In the 21st Century, we can view Mary Shelly's Frankenstein as a modern myth. The term 'modern myth' however, when relating to the novel, can be interpreted in two different ways. The first way being "How might Frankenstein be viewed as a myth in modern times (being 2002)', and the other interpretation being 'How is Frankenstein viewed by people in the 21st Century, as a modern myth to people existing at the time of Mary Shelly.' This essay will explore the first option after coming to the conclusion that the definition of a 'modern myth' is 'An unsure legend that relates to recent times', Mary Shelly's Frankenstein IS a modern myth, as it explores various scientific developments, that in the 17th Century were thought of as ludicrous, but today, in the 21st Century, is more believable. The reality of Mary Shelly's story is in-fact more realistic today, making it a myth in the sense of "unsure" if it could really happen.
Victor Frankenstein's dream was to "explore unknown powers, and unfold to the world the deepest mysteries of creation" (pg 47). He wanted to create a being "of a gigantic stature. About eight feet in height, and proportionally large" (pg 52), a being that would be put together with collected body parts from the local graveyard. Frankenstein states, "That I might infuse a spark of being into the lifeless thing that lay at my feet." (pg 56)The beauty of this dream however, vanished, and "Breathless horror and disgust filled his heart" (pg 56) when this being was actually came to life. .
The creation of a monster like this back in the 17th century via such un-natural means would not have so much been a myth, but rather an entertaining, gothic, fictional, totally un-true, and impossible story. It would not have been classified as a 'myth' back then, because a myth is defined as an unsure legend. And this story was not 'unsure' in those times, it was just very un-realistic to even believe that it could actually happen, therefore making it 'sure' that it could not happen.