Cultural Analysis Frankenstein

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Saul Leyva English 2323 Professor Andres October 21, 14 Cultural Analysis Essay The culture of every era has impacted literature since the beginning of time. The culture defines the boundaries of literature. It is amazing how literature can display the specific culture of the time and how our culture as whole has changed. The Romantic era was so different compared to the Victorian Age and even more different than the Twentieth Century. These different ages not only show different ideas of literature but they also portray how culture has evolved. Religion is one the many cultural events that is portrayed in a literary text. Religion is always portrayed in literary texts because it has always been an important part of society. Mary Shelley’s…show more content…
The French Revolution changed the social hierarchy in France and also affected Great Britain and England (Andres). Science was also having great leaps at that time; it was becoming a major factor in the change as well. The new ideas were changing society and literature. The new thinkers were beginning to publicize their ideas in books and paintings. This is why we can see the society’s ideals in literature. Frankenstein is an example of how literature represents a cultural community and how the writers began to express their beliefs. Mary Shelley showed how society was becoming more intrigued with science and less intrigued with religion. The story speaks of Victor’s obsession with science; he says, “But this state of mind had place only in the first steps towards knowledge: the more fully I entered into the science, the more exclusively I pursued it for its own sake. That application, which at first had been a matter of duty and resolution, now became so ardent and eager, that the stars often disappeared in the light of morning whilst I was yet engaged in my laboratory” (Shelley, pg. 31) We can see how Shelley’s explanation of Victor’s thirst for…show more content…
The people were more intrigued with the dark arts. Henry Fuseli’s “The Nightmare” from 1781 is proof to the statement (fig 1). The painting was completed during the height of the Enlightenment; also call the “Age of Reason.” The thinkers of this time believed in shedding the light of science and reason on the world (Enlightenment). They wanted to question the traditional beliefs and ideas. Their goal was to bring to light everything about creation, science and religion. The ideas of this age were opposed to traditional Catholicism (Enlightenment). In perspective, these thinkers wanted to prove that God was not the figure of the Old and New testaments, but was more like a watchmaker that has nothing else to do with the world (Enlightenment). The painting in my opinion shows how the culture was straying from religion as well. The first object we notice in the painting is a woman who is lying on a bed with her head and hand hanging off (fig.1). The reason we notice her is because of the contrast of her white dress compared to the darkness of the rest of the picture. The woman looks like a victim to the creature, which is sitting on her. The creature on her chest is said to be an incubus or a mara (Paulson). An incubus is a type of spirit that lies atop people in their sleep to have sexual intercourse with sleeping women. This painting represents how the new age thinkers are

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