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Literary Analysis Essay on Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein: Can Science Go Too Far


Task: The Frankenstein Application Essay
Literary works like Frankenstein explore the "human condition" or experiences that humans encounter. The study guides for Frankenstein offer several "Real Life Considerations" meant to help you critically analyze the applications of the work's themes in today's world. Now, you will choose one of these topics and explore it using secondary resources to learn more about the novel and its relevant social topics. You might find information about social issues in familiar sources such as magazines, newspapers, or social science journals. Make sure your sources are credible - you do not want a random website or an encyclopedic website such as Wikipedia.2 Your sources will preferably be scholarly ones. Here are some ideas of places where you might find appropriate sources for this assignment: Google Scholar: (note that this is different from regular Google) Cornell University's arXiv (open access sources in math, biology, physics, and other fields): Bielefeld Academic Search Engine (BASE):

Your local library
Your thesis statement and paper must address both the literary qualities and the social issues as you evaluate the novel, Frankenstein. However, keep in mind, your literary analysis essay does not have to answer ALL of the questions listed under each topic. Only answer the questions you feel are the most relevant to the thesis statement you choose. Develop your essay so it has a clear introduction, body, and conclusion. Ensure that each of your claims is supported with valid evidence from the novel, Frankenstein, and at least three other credible external sources.3 Using proper MLA style, insert parenthetical citations and signal phrases for all borrowed information in addition to a Works Cited page for Frankenstein and your chosen external sources.

You have several options for this assignment:
Option #1: Can science go too far

There is an ongoing battle between faith or spirituality and science that has been active even before the time of Mary Shelley. What are some of the dilemmas she addresses that are still important today What are some of the ethical questions she brings up regarding the scientific definition of life and death What does she illustrate about the power science has to blur the line between life and death What is a current news item that is similar to this issue

Hint: Develop a thesis that answers a question like this one: "How and how well does Mary Shelley's Frankenstein address ethical issues of science and/or faith for audiences, regardless of when they read the novel"

Option #2: Discovery
Both Frankenstein and Walton are trying to discover something important to them. What parts of their real lives drive them to discovery Does that drive still exist today While we've mapped the globe, are there still geographical places for people to explore In science, are people still trying to discover the meaning of life, how to save life, and how to defeat death What methods do they use Are there better ways to accomplish these goals than others What are some of today's motivations for discovery

Note: Develop a thesis that answers questions like this one: "How and how well does Mary Shelley's Frankenstein address human discovery as a theme"

Option #3: World Perception and Prejudice
Reread the paragraph where the creature describes the book from which Felix teaches Safie. It begins: "The book from which Felix instructed Safie was Volney's Ruins of Empires..."
What are some of the perceptions and prejudices from the book that Felix teaches Safie How have these perceptions and prejudices changed, if they have, in today's society What are some present-day situations and references that may claim a lack of prejudice or an open-mindedness, but, in fact, are still very prejudiced, racist, sexist, etc. Why do you think these situations still happen Can anything be done about it
Hint: Develop a thesis that answers a question like this one: "How and how well does Mary Shelley's Frankenstein address human prejudice in the world throughout time"

Option #4: Personal Perception
It could be argued that the creature did not consider itself a monster and didn't do awful things until people treated him like a monster. What are some real-world instances in which people's actions could be a reaction to abuse from others Who do you feel is accountable in these situations Why Hint: Develop a thesis that answers a question like this one: "How and how well does Mary Shelley's Frankenstein address the effect of peer perceptions on personal development"

Option #5: Death and Suicide
At the end of the book, the creature promises to destroy himself. Is this a justifiable end for him Could he have been redeemed Would he have had a place in the world of Shelley's novel How could this relate to current-day issues like suicide or the death penalty

Hint: Develop a thesis that answers a question like this one: "How and how well does Mary Shelley's Frankenstein address the value of an individual's life and death"

