the future of frankenstein

Although written over 200 years ago, Frankenstein is a novel that still beats in the hearts of students today. The themes and issues presented in the book of ambition, self-satisfaction, and regret all play a significant role in the lives of individuals living in the present. One can compare the way the characters of the novel dealt with the theme in comparison to how readers are dealing with them today. When looking at the history of Mary Shelley’s life, she was surrounded by many scholars. She listened in on innovative discussions that

verged on the edge of new discovery in what was called the enlightenment period. These new ideas and thoughts brought up many risks and issues in Mary Shelley’s eyes, which she brought up in the novel; one’s ambition to achieve self-satisfaction can cause them to prioritize their wants over their morals, leading to making choices that cause regret.  This can lead to an immoral, scientific development, effecting all who surround that individual.

Humans are continually pushing and working to be the best. Often we can develop a drive and ambition to be the best that we can be and will not be satisfied until we achieve our personal goal of rising to be the best. We see this in Frankenstein, in Victor, as well as in our lives today in our school and work. Victor develops this ambition through his work in creating the Monster and becomes incredibly obedient to his work. He wants to push the boundaries of science; to create life through electricity. In the past, we have seen this in changes in medical procedures such as the ability for a doctor to perform an abortion or surgery.  In the present day, we see this ambition and drive to create more science every day. People will soon be able to adjust the genes and physical attributes of their children to their liking. Cars are being driven without a passenger. These advancements raise the question of when does science take it too far? Where do we, as humans, draw the line as to where our morals outweigh and beat the advancements of science?

When the consequences of our ambition-fueled decisions arise, we as humans will feel a need to resolve this issue and “make it up” to ourselves or society. Victor demonstrates this through his need to warn Walton about the problem of being blind and obedient to one’s passions and dreams. Victor tells his story to Walton in hopes that Walton will never do the same thing that he did. He would not rest until his soul was at peace without the weight of the consequences of his shoulders. Coincidently, after telling Walton his story, Victor Frankenstein died the next day. A significant example of where we can see this demonstrated right in front of us is climate change, which has become a massive part of the scientific and political world as people are scrambling to find solutions to fix the earth’s climbing temperature. As a whole, we see the world coming together- realizing their mistakes of ignoring Co2 emissions through their ambitions to own the best cars, to produce the most oil, to make the best planes.

When analyzing the importance of studying Frankenstein in the modern world, we see that the issues in the world are timeless. That the question of what is considered too far in science will go on forever. Now, as we analyze the comparisons between the issues of then and now, we need to wonder- what is different now? What caused Victor’s ambition to drive his decisions so much? His mother’s death. She produced the turning point in his mind to change his questions of creating life to become goals for him. What causes the ambitions of people today to become so much more important than our morals? If we narrow our lens and look solely into the classrooms of students today, we see the answer clear as day. Pressure. In a world where one’s GPA is the sole factor in deciding whether you have a future, we can find an immense amount of stress in youth today. A student’s ambition to succeed, which is caused by the pressure to succeed around them, can lead them to believe that succeeding is more critical than their morals. It is why cheating scandals in high schools and universities have been higher now than ever. Students find it is better to cheat their way to the top than not make it there at all.

Many things evolve over time: technology, presidents, circumstances, wealth. But what doesn’t ever change is the human condition. Human emotion is something that transcends time, language, and culture. It is what authors like Mary Shelley use to their advantage. Anyone in the world can pick up Frankenstein, and once understanding the book, they can relate to the emotions that these characters feel. The more we learn about these emotions through these characters, the more we can learn about ourselves.

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6 thoughts on “the future of frankenstein

  1. Dear Petrina,

    Although I haven’t gotten to know you that well yet in class, probably because you are sitting with Zaid and Zain, from this writing piece alone I can see how you think and the many insightful ideas you have. There shouldn’t be any doubt in your capabilities as a writer because you are brilliant – you just need to not lose your drive or your passion to get better.

