Mary Shelley and the Novel That Revolutionized Lit

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 12th grade February 2008

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First I would like state that the truth of the matter is, the novel "Frankenstein", written by Mary Shelley, was at first written in intention of being a ghost story; a science fiction novel. A story of bringing someone from the dead, back to life, which we all know, to a point, is impossible. I believe during that time people who read the book, which turned out to be a very popular book (and eventually a very popular movie), were influenced to believe that possibly, in the future, life can be created from death, or from nothing. I feel that during those times people feared death, as they do today, and they all hope to somehow be able to control death, or prolong, or even manipulate it in some way. Shelley's hugely popular book set the tone for many 19th-century novels and plays, especially in Germany and Britain, that portrayed science as the ruthless hammer of capitalism.

Despite its trepidation, Europe had a tradition of popular fascination with science, expressed in the rapid spread of lectures on every conceivable subject - dinosaurs, industrial engineering, anatomy, medicine, exploration, and, above all, theories of evolution, and in the celebrity of such diverse theoreticians as Michael Faraday, Karl Marx, Charles Darwin, and Alfred Nobel.

Chapter 1: Electricity: A Key for the Creation of Life? In Frankenstein, electricity serves as the very tool which creates life (it creates the monster). It gives life to the lifeless. Early medical experiments demonstrated this phenomenon as a dead frog leg jolted with the injection of electricity, serving as a bridge between electricity and biology and chemistry. This bridge, along with his study of out-dated scientific works, leads Victor Frankenstein to fantasize about the possibilities of creating life using the power of electricity and the body of...