Option #6: Nature vs. Nurture
The creature argues that had someone properly guided him, he would not have been so wretched. Frankenstein4 argues that the creature was evil to begin with, so it would have been useless to teach him at all. What are some current debates - especially in education - where these kinds of arguments still arise How much of behavior of you think is based on nature (how a person IS) and how much is based on nurture (what a person LEARNS or EXPERIENCES) What examples from the present support your opinion What do you feel is the truth Why

Hint: Develop a thesis that answers a question like this one: "How and how well does Mary Shelley's Frankenstein address existing personality traits versus how a person is taught to act"

Option #7: Feminism
The feminist perspective is often explored in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. How are the women characters treated in the novel What perceptions of women did Shelley use and comment on How did she handle the theme of motherhood


As evident in the literary analysis essay, science has a wider range of contributions to promoting mental and physical wellbeing, advanced lifestyle, and technology-oriented way of living in entertainment, shopping experiences, payment process, education, global communications, and sports. There is a continuous battle between spirituality or faith and science inventions even before the timescale of Mary Shelly. In this literary analysis essay, some of the science-relevant ethical dilemmas, ethical questionnaires, and scientific definitions and concepts of death and life are outlined. Besides, the scientific power in blurring the death and lifeline is introduced to identify the exact contribution level of science in human nurture. Through the critical analysis of the book, by the Protagonist Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, the prime analysis will be explored considering whether science can have a future scope in global enhancement or not.

Identified dilemmas having significance at present frame

The leading character, Victor Frankenstein has made several poor decisions throughout the novel which are also identified as unethical and mistaken. Frankenstein’s discoveries and research reports are recognized as ethically wrong as the dead bodies are taken from cemeteries, then cut off their limbs, as well as body sections for the creation of a human creature. He did not consider anyone’s consent while involved in this study presentation process. He has also considered himself as the Almighty by creating a realistic human creature. However, he created a monster creature rather than creating the human creature and as a result, the monster creature was a harmful element for society. On the other hand, Mary Shelley argues that the combination of advanced technology and scientific innovations would have long-term sustainability and acceptance level across the world (Prosser and Ashleigh 180). The prime ethical issue, that has been considered, is the presence of controversy in human nature and characteristics. The unethical ambiance has been generated while Shelly has been unable to provide proper evidence and logic regarding human’s different reactive activities according to the situational variations. The relationship between science and morality was not properly encountered and a wide quantity of controversy with scientific advancement has been evaluated.

As cited by Robert and Jason Scott (22), Shelly confirmed that the creature cannot be correlated with an original human due to the feared declination attitude. Her elucidation regarding human creatures and nature is identified as one of the barriers to personal and social connectivity. The reason behind the appearance of ethical dilemmas is the evaluation of two different concepts. These are 1) the discovery of the secret of death and life and 2) disclosing of the stealthy abnormalities. On the other hand, Shelly conveyed that monsters are not cruel, aggressive, grotesque appearances, and dangerous traits from their born time. After the completion of the human creature-making process, an additional voice was considered which offers the readers that there is a disparity between the monsters’s thinking process and appearance. As per Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein, the ethical boundaries are oppressed as his creature weighted an ethical dilemma and societal complexities. Frankenstein's activities also broke the natural legal protocols regarding ethical law and morality. His self-interest in life creation and becoming glorified ruined his life while he realized that the creature held a compressed grasp until the death line.

Ethical questions considered for the scientific definition of death and life
According to Mohammad and Nima (138), life is represented as a significant system of performing different activities such as exercising, working, eating, sleeping, breathing, growing, moving, reproducing, responding via external stimuli, and excreting. The scientific definition of death ensures total cellular death which is transited from a living organism to non-living organic elements along with zero presence of viable cells (Ruston and Sharon 258). An individual sustaining either irreversible termination of the significant activities such as brain functionalities or irreversible stoppage of respiratory and circulatory functionalities are considered as the death state of the person. The ethical question that has been encountered regarding scientific death and life is whether the social community encounters absolute death by not considering the dead body for the utilization of creatures of human-like objects. Throughout this book, the Protagonist Frankenstein has critically explored the distinguishing between the concepts of absolute and incomplete. Simultaneously, it has been also visualized throughout this novel that there is no specific remedy for the death timeline.

