Madness, Violence, Science: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein College

The creation of life is a cautionary metaphor for the advancement of science in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Today, however, this type of life-generating science is commonplace. It does not take place in the laboratory of a mad scientist, but in sterile and advanced research facilities. Scientists use technology such as genetic engineering, cloning, and in vitro fertilization to alter the genomes of microorganisms, plants and animals including humans. Viewed by many as the creation of life, these advancements have had their share of moral and religious upsets. The technology revolution our society is experiencing today is not unlike the scientific revolution during the Enlightenment of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Key figures in the scientific revolution, such as Newton and Darwin, brought evidence that challenged religious principles. In result, the concern of scientific advancement was prominent throughout the Romantic Era.

Romantic writers, poets and painters voiced their criticisms of these advancements. Edgar Allan Poe reflects the anti-industrial advancements in his work “Sonnet- To Science”. Poe compares Science to a “Vulture, whose wings are dull realities” (1-4). Poe reflects his view that science is...

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