Biblical Illusions In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

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Many people view Frankenstein as a tragedy about a monster and revenge, but there is more weaved into this text that takes close reading Mary Shelley includes many very suggestible texts in her book Frankenstein, but perhaps most suggestible of all is the incorporation of Genesis. The religious innuendo seems out of place in this horror novel, so why was it included? What is Shelley suggesting about creation? Throughout Frankenstein, knowledge of the existence of his creator has a crippling effect on the Creature as he struggles to attune his view of himself with his overwhelming desire for divine approval and acceptance from humans (Smith, 2011). Shelley includes Genesis references to make a comparison of human development through the means…show more content…
In chapter four, Victor is defining the importance of his success in re-animating life. For Victor, the re-animation of life means that he will be deemed a "creator and source." Given Christian ideology believes God to be the only creator, Victor defines himself up as a god. Chapter fifteen contains a far more direct reference to the Bible. In this chapter, the Creature is telling his story of his short-lived experience with humans. Upon reading Milton's Paradise Lost, the Creature realizes that he is like both Adam and Satan. The Creature states that he is like Adam because there was "no link to any other being in existence." The Creature compares himself to Satan in regards to the fact that "for often, like him, when I viewed the bliss of my protectors, the bitter gall of envy rose within me.” (Pg.117). To me this Creature cannot be contained to one biblical figure, he represents many of them. He is alone in the position of Adam, he is tainted by knowledge as Eve was, he is hated and shunned by his creator as Satan was, and he feels the vengeance of Cain through killing. By making Victor parallel to god and playing out all the other biblical characters through the Creature Mary Shelley is essentially rewriting the Book of Genesis with her own malicious…show more content…
However, he also can be see as an Eve in this story with his unquenchable desire for knowledge. Just like Eve it is this knowledge that ultimately leads to his demise. As the bible says “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Genesis 2:17). After Victor creates this creature, and eats from the metaphorical tree of knowledge, he is horrified by what he has done and recognizes his creator as a production of the devil, as the serpent is unmasked to Eve. The Creature becomes this ‘monster’ that Victor proclaims him to be through his own quest for knowledge. Although alone, the Creature at first has an innocent mind, he become malicious by observing the villagers, reading books, struggling to learn their language “I can hardly describe to you the effect of these books. They produced in me an infinity for new images and feelings, that sometimes raised me to ecstasy, but more frequently sunk me into the lowest dejection.” (Pg.115). Altering himself and desperately trying to grasp on to any piece of information that might link him to some other human in the world leads the Creature to misery. This thirst for knowledge is human nature, whether we are born into religious beliefs and repentance or born without any guidance, sin is inevitable. Mary Shelley creates this story to dramatize the danger of this quest

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