Frankenstein: Searching for Meaning in Existence & Romanticism - Essay Sample

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  1015 Words
Date:  2023-05-22


Frankenstein reveals how man tries to bring out the essence and meaning of existence. Mary Shelley uses a man by the name Victor Frankenstein to bring to the context by depicting how the latter struggling when finding the true meaning of the physical globe. It is quite an enduring and terrifying novel as many can term it. Romanticism is highly discussed as it forms an artistic and intellectual kind of literary movement. The movement acted as an Enlightenment age and a response to the Industrial Revolution. The paper will discuss the novel in-depth and give some of the ideas that got brought out regarding the Enlightenment, Romanticism, and the Industrial Revolution.

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Romanticism: Emotions vs. Enlightenment

Romanticism era had ideas which suggested that misuse of power can harm society in general. Romantics believed in following the directions from one's heart as opposed to Enlightenment, which believed in reasoning, observation, logic, and intellect. The movement took different periods, with the first one being in a time when there was a war that revolved around the French Revolution. Romanticism was more rational and specific, as opposed to the Industrial Revolution. The movement had concentrated more on the individual generally rather than the community. There were the belief and optimism visionary that was brought about by early romantics (Shelley & Groom, 2016). The latter had the notion that there were processes involved with the world's most significant improvements and changes that had vanished at a more significant percentage. The novel clearly expresses Frankenstein as a character who is after control and freedom during the Romanticism era.

The Industrial Revolution's Impact on Society

A good example is an encounter of Walton with the sister, where the former addresses the latter a letter expressing the journey of the arctic that was full of icy waters. The control that gets shown in the context of Walton is the fact that he had the power to move the ship anywhere that he wished (Shelley & Groom, 2016). On the same note, Frankenstein's control over the creation of what can be termed as monsters gives access to exploring the subject matter clearly, which the society had deemed as strange. Many of the Romantics had more often than not tried creating such kind of freedom, but what hindered them was the type of society that existed during that period. Romanticism, as a movement, prioritized emotions over logical reasoning and upheld nature and individualism.

Frankenstein's Creation and the Working Class

Industrial Revolution as expressed in the novel by Mary Shelley, reveals various scenes that depict how the revolution affected the working population in Europe. The book shows how the population was in demand for fair and equal treatment in their various workplaces. That is because many of the factories that they worked in were large and owned by wealthy merchants. That being the case, it was unfair for them to be in poor working conditions (King & Goodall, 2008). When it comes to Frankenstein, the monster created demands rights from the main character. That is a clear illustration of the demands that are presented by the working population in unfavorable conditions during the revolution. The novel is an insight that brings in the idea of revolutionary spirit from time to time and the degree that some of the individuals held towards a change in their environment.

Enlightenment: Reason and Progress

Enlightenment was an era that the devotees focused more on reason than following the desires of the heart and nature. It had homogenous agendas that revolved around the advancement and progress of knowledge. That is because the movements were monolithic, which brought to the modernization and revision of philosophical theories. The ideas that were present in action brought contradictions when it came to human existence being viewed concerning members of a community or individually as individuals. The movement, however, managed to bring influences that were secularizing, which can be seen to be achievements (Shelley, 2012). Some of those influences could be felt directly in the church when it came to civic matters as the public administration had gotten secularized. That made it difficult for the church to undermine the European community based on their Christian foundations. The movement forms a fertile ground for Victor's introduction in the field of science. The fact that he was born in Geneva puts him in a place that is held firmly by Calvinism. Another setting that is very valuable as far as the movement and the character is concerned is Ingolstadt, which is a town that adopts progressive principles intending to achieve social reform. Shelly shows how progress, liberty, optimism, and fate has supported the Enlightenment era and uses Victor as an example.


Conclusively, the historical relevance of the novel has given an in-depth notation of the three kinds of movements that include Romanticism, Industrial Revolution, and Enlightenment. The three changes are in support of various characteristics and ideas that include nature, reason, and individualism. The author has used Victor as a good representation of the society and the attitude that individuals held during the different movements.


King, C. K., & Goodall, J. R. (Eds.). (2008). Frankenstein's science: experimentation and discovery in Romantic culture, 1780-1830. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.

Shelley, M. (2012). Frankenstein. Claremont, Canada: Broadview Press.

Shelley, M., & Groom, N. (2016). Frankenstein, or, The modern Prometheus. Brooklyn, New York: Restless Books.

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Frankenstein: Searching for Meaning in Existence & Romanticism - Essay Sample. (2023, May 22). Retrieved from

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