Frankenstein

Topics: Voltaire, Age of Enlightenment, French Revolution Pages: 3 (1063 words) Published: July 14, 2013
Frankenstein Midterm
In her novel, Frankenstein, Mary Shelley depicts the abuse of power in the French Revolution and the fateful consequences that ultimately cause destruction, death, and turmoil throughout France.

One interpretation of Shelley’s novel is that it critiques the French Revolution. Victor Frankenstein represents the most radical government that came to power during the French Revolution, The Jacobins. As a boy Victor was shy and kept to himself, but remained loyal to his family. When Victor left home to receive an education, however, he became obsessed with the knowledge he was able to gain, and cut off all communication with his family (Shelley 55-60). When he discovered the secret to creating life, he became a madman from his intense fervor to prove what he could produce. Expecting a beautiful creation, Victor was horrified at what he truly created: a grotesque monster. Using this as an allegory for the French Revolution, Shelley represents Victor as the radical Jacobins and the creature he creates as the Terror that results from the Jacobins ruling. Before the French Revolution broke out, the common people of France did what was expected of them and rarely revolted. But as the prices for food increased and the common people’s rights decreased, revolts soon broke out. In the novel, Victor is so horrified of the creature he created, that he shuns him and leaves the creature to fend for himself. Victor does not accept his creation, nor does he treat him as his equal. Instead Victor does not take responsibility for his actions and abandons him. Just as the monster was, the people of France are mistreated and not seen as equal to other citizens. The ungratefulness shown by the aristocracy to the common people that produce food, clothes, and structures for the country results in revolts that eventually turn into a chaotic mess that overthrows the government. The common people began to educate themselves and obtained a voice in their society...
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