A Literary Analysis of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

This paper examines the unique Frankenstein. It is partitioned into 2 parts. The very first part is a thematic analysis of the unique and the 2nd part is a discourse analysis of the novel.

Particularly it looks for to address the following: what are the major styles of the book; what are the discourses included in and articulated by the novel?

Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus is a well-known book by Mary Shelley. It was finished on Might 1817, when Mary was simply nineteen years of age. It was made while she and her spouse Percey Bysshe Shelley were on their summer vacation with Lord Byron in the Alps (“Frankenstein” ). With the best authors in England, Mary used her contribution to the literary classics, the well-known Frankenstein novel, which became well-known in 2 categories: Science Fiction and scary (Milner, p. 149).

Thematic Analysis of Frankenstein

The unique Frankenstein is centered on four significant styles: ignorance versus knowledge, injustice in world, in a feminist perspective– equality of men and women, and murders described from the viewpoint of the murderers. Amongst numerous other styles, these four, in my opinion, are the major themes and therefore ought to be expounded.

The book was composed in the early phase of the commercial revolution (“Analysis of Frankenstein”), that is, when science and technology was at first advancing. From this premise I can state that the novel is an effort to slam the existing social condition, that is to say, the novel criticizes the development of science and the acquisition of understanding. Shelley’s usage of the character Victor Frankenstein, the medical physician who developed a being more superior to the present race of males, describes my point. Despite the fact that Victor is knowledgeable enough to produce life, he is still bounded by his flaws. He produced a killing beast rather– The Frankenstein Monster. This recommends that science could unwind the secrets of nature, but knowledge is still too unsafe for male to get. The novel recommends that understanding threatens like when Victor discovered the mystery of life. understanding is a beast.

In addition, the novel suggests that some understanding should be concealed from men. Some knowledge do more evil than good, as the unique suggests. It says that lack of knowledge is excellent. Understanding is evil (“Remarks on Frankenstein”).

The other title for Frankenstein, The Modern Prometheus, is suggestive of the style of this book. Prometheus is a mythological character who provided fire to males to keep them warm (“Prometheus gave fire to Men”). However Zeus penalized Prometheus for doing so. Prometheus received an everlasting penalty. In connection, the fire represents understanding. In the misconception, understanding is prohibited to males just like in the unique Frankenstein. The fire can warm, however it can also kill just as understanding can. The unique slams the researcher most especially, in their empirical mission for understanding.

The character of the Monster serves double purpose in the unique, as far my very first and second styles are worried. First, the character is a concrete articulation of understanding. It is the item of Victor’s research study and experimentation. Therefore, it symbolizes the fruit of understanding. In the novel, the monster was depicted as ‘ugly, hated, and revolting’ and a killer. What does it state about understanding? It recommends that understanding is also ugly, hated and horrible– a killer, too– a monster.

The 2nd function of the Beast character in the unique points at the 2nd theme of the unique– injustice in the world. First instance is when Victor created a lone beast, without a buddy. It regreted stating that “… Even Satan had his companions, fellow devils, to appreciate and motivate him; but I am singular and abhorred” (Shelley, p. 130). This mentions that there is injustice committed to the Monster. Secondly, Victor denied the monster a buddy when the monster pleads for it. It pleads:

My vices are the children of a forced solitude that I abhor, and my virtues will necessarily arise when I reside in communion with an equivalent. I will feel the love of a delicate being, and become connected to a chain of presence and events, which I am now left out. (Shelley, 147)

Rather of producing a girl beast, Victor destroyed every long shot that the beast have of awaiting his girl buddy by destroying the beast he was about to enliven.

Third, there is injustice on the planet when the beast experienced ostracism due to the fact that of its look. It was drawn by villagers away and was required to live alone, and omitted from humankind (“Frankenstein”).

The theme on equality in between sexes, in my opinion, is evident in the unique when the Monster pleads Victor to develop a lady monster. There was no hint in the book that the monster will control the girl beast because all it wanted was to have a companion whom ‘it shall feel affection to’ (p. 147). The book did not mean the supremacy of males over females, as far as the character of the beast is worried.

Last but not least, the most obvious style of the book is murder. However in this case, there was no negative presentation of criminal activity since the murders were discussed from the viewpoint of the killers. The killers existed to have rational reasons for devoting the criminal activities [this is distinct] (my emphasis). Let us consider circumstances the very first murder case– the murder of Victor’s brother.

Although the book might have presented a ‘shallow’ reason the beast murdered Victor’s bro, that is, victor’s bro recited a litany of epithets to the beast, it in some way discussed the reason behind the murder. The monster was too delicate with its look that’s why it has over responded to the epithets.

Another murder was devoted when Victor destroyed the girl beast he will enliven. Victor is also a killer. His factor was that if he let the lady beast live, he will bring catastrophe to the world by ‘producing a race of devils’. Victor’s strategy was paid for by the beast’s killing of Victor’s fiancée– Elizabeth. It was the price Victor needs to spend for his murderous act.

One asset about this book was that it has actually presented murder from the perspective of the murderer. Shelley has actually produced characters with practical motives, that is, the characters were driven by logical factors for devoting the criminal activities. This is something good about this novel.