Throughout this book, it has been also encountered that the “Body Putrefaction” process is considered as an absolute death of an individual (Peters and Ted 148). The phases of the “suspended animation” like sleeping, coma, and fainting are not considered as an absolute death of the individuals as some of the body parts still work in that situation. On the other hand, the scientific definition of life outlines how the living body is differentiated from inorganic and dead bodies. The life of an individual is not dependent on body structure; rather it is fully involved in the body functionalities types, food habits, hygiene maintenance, and lifestyle structure. In this context, the ethical question is whether the limb cutting and utilization of body parts in another human creation are justifiable for absolute death or not. Considering the book of protagonist Frankenstein, it has been disclosed that he was involved in the human creature creation process by collecting limbs, body parts, and necessary organs from cemeteries by not listening to others’ opinions (Kavey and Allison 498). His absent communication and discussion approach and independent decision-making process have made him unethical for this action as the outcome was violating societal integrity due to the creation of a monster. After the publication of Mary Shelly’s case, a public debate was held between two surgeons by raising the questions like the definition of life, how the living body can be distinguishable from the non-living bodies. One of the surgeon’s ideas was that the “soul” is the most important thing for human beings and which is actually absent in the inorganic bodies and then it is considered as an absolute death of an individual.

Illustration on the power of science in blurring the line between death and life
The line between death and life is considered as a state while the individual is presently alive but near to dying or extremely sick (Soccio and Enrichetta 132). It is also indicating that the individual has not yet received the “absolute death” concept. In the post-death situation, the brain is resurrected and communications with individuals in advanced cryogenics and coma indicate the ending of life. The death of an individual is considered unambiguous until the middle of the 20th century. In case the person stops respiration and has an absence of heart-bits, then it is absolute death. After the invention of the ventilator, advanced technology, infrastructure, equipment due to scientific power, the medical facilities have been upgraded. As a result, the absolute death concept has been in a complicated situation and an emergence of the ideologies of an “apparent death” is encountered. Through scientific invention and science power, the medical practitioners in the recent age are involved in the “organ transplantation” concept to make the patient alive for a few more years.

The implications of a “beating-heart cadavers” approach via science power have also blurred the line of death and life by legally alive the patient’s brain functionalities. Mary Shelly also encased the concept of technological amendments in medical science for blurring the line between life and death (Ting 249). As Shelly also confessed that the joint contribution of technology and science can boost global enhancement, it also creates the blurring of death lines and lifelines. The scientific inventions in population control through birth control pills, and the abortion process also upgraded the birth rate across the globe. Through the power of science, the parent community can decide their pregnancy time and birth control rates. Simultaneously, the innovations in medical equipment, devices, testing process, and medicines structure have helped to blur the line between life and death.

Present news item offering similarities to this complexity
The current issue in the context of blurring the line between death and life is the presence of scientific invention and the power of science. With the rapid enhancement of technologies such as 3D printing, Machine Learning, Block Chain, and Artificial Intelligence in the medical sector, the disease detection, diagnosis, and treatment process can be done in a quicker pattern. Through AI-based ChatBot software in the recent digitization era, the severe condition of the patient can be easily stabilized by connecting Medical specialists to take required suggestions via the video calling process. The technology has created a zero barrier approach for the medical sector to take immediate advice from the Medical Personnel, who is at present in another location of the globe (Aceto et al. 100129). Robotics surgery has offered an advanced level of surgery process with the use of modern equipment, surgical instruments that have hindered the concept of absolute death and accelerated the life expectancy rate. Besides, organ transplantation, smarter pacemakers, and ventilation facilities have been helpful to dim the death line rate.

