Analysis of Mary Shelley's Ideas in Frankenstein

Topics:
Words:
2388
Pages:
5
This essay sample was donated by a student to help the academic community. Papers provided by EduBirdie writers usually outdo students' samples.

Cite this essay cite-image

“Life of Pi” and “Frankenstein” are disclosures that perfectly challenge the boundary of ethics thus morality is a vital theme in both the novel and movie as both contexts have parallel implications primarily through Pi and Frankenstein’s peril. Mary Shelley reverses the role of man and monster whereas Ang Lee blurs the line of morality by presenting two stories, one which reveals the extreme cruelty of mankind and one which offers Pi as a resilient hero.

Following the storm, Pi submits to God by stating “thank you God for everything, I’m ready now”, Ang Lee insinuates through this that Pi, in the face of such hardships, will not abandon God because his might has become more obvious to him. God awards Pi’s salvation with the algae island, a green island, green representing the color of life and renewal.

God punishes Frankenstein with the death of all those dearest to him and the loss of his own mortality, this symbolizes opposing God’s will, will only result in the loss of one’s humanity. Pi, however, submits to God in the face of such despair and is awarded renewal through the algae island.

Following the storm, Pi submits to God by stating “thank you God for everything, I’m ready now”, Ang Lee insinuates through this that Pi, in the face of such hardships, will not abandon God because his might has become more obvious to him. God awards Pi’s salvation with the algae island, a green island, green representing the color of life and renewal.

God punishes Frankenstein with the death of all those dearest to him and the loss of his own mortality, this symbolizes opposing God’s will, will only result in the loss of one’s humanity. Pi, however, submits to God in the face of such despair and is awarded renewal through the algae island.

God and his ways

God and religion in “Frankenstein” dictate the morality of the characters. Frankenstein plays God through his creation of the Monster, and his regard of himself as a greater being to God, as implied by the statement “no father could claim the gratitude of his child so completely as I should claim theirs.” (42) Mary Shelley conveys to the readers; Frankenstein has become obsessed with playing God to dehumanize Frankenstein. She personifies their relationship to suggest he is even willing to replace God as the fabricator of life. The Monster is intrigued by God, as seen by his fascination of nature. “The pleasant sunshine, and the pure air of day, restored me to some degree of tranquility,” (102) The monster is indulging in God’s gift. Though he is technically the monster by appearance, he has the sense of a human, something which Frankenstein lacks. Isn’t it ironic how a “monster” can respect God whereas a human being cannot?

Ang Lee shows the humanity in Pi through his seeking of salvation in God In the scene where there is a colossal storm, Pi loses his survival tools and even his words as represented by the loss of the notebook. God even attempts to take Richard Parker, his only source of hope. The storm and lightning provide strong imagery of God’s might and his absolute control over human beings, and it is because of his might Pi draws closer to God.

God and religion in “Frankenstein” dictate the morality of the characters. Frankenstein plays God through his creation of the Monster, and his regard of himself as a greater being to God, as implied by the statement “no father could claim the gratitude of his child so completely as I should claim theirs.” (42) Mary Shelley conveys to the readers; Frankenstein has become obsessed with playing God to dehumanize Frankenstein. She personifies their relationship to suggest he is even willing to replace God as the fabricator of life. The Monster is intrigued by God, as seen by his fascination of nature. “The pleasant sunshine, and the pure air of day, restored me to some degree of tranquility,” (102) The monster is indulging in God’s gift. Though he is technically the monster by appearance, he has the sense of a human, something which Frankenstein lacks. Isn’t it ironic how a “monster” can respect God whereas a human being cannot?

Ang Lee shows the humanity in Pi through his seeking of salvation in God In the scene where there is a colossal storm, Pi loses his survival tools and even his words as represented by the loss of the notebook. God even attempts to take Richard Parker, his only source of hope. The storm and lightning provide strong imagery of God’s might and his absolute control over human beings, and it is because of his might Pi draws closer to God.

“Even when God seemed to have abandoned me, he was watching. Even when he seemed indifferent to my sufferings.” Ang Lee suggests Pi is drawn only closer to God through his omniscience over his suffering.

Pi still tends to the tiger’s needs whether it is through food or water because the tiger offers a glimpse of hope. It is because of this hope, Pi can survive.

In contrast, Frankenstein abandons all duties towards his own creation who is only wretched by appearance and has the sense of a human being. This symbolizes the lack of morality in human beings due to prejudice of one’s appearance.

Are there any exceptions to morality?

