Things I Think

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Feminism, Frankenstein, Foccacia

Posted in Frankenstein on September 13, 2011 by catho89

With bread in the oven, I have started thinking about Frankenstein and his own, unnatural bun in the oven. I have been considering the role of the female and how it pertains to nature in the novel, and how Frankenstein himself takes away a woman’s natural power to give life.

As Frankenstein “pursues nature to her hiding place” (36), Shelley personifies nature as a female entity. Frankenstein aggressively chases her down and usurps her natural, biological powers in pursuit of the gift of life. Frankenstein believes “a new species would bless [him] as its creator and source; many happy and excellent natures would owe their being to [him]” (36).  Frankenstein is deeming himself the creator and the source of life, dismissing the primary biological role of women and creating an unnatural life from death. Arrogantly,  he does not even stop to consider the responsibilities of bringing life into the world. Frankenstein boldly goes where no man physically can go, or ethically should go.

Immediately after creating his creature, Frankenstein is filled with regret and remorse, and abandons his child. The very thought of the monster causes him to “gnash [his] teeth…and [he] ardently wished to extinguish the life which [he] had so thoughtlessly bestowed” (71). Even the monster knows that he is “the miserable and the abandoned…an abortion, to be spurned at, and kicked, and trampled on” (189). Unwilling to take responsibility for his creation, Frankenstein rejects the power he wrongfully took.

I’m having a hard time wrapping this up in some succinct point that Shelley is trying to make. I guess it is as simple as man should not tamper with or take the place of nature if we are unable to bare the responsibilities or the consequences. I guess that is the point she is trying to make…

What do you think?


Just like Mary Shelley, Just like Frankenstein…

Posted in Frankenstein on September 6, 2011 by catho89

Clank your chains and count your change

Try to walk the line

Hunter and Garcia

Now that that is out of my system…

When I first read Frankenstein in high school, I considered Shelley’s view of science as very black and white, good vs. evil, right vs. wrong. However with a few years under my belt, and the vast wisdom of a 21 year old,  I see the gray area. Rather than the unquestionable horrors of technology, and the depravity of science, I feel the unease, and perhaps the wariness that Shelley feels. Especially in the cases of Frankenstein and Walton, who put so much trust in discovery and knowledge without considering the consequences, it is understandable that we should be skeptical.

“What may not be expected in a country of eternal light? I may there discover the wondrous power which attracts the needle…” (Shelley, 6).

This light, or rather, this knowledge, can either be enlightening or blinding (see what I did there?), and Walton and Frankenstein walk this fine line. They push the boundaries of what is possible, risking the safety of themselves and those around them. For Frankenstein, “life and death appear…ideal bounds, which [he] should first break through, and pour a torrent of light into our dark world” (36). His desire to shed light upon seemingly dark places goes unchecked, leading to tragic ends. So its not the science itself that is wrong, it is man’s lack of caution and judgment to do what is right.

Frankenstein and Walton must find the balance between their thirsts for discovery and glory, and the limits of life and death. And as an audience, we must “learn from [Frankenstein]…how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge, and how much happier that man is who believes his native town to be the world, than he who aspires to become greater than his nature will allow” (35).

But, “how many things are we upon the brink of being acquainted, if cowardice or carelessness did not restrain our inquires?” (33). Where do we draw the line?

And now it’s time to make some cookies!