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History, just like the lives of individual people has some of its shining times. The summer of the year 1816 had so many contradictions between the Romanticism thinkers and the Enlightenment thinkers which had a greater effect on the evolutionists, the artists and the general society. For the Enlightenment thinkers, knowledge and science has been adopted to be their most absolute and true religion unlike in Romanticism in which literature, arts and music are greatly embodied.
According to Romanticism thinkers, the Enlightenment’s social and political norms were viewed to be rational. It is also during this summer that Mary shelly came to love writing and thus wrote one of the most remarkable novel known as Frankenstein. Frankenstein made Mary Shelly to gain fame and tremendous recognition form the society and the knowledge from the book has been passed on from one generation to another one. It is through the book that the author can be thought of as having had imaginations of a scientist whose integrity and prowess disappears when the results of an experiment finally goes awry. The author criticizes scientific experiments which were not monitored and controlled and thus greatly influences the lives of human beings.
According to the novel, it is clear tat the author, Mary Shelley opposes the Enlightenment view because of the way she mocks and highlights the individuals who are ignorant of the mockery and misery of neglecting their fellows. The author has her deep and astonished motif in the Romantic view and she opposes the Enlightenment view through portraying the irrational human behavior and various disastrous events. The impossibilities becoming possibilities are however clearly reflected in the novel by showing how the dead are capable of gaining back their lives. Mary Shelley’s main idea in Frankenstein is reflected through the character’s behavior and actions which clearly correlate with the Romanticism theme. The attitudes of human beings in intellectual and individualistic themes presents strong feelings and senses towards mental development, education and emphasis on individualistic expression of imagination, emotion and rebellion against the established scientific and systematic movements.
The main character in the Novel Frankenstein is Victor Frankenstein whose major motive is a reflection of the scientists who were born in the era of Enlightenment. The character also carries the Romanticism characteristics in an epitome which elevates the achievements of the outcast practicing individual, the misunderstood and those who are intellectually creative. Victor is deeply attracted towards the hidden secrets in the material world and has ambitions of creativity and the possibility of inventions that never happened during his era.
In order to pursue his dream, the character becomes unbound towards any fear or rules, tradition, religion or family and thus sacrifices the entire family in pursuit of the dream. This can be ascertained from the Novel, “… Natural philosophy is a genius... I desire therefore in this narration to state those facts that led to my prediction of Science, (Pg21)”. It is from such views that the reader can be informed how Victor’s career was sharply visible and easily noticed to the extent that it easily qualified to become one the most auspicious scientist during the 19th century. Such scientists, through their achievements in various innovations became inspired in perusing perfection regardless of various complications they faced like for instance lack of secure and safe experiments and lack of emotion and awareness towards consequences arising from scientific incidents scientific.
Through the learning of natural philosophy and science, Victor’s enthusiasm develops gradually and thus becomes seriously concerned about the criticisms from the Professor which portrays another instance or theme of Romanticism, feelings to education and strong senses. Victor is criticized because of wasting precious time on classical books and this is evident like for instance, “…you have burdened your memory with… useless systems…you must begin your studies entirely new, (pg. 28). The philosophers whose eyes pour over the crucible or microphone and whose hands seem like were made to dabble in dirty have done a lot of miracles indeed. They have performed miracles in that they have penetrated into nature’s recesses and worked into the hiding place of mother earth. All this indicates that the Victor’s studies were useless and baseless and superseded the Enlightenment of knowledge which is unbridled nature and the miracles which are performed are like inventions which are destructive and filthy to human beings.
Robert Walton is one of another main Character in Frankenstein who displays an understanding, emotional and imaginative characters towards the theme of Romanticism. Just like Victor Frankenstein, Walton is also an ambitious scientist who blindly pursues his compassion in intelligence and science. Furthermore, Robert Walton leads an excursion ship towards land that has never been ventured by human beings, the North Pole. Despite the fact that Walton is aware of the possible risks regarding the unknown land of ice, he goes ahead and leads the ship into it. The ship meets various challenges on its way to the foreign land and in the process meets with Victor Frankenstein who is tired from chasing his own ambitions.
All in all, as Walton cares for Victor till he meets his demise, it is realized that both of them relate similarly in their devotion towards science even though Walton understood well the irresponsibility and misery that Victor underwent. Through this encounter, Walton realizes that Victor was such an intelligent young person who was dedicated, creative and succeeded in his dreams and endeavors and made the impossible things to become possible. It was through his stay with Victor that Walton was able to realize that Victor was both a horrific and bright monster who greatly suffered because of his avoidance of tranquility and happiness that could have resulted into a peaceful marriage and family life with his cousin Elizabeth who had loved him so heartily. This was a clear indicator of the Romanticism them in the natural fate of people in a lives which are through love and marriage.
The main final character in this novel Frankenstein arises from the irresponsibility of not only Victor Frankenstein but also in other institutions and systems created by human beings and which should have a check over actions related to experiments and actions. Despite the fact that some academic institutions are based of reality and are more concrete than fictional scenes in which the monster is created, such institutions are usually equally imperfect. In order to experience a connection between nature and the environment, the monster engages itself in a lot of struggles and even attempts at multiplying in order to connect the human beings, though the attempts are thwarted after realization that the monster is not identical to others. From the birth of the experiment arises the lack of the monster to properly communicate in human language thus making him to be easily recognized by the human beings.
In general, the Romantic View is more sympathetic because just like the Enlightenment view of Scientific knowledge which both see the world as being natural, the Romantic View has an option of keeping and furthering the egalitarian, democratic and liberties which are espoused through the Enlightenment thinkers and at the same time tries to balance Reason and ambition with Art, Love and emotion.
According to Frankenstein, the society is responsible for the corruption of the good man and that happiness can only be achieved through tranquility. This tranquility, according to the Romantic View can also be found or obtained through natural beauty or nature. The Romantic view is of the opinion that the exploration of Science and knowledge is responsible for destruction of man’s natural, truthful and rightful relationship of nature (Essaka, 1817:5).
One of the themes that are evident from Shelley’s work is the Masculine ambition which has made man to evade from the responsibilities towards children and women. There is greater need of balancing ambition and knowledge with responsibility and love and the need for women to be equally educated as men. This will ensure that women’s weaknesses are reduced in the society. The vindication of women’s rights is therefore a major issue.
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is an exemplary book of the romantic period which used a highly dramatized and stylized genres and frame of Romanticism and it is known to be more concerned with spheres of fantastic as opposed to the use of fanaticism and its real usage in literature. This indeed has become an essence of romantic writers and artists in their struggles and emotions. The novel helps its readers to easily come to an understanding that indeed there exists no social experiments which will lead to a reliable solution towards perfection and that there is no state of perfection whether it is based in science and technology or reality. The author of the book has successfully delivered the general humanistic equality in the book while at the same time maintaining favor the Romanticism view. It is therefore no lie that indeed, Mary Shelley can be credited to be a purely Romanticist writer. All in all, all views are relevant depending on how a reader understands and explains them thus the Enlightenment View and the Romanticism view all need to be given attention.