Survival

Ang Lee really begins to question us about the morality of the characters when the desire to survive comes into the equation.

The contention between the orangutan and the hyena reveals a deeper meaning, the orangutan represents Pi’s mother and the Hyena the cook. Since orange represents the color for warmth, joy and morality it perfectly symbolizes Pi’s mother who is outraged with the horrendous killing of the sailor by the cook represented by the hyena. Hyenas are scavengers and in survival, scavenging is the most efficient method of survival, therefore for the benefit of the crew, the cook breaches the most extreme boundaries to kill the sailor to use as bait. The director wants the audience to question whether the orangutan, representing warmth or the hyena which represents the extreme measures to survive should have a greater influence on one’s survival.

Although Ang Lee suggests humans can go beyond their morality to survive, Pi still attempts to maintain his humanity through human emotions such as regret and sadness. Pi is forced to resort to killing a fish to survive, it should be noted in the Hindu faith, killing an animal is equivalent to killing a human being.

Pi still tends to the tiger’s needs whether it is through food or water because the tiger offers a glimpse of hope. It is because of this hope, Pi can survive.

In contrast, Frankenstein abandons all duties towards his own creation who is only wretched by appearance and has the sense of a human being. This symbolizes the lack of morality in human beings due to prejudice of one’s appearance.

Everyone has a responsibility

By abandoning the monster at its inception, Frankenstein has basically overlooked his responsibilities. The creature is a living being whose senses are altered by his environment, and his abandonment provides strong imagery of an orphaned child, which Mary Shelley uses to further dehumanize Frankenstein.

Save your time!
We can take care of your essay
  • Proper editing and formatting
  • Free revision, title page, and bibliography
  • Flexible prices and money-back guarantee
Place Order
document

“All men hate the wretched; how then, must I be hated, who am miserable beyond all living things! Yet you, my creator, detest and spurn me, thy creature, to whom thou art bound by ties only dissoluble by the annihilation of one of us” (86). Mary Shelley emphasizes that Frankenstein has a duty to the monster which he has not fulfilled by revealing the cruel treatment of the monster. Mary Shelley furthermore uses the word “annihilation” to foreshadow the demise of Frankenstein as a direct result of his unmaintained duties to the creature.

In Life of Pi, Ang Lee suggests there is a responsibility owed to everyone. Pi tends to the needs of the tiger which in turn empowers him to survive. Pi states “tending to his needs gives my life purpose”, the director emphasizes through the quote, Pi is fulfilling his duties and in turn is rewarded with hope and the will to survive. By tending to the tiger, Pi is simply fulfilling a moral duty to support the needy.

The tiger represents nature, a creation with no human sensibilities, and therefore a monster whose animalistic traits cannot be altered.

By abandoning the monster at its inception, Frankenstein has basically overlooked his responsibilities. The creature is a living being whose senses are altered by his environment, and his abandonment provides strong imagery of an orphaned child, which Mary Shelley uses to further dehumanize Frankenstein.

“All men hate the wretched; how then, must I be hated, who am miserable beyond all living things! Yet you, my creator, detest and spurn me, thy creature, to whom thou art bound by ties only dissoluble by the annihilation of one of us” (86). Mary Shelley emphasizes that Frankenstein has a duty to the monster which he has not fulfilled by revealing the cruel treatment of the monster. Mary Shelley furthermore uses the word “annihilation” to foreshadow the demise of Frankenstein as a direct result of his unmaintained duties to the creature.

In Life of Pi, Ang Lee suggests there is a responsibility owed to everyone. Pi tends to the needs of the tiger which in turn empowers him to survive. Pi states “tending to his needs gives my life purpose”, the director emphasizes through the quote, Pi is fulfilling his duties and in turn, is rewarded with hope and the will to survive. By tending to the tiger, Pi is simply fulfilling a moral duty to support the needy.

The tiger represents nature, a creation with no human sensibilities, and therefore a monster whose animalistic traits cannot be altered.

Frankenstein and the monster speak

The heartbreaking music in the background coupled with the regretful expression on Pi’s face and the words “I’m sorry” suggests Pi’s remorse for killing the fish, which suggests survival can force someone to cross one’s ethics

Science

Frankenstein also struggles with his choices; his actions are based on impulse, unlike Pi who is forced to oppose his moral boundaries because of survival. Science ethics or to be specific unrestrained science takes an immense toll on Frankenstein who is allured by the potential of science. Frankenstein’s justification for the monster’s creation is the renewal of life to benefit people, however, is there a limit to this? Mary Shelley insinuates through the creation of the monster that science is not an exception to morality as Frankenstein makes choices, he does not consider the consequences of his work due to his obsession. His eyes only open to the gravity of his creation the moment his creation opens its own eyes. Mary Shelley dehumanizes Frankenstein to us by revealing the true details of the monster’s creation.

