The novel “Frankenstein or Modern Prometheus,” whose author is Mary Shelley, left a significant mark in world literature. Written in the late XVIII – early XIX century, the book remains relevant to the present day. This work bears the imprints of the philosophical atmosphere of the era when a new romantic philosophy replaced the educational ideology. The correctness of the educational theory of the omnipotence of the human mind, which learns the laws of nature to become its owner, is a means of harmoniously rebuilding the world, has the potential to penetrate the secrets of the universe and explain everything from a rationalistic point of view. In the introduction and conclusion of the novel “Frankenstein” the irony of life makes the human mind turn against itself.
Victor Frankenstein is a young scientist, vested with extraordinary talent and an insatiable thirst for enlightenment, seizes the secret of the reproduction of living matter. And it is not surprising, because he is in love with science, physics, and chemistry excite his imagination. Scientists who have managed to penetrate the secrets of nature, cause his admiration, because, for example,”they have acquired new and almost unlimited powers and prompts how to live; they can command the thunders of heaven, mimic the earthquake, and even mock the invisible world with its own shadows.” And he also dreams of a scientific feat for the benefit of mankind. But in fact, the main character, in his desire to reach a godlike level, comes only from his own selfish, vile ambitions and the desire to see his name, glorified by humanity. Victor himself says that this “immense power” turned his head. Thus, the motive of his actions is once again confirmed – the scientific interest and the thirst for universal recognition.
To achieve this goal, he widely uses his knowledge in the field of science. Dr. Frankenstein, like Prometheus, wants to create a living being, and breathe into it the spark of life, for which he collects the likeness of a person from fragments of the bodies of the dead, and then finds a scientific way to revive him. As a result, he gets a creature, the form of which Frankenstein himself plunges into horror. The terrible monster appears in the novel as a double of the great creator. ” I considered the being whom I had cast among mankind, and endowed with the will and power to effect purposes of horror, such as the deed which he had now done, nearly in the light of my own vampire, my own spirit let loose from the grave, and forced to destroy all that was dear to me.” This “modern Prometheus” recognizes all the imperfections of the divine creation of man, carrying in himself both creative and destructive impulses. As a result of the experiences of Frankenstein, the creature was originally a definition of “clean board.” Just like its creator, the Demon strives for a cherished goal, for its “discovery.” He knows the world through the simplest feelings (hunger, thirst, cold, loneliness) and reaches out to people, wanting to find warmth and love. However, its nature largely determines society. The cruelty of others creates in the Demon reciprocal hatred and thirst for revenge. As a result, the demon, or monster, as the author often calls it, desperate to find its place among the people, rebel against its creator, committing a whole series of crimes. He consistently killed the brother, friend, and bride of the protagonist, to which Frankenstein devotes the rest of his life to attempts to destroy the monster, hoping in this way to atone for his guilt before humanity. Thus, in the book, the image of the Demon appears as the artistic embodiment of a whole complex of philosophical ideas. The thesis of vice and virtue is closely connected with the theme of man in society and loneliness, and the motive of destruction is woven into the myth of creation from the very beginning.
Trying to create life and destroy death artificially, Victor rises against the immutable laws of Mother Nature that rule the world. He thinks that these laws can be made subservient. It is the topic of scientific progress, together with Victor’s attempt to reach a godlike level that makes the novel popular even today. This is a common topic, which is discussed again and again from the very moment of birth of humanity. The protagonist is rather thoughtlessly using science and his scientific experiments for his own purposes, which leads to quite tragic and almost irreversible consequences. The fee for scientific and technical innovations, for endless improvements for the sake of new improvements, becomes so high that it passes a critical level and calls into question the existence of humanity and the planet Earth itself.
Thus, science can be considered as the main engine of self-destruction of a young, ambitious scientist. And of course, it is impossible to avoid the main theme of the novel, “the myth of modern Prometheus.” The very name of the novel – “Frankenstein, or modern Prometheus” refers us to ancient mythology and pushes us to think about the connection of Prometheus with Victor Frankenstein. And indeed, the myth of Prometheus, who fashioned people from the earth and water, is reflected in the history of the young scientist. Both heroes, like the Creator, are trying to improve the human race. Frankenstein, indeed, is likened to the creator of mankind, with only one difference, he was afraid of his creation and rejected it. Later both receive their punishment. Prometheus is forever chained to the mountain and daily subjected to agony, and the scientist is in perpetual flight from his creation, from whose hand he eventually dies.
The author brings the reader to one more thought that any creation, any discovery, must be done with full responsibility. Otherwise, it must be abandoned, which Frankenstein does when he destroys an unfinished creature.
Since then, Frankenstein essay is one of the most spread assignment for students. It has taken root in the English language analysis to indicate who unleashes or uses forces that escape from his control.
So the romantic story of Mary Shelley continues to live even in our time.