Review of “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley
The rationalistically conceived Frankenstein, written as if for the glory of thought, science, and its limitless possibilities, ends with a deeply pessimistic conclusion. Interference in the secrets of nature does not lead to good; the scientist’s thought encounters internal resistance. The cognitive possibilities of man turn out to be much less significant than he hoped in his pride. Mary Shelley comes closer to understanding the infinite complexity of the individual, a problem that is characteristic of the romantic consciousness. Thus, in work about an alienated monster and an ambitious creator, the author explores the price of human ambitions and an unsuccessful attempt to go against nature, using vivid stylistic devices.
As for the style of the work, Frankenstein has an increased emotionality, characteristic of romantic literature. By the stormy feelings and tragic experiences of the characters, Mary Shelley chooses bright, strong words and images that convey the violent passions that possess them. A young, gifted student, Victor Frankenstein, under the influence of his irreconcilable rebel character, at the suggestion of several teachers, plunges into hitherto unexplored mysteries of life after death. He spends years building the monster, assembling it from human remains. Shelley notes that he worked “with an anxiety that almost amounted to agony” (58). Victor is blinded by the idea, not fully understanding what the result of his painstaking work can lead to.
Collecting the monster piece by piece, the young scientist is in agony; he is insane, admiring the beauty of his future offspring. Shelley conveys this atmosphere with the help of bright exclamations: “Beautiful! Great God!” (58). However, when the conceived splendor could not be translated into reality, the scientist Frankenstein hurries to lay down responsibility for the further fate of his creation, running away from him. The novel is filled with stylistically colored repetitions that convey horror, fear, and despair. Victor “felt the bitterness of disappointment” (Shelley, 60). He is struck by the physical deformity of his creation, capable of causing only horror.
Having no name but having a mind, a being understands that it should not expect anything good from people, except for pain and suffering. Then its inexperienced heart hardens, turns to stone, and the cruel hatred that has come fills its whole being with a single, irresistible thirst for revenge and murder. If there were people on its way who would not push it away, perhaps it would never have committed a single crime because they were not overwhelmed by the passions of murder. Wishing to show the purity of its soul, and then, as a contrast, disappointment in people, resulting in hatred and a thirst to kill, the author deliberately uses words of a high stylistic tone. Creation says: “I was benevolent and good; misery made me a fiend. Make me happy, and I shall again be virtuous (Shelley, 114).
The monster calls the scientist its creator, who once, due to the feeling of permissiveness, created it like God. To illustrate this more vividly, Shelley resorts to the biblical allusion: “remember, that I am your creature, I ought to be thy Adam” (114). In turn, to most vividly and colorfully show the demonic image of the monster, the author of the novel uses a rich set of epithets and metaphors: wretched devil (113), mummy (60), wretch (83), filthy daemon (83), abhorred monster (113), demoniacal corpse (60), fiend (103), vile insect (113). Thus, through vivid stylistic devices, the author manages to convey the idea of the work and convey to the reader that one should not go against nature.
The story of Mary Shelley left a deep mark on European and American literature, not only due to its style, but also to the plot. The description of a scientist, an inventor, whose brilliant discovery turns into a tragedy for him and others, anticipates that the greatest conquests of human thought turn out to be dangerous and pernicious. The novel is a kind of warning to humanity, which is so irresistibly striving to reveal the secrets and mysteries of nature.
Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft. Frankenstein. Planet E-book, 1818.