Through the power of science, the global community has been able to control life expectancy rate, birth control structure, and mortality rate. In contradiction, the life expectancy rate enhancement and death rate decrease concepts are only visible in the towns, cities, and urban regions of the country (Pescapé et al. 100129). The rural community is deprived of these types of facilities due to either improper or completely absent technological infrastructure. This type of issue has been encountered due to the power of science and the rural community has a conflicted attitude towards the highly tech-savvy countries and regions across the globe as they are not getting the latest and unique medical benefits.

How and how well does Mary Shelley's Frankenstein outline ethical complexities of science and/or faith for audiences, regardless of reading the novel
Mary Shelly Frankenstein addressed science-relevant ethical issues to identify the distinction between apparent death and absolute death concepts. She conveyed a lot of messages to the audience of contemporary society throughout this novel. The readers have acquired ideologies of cultural context and a unique historicist lens at the beginning of the 19th century. Simultaneously, the readers have also achieved a deeper ideology on the life expectancy rate, and death rate at the initiation of the 19th century (Smith and Russell 308). Mary also encountered the scope of prospects of technology, human situations, and science in future global enhancement. Through the ideologies of Mary, the combined effort of science and technologies in medical sectors and other sectors has been visualized. In addition, the identified ethical issue in this novel is the presence of poor decisions to create a human creature in an unnatural and unethical way.

After the completion of his work, Frankenstein continually acknowledged his guilt and terrible act by creating a monster. The lack of protection in the human rights, subjects and absence of morality during the experimentation has made him unethical. On the other end, the novel also offered a good life lesson as Mary illustrated that every action has consequences and it can stem from those, and humans cannot play with God or Almighty. She also explored that a monster is not an in-born harmful and arrogant creature. The mistreatment and situation have transformed it into an aggressive monster. Through this example, Mary was intended to put a message towards the society on how to face societal problems and how individuals should have an ethical attitude to foster positivity. The novel also elaborates on how the societal community should not maltreat one another by judging their race, culture, and appearance.

Finally, it can be concluded that science is considered a blessing for the medical industry across the globe. As the emerging technologies are incorporating the medical sector to diagnose the disease, identify its severity rate, and estimated impact upon the patient in a less time-consuming pattern, the line between death and life has been blurred. The treatment process has been also modernized through the power of science. Mary Shelly confessed that there is direct strong connectivity between technology and science that can help the global community at an enhanced level. Despite having higher treatment costs through this type of technology-advanced treatment process for the developing and poor economic countries, science has only the power to revive the global acceleration.

Aceto, Giuseppe, Valerio Persico, and Antonio Pescapé. "Industry 4.0 and health: Internet of things, big data, and cloud computing for healthcare 4.0." Journal of Industrial Information Integration 18 (2020): 100129. Kavey, Allison B. "Daddy Issues: Parental Consent and Scientific Responsibility in Shelley's Frankenstein." Literature and Medicine 36.2 (2018): 495-519.

Mohammad, AsstShaimaNima. "The Adverse Effect of the Scientific Quest for Knowledge in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein." Journal of Language Studies 2.4 (2019): 134-147. Peters, Ted. "Playing God with Frankenstein." Theology and Science 16.2 (2018): 145-150.

Prosser, Ashleigh. "Resurrecting Frankenstein: Peter Ackroyd’s The Casebook of Victor Frankenstein and the metafictional monster within." Literary analysis essayAustralasian Journal of Popular Culture 8.2 (2019): 179-196.
Robert, Jason Scott. "Rereading Frankenstein: What if Victor Frankenstein had been evil." Hastings Center Report 48.6 (2018): 21-24.
Ruston, Sharon. "Chemistry and the science of transformation in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein." Nineteenth-Century Contexts 41.3 (2019): 255-270.
Smith, Russell. "Frankenstein in the automatic factory." Nineteenth-Century Contexts 41.3 (2019): 303-319. Soccio, Anna Enrichetta. "Victorian Frankenstein: From fiction to science."Monsters and Monstrosity. De Gruyter, 2019. 131-140.
Yue-ting, C. H. E. N. "Frankenstein and the Gothic Sublime." Journal of Literature and Art Studies 8.2 (2018): 249-256.


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