sympathetic affection. He did, however, come to lively spirits when his father arrived. He was deeply concerned with Elizabeth and just the same, Elizabeth was concerned for him. When he returned to Geneva, he consented to his father and Elizabeth that he would marry her. He deeply feared this though. The monster?s last words haunted him. On his wedding night, he displayed his fear and despair and Elizabeth was yearning to know what it was that was bothering him. The monster broke into the bedroom window and killed Elizabeth. Frankenstein couldn?t deal with the incident and some people suspected him of the crime. He became somewhat insane and after that night, devoted himself to the revenge of the fiend that had tore his life apart piece by piece.
The many analogies in this masterpiece novel are so magnificently tied together that there is no doubt that Mary Shelley was a genius just by her one famous piece. The many lessons that can be learned from this novel are astounding. Not only that, but it also helps the reader to realize that the 18th century isn?t all that different from the 21st century. They still longed to have affection and acceptance into society. They still had parents desert their children just as we do today. They still wanted to do something great. They wanted to do something good for society and ultimately brought destruction. We always have good intentions, but we never realize what the outcome might be and we never consider the affects it will have on others.