Connections to Present Day Challenges

I found Frankenstein to be an old, gothic novel that didn’t interest me much in the beginning. But what I found as I read on, was that even though it may be old and gothic, the themes expressed in this novel are very comparable to the current events happening in our present day. The novel acts as an allusion of our near future; whether Mary Shelley meant that or not is to be determined, but nevertheless it surprised me that I could make many real world connections.

One example, that was discussed in our skype call, is climate change. I believe that our present scenario with climate change is like when the creature kills William. We’ve already past the point of realizing that we’ve created it, hence the 196 countries that have banded together to slow its roll. Although we knew we were creating something potentially dangerous, we didn’t realize the power it held until it starting killing native animal species and severely impacting humans in developing countries. The numbers we hear may not sound like that much compared to the seven billion people on the planet, but to the people who have had loved ones fall ill to pollution¬† a change is important and must be made to end global suffering. This change, in relation to the novel, could have been Victor accepting his mistakes and taking the creature into his care and protection. The creature would likely not have caused any more harm to anyone else and maybe Victor could have helped him fit in more with society.

Another example, again touched on by our skype call, is that artificial intelligence is becoming too intelligent. One scenario could replace the creature of Frankenstein with a robot or cyborg (half-human, half-robot). By re-reading certain chapters, I realized that by replacing the creature’s character with the character of a robot, there would be little difference (only that current technology was clearly not available then). A robot can be given human flesh to wear, and can be programmed to have a clear slate brain that gets written by experiences which eventually turn into its personality. This is similar to the creature because when he woke up, he was only happy. His personality was built upon the experiences from the prejudice community and he was not guided by Victor to tell him right from wrong. There are theories about our current developments in A.I. (artificial intelligence) that predict robots would be able to take over some jobs like manufacturing instead of having human workers that an employer must pay. I hope we realize before we reach the point of no return, and that robots won’t hold a higher value than human life in this world run by technology.

One last example I pulled from the novel, was the importance of mental health. Any reader who has read past chapter five, knows that Victor is not in the best of health for the rest of the story. He constantly deals with severe anxiety, based on the persistent thoughts he feels of the creature and the numerous amounts of times he has tried to calm his nerves by travelling through the beautiful valleys and mountains. I imagine he also suffered from a form of depression once he learned that his family was slaughtered by his own creation. Like I’ve always said, maybe things could’ve been a lot better if Victor had accepted reality; he had brought life into the world and it was his job to nurture it. But he took the cowards path, and didn’t tell anyone except Walton, but by then the damage had been done and it was far too late to fix things.

Works Cited:

Bing, Microsoft, realistic&simid=608034708478951656&selectedIndex=0&ajaxhist=0.

Bing, Microsoft, agreement 2017&simid=608001650122883892&selectedIndex=22&ajaxhist=0.

Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft, et al. Frankenstein, or, The Modern Prometheus. Signet Classics, 2013.

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