In conclusion, the unique Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus was centered on four significant themes: ignorance is good and understanding is evil; oppression in the world; equality of men and women; and murders as discussed from the perspective of the murderers.

A Discourse Analysis of the unique

Discourse theory of Foucault can be used to the Frankenstein Story. Foucault specifies discourse as a way of believing shared by a specific group of people at a particular location and time producing truth and power and managing actions. It is a lived way of believing deeply inculcated into people. People end up being the topics of discourses (Foucault, pp 21-30 ).

Applying the theory of discourse, let us examine the discourses or ways of thinking which the story of Frankenstein articulate. What type of discourse are inculcated into people by the novel Frankenstein?

Guy as God and the Dawn of Scientific Revolution

The story exhibits male as a God. The giving of a life to an inanimate object is an act only booked toa God. Yet in the story, guy produced life through Victor’s production. It suggests a period where science has actually triumphed. It recommends that science might be a god, in this respect. It suggests that Science can use male the impossible– that guy can be a god.

Much like in the literary text, the motion picture Shelley’s Frankenstein (dir. Branagh) explicates the dawn of scientific transformation. Below is an excerpt of the conversation in between Clerval and Victor:

Frankenstein: Sooner or later, the best method to cheat death will be to produce life.

Clerval: Now, you have actually gone too far. There’s just one God, victor.

Frankenstein: No, leave God out of this. Listen, if you enjoy someone, they have an ill heart, wouldn’t you give them a healthy one?

Clerval: impossible.

Frankenstein: No it’s not impossible, we can do it, we’re actions away. And if we can do that, if we can replace one part of a person, we can replace every part. If we can do that, we can design life. We can produce a being that will not age or sicken. One that will be more powerful than us, better than us, one that will be more smart than us, more civilized.”

From the above, we can see that what was ‘difficult’ like a giving of a healthy heart, has ended up being a possibility in the modern times. Heart transplant is a typically practiced surgical treatment nowadays. And it was made possible by science. The Frankenstein novel supplies this shift.

Even the production of the monster symbolizes the triumph of Science. From this story of Frankenstein, we see that Science resembles a God. Science can provide life, too.

Imperfect Beings and Unjust World

It is stated that we can never ever be perfect like God. Whatever we do, we are still incomplete and imperfect. It is only God who is best. In this manner of thinking is also exhibited by the story of Frankenstein.

Victor, a medical physician and the creator of the monster, abhorred his extremely production. In his attempt to produce a being superior to human race, he had actually developed a monster rather. This suggests that male, in his efforts, can not develop a being more remarkable to him. Victor has labored days and nights to develop a being, yet a beast, instead, breathed to life. Even the monster itself abhorred his condition.

Despiteful the day when I received life! I exclaimed in agony. “Accursed Creator! Why did you ever form a beast so horrible that even you turned from me in disgust? … Satan had his companion, fellow devils, to appreciate and motivate him, but I am singular and abhorred. (Shelley, p. 130)

Likewise, God created males in his own image and likeness, but then we are not like God who is ideal. More over, with imperfect beings came the imperfect and unjustified world.

Because of the monstrous look of the beast, the villagers assaulted him. Everybody was revolted by mere seeing the beast. Due to the fact that of this, the beast too became malicious to human beings. It experienced injustice from the world.

Remember, that I am thy creature; I should be thy Adam; but I am rather the fallen angel whom thou drivest from delight for no misbehaviour. Every where I see happiness, from which I alone am irrevocably excluded. I was good-hearted and good; torment made me a fiend. Make me happy, and I will again be virtuous (Shelley, p. 100)

Another form of oppression made on the beast is thru Victor’s destruction of the girl beast. The monster had actually promised to reside in peace and reside in wilderness with his spouse, the girl monster. The monster said:

My vices are the children of a forced privacy that I hate, and my virtues will always arise when I live in communion with an equivalent. I shall feel the love of a sensitive being, and become connected to a chain of existence and occasions, from which I am now excluded (Shelley, p. 147).

It was oppression to give life to a being, and let it suffer without even a friend, a loved one,

not even any person.

In conclusion, the unique Frankenstein articulates the following discourses: guy can be a God through Science; man is constantly imperfect; and the world is unfair.


The scary science fiction of Shelley entitled Frankenstein, as my arguments explained, is a review of the existing social condition of Shelley’s time– that is– the start of commercial and clinical transformation.

The book is fixated the four major themes, particularly; lack of knowledge is good and understanding is evil; injustice worldwide; equality of men and women; and murders as described from the perspective of the killers.

Frankenstein likewise articulates the following discourses or mindsets: that male can be a god through Science, which male is always imperfect just as the world is always imperfect.

Undoubtedly, the novel has actually revealed us that knowledge and science can bring turmoil to guy.

Works Mentioned

Foucault, Michel. Archeology of Understanding and the discourse on Language. Trans. Smith, Sheridan A.M. USA: Tavistock Publication Limited. 1972

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, dir. K. Branagh (Tristar, 1994, 118 mins)

Milner, Andrews. Literature, Culture and Society. London: UCL press, 1996

Prometheus provided Fire to Men. No date released. A Hand-out in Mythology Class.

Remarks on Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus; A Novel. No date released. April 21, 2007.

Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus. M.K. Joseph (ed) Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1980