Mary Shelley The late 18 th century was a time of enlightenment for Europe. All categories of learning improved in this enlightenment period. The most impressive advances were in the sciences. Newton had developed his laws of physics, and scientific method had been tuned to a point. These improvements gave people a new outlook on life and the world. Mary Shelley tries to tackle the intimidating nature of the enlightenment period in the book, Frankenstein.
The main character is a dramatized version of a scientist of the age. Victor Frankenstein has astronomical expectations of what he is bound to achieve in science. He goes as far to say that he can be more powerful than nature, and control natural forces. Shelley uses Victor as a fearful and intimidating example of the new scientific perspective of time. Determined, to take force over nature Victor becomes an eerie representation of science for the reader.
In Victor thoughts the conflict of enlightenment is also represented. He arrives on the boat a dreary broken man, stating that science and his own enlightenment are what brought him there. He did not choose to go to the college at Ingolstadt but his father advised him to. Upon his arrival and the beginning of his schooling Victor continuously struggled between the thoughts of Geneva and the new education he had. The most influential struggle of enlightenment is that of the exterior perspective of the monster. At first, the reader views it as a horror, and then later a murderer (in Geneva) without ever hearing from the "demon." Finally the creature confronts Victor and tells him his story of self-education.
The creature faces his own enlightenment and is trying to weigh morals and balance himself. The monster comes off a clean slate with no one to guide him, and is left to find knowledge in a time of enlightenment. Knowledge for the first became sought after and explored during the 18 th century. The world-view changed drastically and there was a large gap between the new-thinking and the old, and the education wasn't universal yet. All the discoveries made within such a short time turned Europe into a dynamic and chaotic place at the time when Mary Shelley was growing up. The book, Frankenstien, only portrays Shelley's feelings about times..