    For this post, I thought it was interesting to see how you compared Victor’s pursuit of knowledge and aligned it with current global affairs. The timelessness of Frankenstein is evident in multiple issues today where ambition and the desire for knowledge are quite prevalent. As you mentioned, the question of ‘what is considered too far in science’ is constantly debated in conflicts with ethics, for example. Once we get to that breaking point where we must choose between the pursuit of knowledge and what is morally correct we should always choose the latter. I love how you talked about the stress of school and university because we are constantly being pressured to be these ambitious, scholarly thinkers when we actually forget that we are first and foremost human.

    For recommendations, I would say to really narrow down on one or two current global issues, as I felt that in paragraphs three and four a new issue had been introduced, but you hadn’t thoroughly gone into detail about it like you did with the idea of education and pressure.

    Overall, you really are a great writer, and I’m glad that I get to keep learning how to get better from you and the rest of the class.

    1. Dear Abhay,

      Thank you for this kind comment! It means a lot to have you comment on my work, as you are such an inspirational writer and speaker. I definitely think that the advice you gave about going more in-depth and detail about issues that I had brought up was very helpful as sometimes I have to many separate thoughts in my head, making it hard to address them all without being vague. I think that in the future I will work on planning out my ideas onto paper with more detail, which would allow me to go more in-depth with some of my ideas.

      I look forward to reading more of your work
      Thank you!


  2. Dear Petrina,

    This was a very insightful piece that you wrote and I believe that you did a wonderful job of connecting the novel, Frankenstein, with today’s world. I absolutely loved how not only you connected with major, global issues but as well as with something most students can relate to; this is a great strategy to allow a younger reader like myself to connect with your writing on a new level.
    I also absolutely loved the line: “human emotion is something that transcends time, language, and culture.” This is very well put and you – as we all already knew – are brilliant.
    One thing I would recommend on working toward in the future, is connecting more to your thesis – or any main point – which I am assuming is: “one’s ambition to achieve self-satisfaction can cause them to prioritize their wants over their morals, leading to making choices that cause regret.” I found myself occasionally getting lost and needing to refer back to it.
    But other than that, this is beautifully put together and your writing is amazing.

    Much love,

    1. Dear TIna,

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment. I’m so glad you were able to connect to it and relate to it as well. I find it crazy how writing can connect so many people together through just one novel. I definitely agree with your recommendation. I think that oftentimes I may rant on about something and not bring it back to the main point of my writing. I really hope that you will get to read more of my writing in the future!

      Thank you

  3. Lovely Petrina,

    It was an absolute pleasure to read your piece. It dropped me in a completely different world and made me see things with a clearer perspective. Through your piece, you not only successfully compared Frankenstein to the modern world, but also brought forth questions and facts, which we as humans attempt to steer away from in our day-to-day lives due to the weight of their reality. Questions such as ‘…when does science take it too far?’ or ‘Where do we, as humans, draw the line as to where our morals outweigh and beat the advancements of science?’ almost always succeed in silencing a room full of chatter because no one knows the answer, and everyone is too scared to even think of one. I also quite enjoyed the fact that you were able to make your piece relatable by talking about the stress put on students by educational institutions that even the idea of not being good enough becomes nightmare for the students.

    In terms of improvements, I agree with Abhay, narrowing down the number of modern world issues that you bring forth and going in detail with them will really help to hit home the argument that you put forth.

    You are a wonderful writer and I can’t wait to read more of your pieces.
    Much love,

    1. Dear Saumyaa,

      Thank you so much for your insight. I am so glad that my writing was able to see things from a clearer perspective and ask yourself new questions. It definitely was my goal to try my best to connect the issues in the novel with the issues students are dealing with today, so I am very happy you were able to pick up on that.
      As for your recommendations, I agree now as I am reading over my piece how there are many different issues that I never dive fully into. Sometimes less is more, and I can definitely incorporate that into my writing. I’m so glad you read my piece as you are a fabulous writer yourself.

      Thank you,

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