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Science: The Anti-Christ

             Mary Shelley's Frankenstein was written during a period of dramatic change. The failed French Revolution and Industrial Revolution seriously mark the novel with hints of moral and scientific revolution. Through Frankenstein, Shelley sends out a clear message that morally irresponsible scientific development can unleash a monster that will destroy its creator. During the period of Enlightenment, people started questioning the church and its spiritual explanations, and for the first time started thinking scientifically. Empirical observation, and the switch from deductive to inductive thinking, opened the door to ideas that were previously thought to be impossible; for example, giving life to an inanimate object. Mary Shelly wrote Frankenstein at a time when scientific thought processes were beginning to give way to a less empirical style of thought, one that Shelly saw as being more harmonious with nature and one with fewer disregards for morality and religion.
             Shelly reflects her dislike of the scientific process with her depiction of the scientist Victor Frankenstein. Upon beginning his quest to uncover the creation process, Frankenstein uses science to, "Penetrate into the recesses of nature and show how she works in her hiding-places." (Shelly, p. 76) Frankenstein is seen as invasive and obtrusive towards the sanctity of nature. Indeed he is seen as the classic male seeking to dominate the "weaker" female (nature) and in doing so seeks to dominate its creator, God. Shelly also reflects the fear that more traditional, religious individuals had about the proliferation of scientific thought during the Enlightenment. Shelly sees scientists like Frankenstein as believing they have ascend[ed] into the heavens [and] acquired new and almost unlimited powers [allowing them to] command the thunders of heaven, mimic the earthquake, and even mock the invisible world of its own shadows" (Shelly, p.

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