“Mary Shelley lived at a time of rapid progress in science. With reference to chapter four, in what ways is ‘Frankenstein’ an early form of science fiction? ” “Frankenstein”, by Mary Shelley is a challenging book to read. It is written in Chinese box narrative, a kind of narration with two or more persons telling their own story. It starts of with Walter, an explorer, writing to his sister. His ship gets stuck and he goes outside only to find Victor Frankenstein. Victor is in a bad way, dying in fact, and so tells Walton his story.
Halfway through Victor’s narrative, he creates the creature, which comes in, and tells his account. Then Victor comes back to conclude his tale, and the book finishes with Walton summing up, adding his own opinions, and writing to his sister again. Frankenstein was written in 1817, but even now is regarded as a classic. However, many views on the novel are changing due to the recent alteration in possible genres. Some people see it as an early form of science fiction. There are many reasons for this, which I will be presenting and explaining in this essay.
Most of the reasons and theories were placed into the book by Mary Shelley because of the advancements and dramatic progress in the science field around Shelley’s time. Things like the discovery of electricity, storage of food in cans and other major events that changed our world forever. As Victor concentrated on the earth science, his more than sister, Elizabeth, was quite the contrary. She occupied herself with art, poetry and music. Elizabeth had as big of an influence as possible on Victor. “It was a most beautiful season; never did the fields bestow a more plentiful harvest, or the vines yield a more luxurious vintage.
” Here, for the first and only time in the book, Victor appreciated the look of nature, and not its physical content. Mary Shelley herself was a romantic, and loved the same things as Elizabeth, and probably based the character on a reflection of her. Victor, on the other hand, has a volatile relationship with science. “Still my inquiries were directed to the metaphysical, or, in the highest sense, the physical secrets of the world. ” He changes his mind when proven wrong, even if he is angry about it.
He will stop at nothing to prove himself right if he thinks it is at all possible, even if terribly unlikely. He is the original mad scientist; and although the misconception of the state of the art laboratory is in fact his basement or attic, the true essence and desperation of the character remain. “It was the secrets of heaven and earth that I desired to learn. ” He had a love for the work of Cornelius Agrippa, Alburtus Magnus, and Paracelsus. Against the recommendation of his father and colleagues, he carried on studying their theories of the world.
The mere mention of these historical scientists can alone make the book at least partly science fiction, as it regularly mentions them and their work, and Victor uses their example in the first place to get the idea to make the creature. Victor, like many people, temporarily detached himself from the one thing he loved- science. He was a very stubborn and short tempered man, and being proven wrong is the final straw. His adored Cornelius Agrippa had been contradicted, and so Victor Frankenstein tore himself away, and dedicated himself to the facts of life that could never be wrong.
“The principals of Agrippa had been entirely exploded, and that a modern system of science had been introduced. ” All of this scientific mentioning was on one page, and is yet only a fraction of how much science in the entire book. Surely this, if no other evidence, would with at least point “Frankenstein” in the right direction to being named an early form of science fiction genre. Although Victor’s own obsession with science drives him to his final fate, there is also the idea of ultimate destiny. “Destiny was too potent, and her immutable laws had decreed my utter and terrible destruction.