Essay on The Most Important Element in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

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The Most Important Element in Frankenstein

When reading a novel or watching a play, most people are deceived into believing that the plot is the most important element. Many people believe that the characters, setting, and situations simply exist to develop the plot. It can be argued, however, that the theme is the most important aspect of a given work, and that the plot exists merely to solidify the underlying messages that the author actually intends to communicate.

Theme is the most important element in Mary Shelley's novel, Frankenstein. In this novel, Victor Frankenstein's passion for scientific progress leads to the birth of a horrific monster that, in turn, seeks revenge upon Victor and
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Thus, Shelley is clear in her warning about Victor Frankenstein's fault not for creating the monster, but for his neglect in taking responsibility for it and this condemnation leads to the alignment of the creators' behavior to "the parody of the Calvinist God, his self-reprobation transferring itself to the being he has created" (Goodall 20).

Furthermore, this theme continues to resound in contemporary society. In March 1997, when the Edinburgh team who created Dolly, the cloned sheep, announced the success of their experiment, Ian Wilmut as head of the research team was obliged to make the reassuring statement that they were "not Frankenstein-type people" (McKie 7). The public debate on cloning continues to be littered with references to Frankenstein. As society continuously wrestles with issues of cloning, genetic engineering, prolonging life, test-tube babies, and the like, the ramifications in this myth should remain in the forefront of that society's mind.

The human tendency to judge is quintessentially portrayed in the events that occur in the hours following Victor Frankenstein's unnatural animation in the "spark of being." Furthermore, the monster learns of society's importance on physical appearance through his first upsetting encounter with humans which is wholly propelled by his looks: when he opens his yellow eyes for the first time and witnessed Victor Frankenstein, his

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