Creation of Life in “Frankenstein”
The next major aspect of the novel that I would like to focus on is the creation of Frankenstein. This will include dissecting the experience into pieces, such as the use of technology, the role of God and religion and the reason behind creating the monster. In the novel, technology is used in correlation with the creation of Frankenstein. Victor says, I collected bones from charnel houses; and distributed, with profane fingers, the tremendous secrets of the human frame (Shelley 35), which aids in explaining that the creation of the monster is technological ingenuity simply because of the time frame of the novel. This aspect and use of technology in the creation can be easily connected with its Romantic roots because romanticism is about being free of conventional society and taking the step forward, rather than following the path others have laid out for you. This can also be rooted in the aspect of romanticism that takes human emotion and places it over logic and reasoning.
In order to create such a creature and engulf himself in his work, Victor had to let his passion and drive take over, and passion is ultimately driven by human curiosity and the fact that we are never satisfied. In the quote, I doubted at first whether I should attempt the creation of a being like myself, or one of simpler organisation, but my imagination was too much exalted by my first success to permit me to doubt of my ability to give life to an animal as complex and wonderful as man (Shelley, 32), Shelley uses Victor to further show roots in Romanticism within the plot line and characters, pushing the reader to start drawing conclusions of where these decisions will take him. I think Shelley uses Romanticism so dominantely here as a tool in order to have her reader focus on the creation of Frankenstein. A very heavy concept used widely in society is to never let your emotion cloud your judgment, which is why Shelley knew her readers would be drawn to the openness of the statement and having Victor say he is letting that exactly happen. Because of this, the creation of Frankenstein through the use of technology is truly an expression of romantic roots which lie deep in this novel. Allusions and direct connection with the Bible and God are used throughout the novel, but what’s interesting is that neither genre really takes a stance in it all, it is mostly up to the author how to use that aspect of society.
In her novel, I think Shelley uses religion to show the flawed relationship between creator and creation, but also uses religion to again highlight the imperfections and inevitable failures of society. As a society, we are driven to create and learn, which is what drives Victor in the novel. Victor uses new technology and knowledge to create something from nothing, just as God did in the bible. God created humanity, Victor created Frankenstein. God put in front of man temptations and tested us, we failed and thus were full of sin and ugliness. Victor created Frankenstein and thought the process of life was beautiful, and this monster was created neither good nor bad, but circumstance made him what we know to be a monster. The God complex within the text is used to highlight the romantic idea that we are to create our own path, but also criticizes the flaw of wanting more and lending emotions to wants and desires. In this way, religion serves both the Romantic and Gothic aspects of the novel, however, can still be described as a Romantic element aided in purpose by Gothic styles.