The gothic elements in the description of the monster’s creation such as the stitching of flesh and the visits to the morgue reveal Frankenstein no longer have human senses such as fear of the dead. By desensitizing Frankenstein, Mary Shelley basically wants to reverse his role with the monster in order to show man is more capable of evil than a “monster” is.

When Frankenstein digs out the dead in the cemetery at night, it is essentially foreshadowing his own death due to his ambition which is a connotation of unrestrained science.

Both Frankenstein and Pi are living the consequences of their choices and actions. However, Pi is forced by survival to test his own morality, which he must maintain in the face of death. Pi’s extreme actions are justified because surviving is the greatest responsibility placed by God. Frankenstein however essentially digs his own coffin with the creation of the monster as he does not recognize the consequences of his work until it is too late. Therefore, it cannot be argued Frankenstein’s desire to benefit humanity is a reason to suppress his morality.

Is morality defined?

Ultimately, both the novel and movie reveal the true extent the characters undergo to maintain their morality. In “Frankenstein”, Mary Shelley demonstrates clearly Frankenstein is the true monster in the themes of God, responsibility, and Science ethics, to desensitize Frankenstein to us the readers.

By dehumanizing Frankenstein, Mary Shelley is showing who is the monster, and since monsters are beyond morality, she is technically drawing the boundary between right and wrong. However, in Life of Pi, Ang Lee blurs the line of morality with survival.

The gothic elements in the description of the monster’s creation such as the stitching of flesh and the visits to the morgue reveal Frankenstein no longer has human senses such as fear of the dead. By desensitizing Frankenstein, Mary Shelley basically wants to reverse his role with the monster in order to show man is more capable of evil than a “monster” is.

When Frankenstein digs out the dead in the cemetery at night, it is essentially foreshadowing his own death due to his ambition which is a connotation of unrestrained science.

Both Frankenstein and Pi are living the consequences of their choices and actions. However, Pi is forced by survival to test his own morality, which he must maintain in the face of death. Pi’s extreme actions are justified because surviving is the greatest responsibility placed by God. Frankenstein however essentially digs his own coffin with the creation of the monster as he does not recognize the consequences of his work until it is too late. Therefore, it cannot be argued Frankenstein’s desire to benefit humanity is a reason to suppress his morality.

In the scene where Pi regrets killing the fish

Ang Lee shows Pi’s humanity in Pi with his attachment to God and Richard Parker, however, the influence survival has on Pi prompts us the readers to question what is truly right or wrong.

Bibliography

  1. Life of Pi. Directed by Ang Lee, 20th Century Studios, 1 Jan. 2013.
  2. Shelley, M. (2013). Frankenstein. London: Harperpress.
  3. 0Ang Lee shows Pi’s humanity in Pi with his attachment to God and Richard Parker, however, the influence survival has on Pi prompts us the readers to question what is truly right or wrong.
Make sure you submit a unique essay

Our writers will provide you with an essay sample written from scratch: any topic, any deadline, any instructions.

Cite this paper

Analysis of Mary Shelley’s Ideas in Frankenstein. (2022, December 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 13, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/analysis-of-mary-shelleys-ideas-in-frankenstein/
“Analysis of Mary Shelley’s Ideas in Frankenstein.” Edubirdie, 27 Dec. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/analysis-of-mary-shelleys-ideas-in-frankenstein/
Analysis of Mary Shelley’s Ideas in Frankenstein. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/analysis-of-mary-shelleys-ideas-in-frankenstein/> [Accessed 13 Apr. 2024].
Analysis of Mary Shelley’s Ideas in Frankenstein [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Dec 27 [cited 2024 Apr 13]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/analysis-of-mary-shelleys-ideas-in-frankenstein/
copy

Join our 150k of happy users

  • Get original paper written according to your instructions
  • Save time for what matters most
Place an order

Fair Use Policy

EduBirdie considers academic integrity to be the essential part of the learning process and does not support any violation of the academic standards. Should you have any questions regarding our Fair Use Policy or become aware of any violations, please do not hesitate to contact us via support@edubirdie.com.

Check it out!
close
search Stuck on your essay?

We are here 24/7 to write your paper in as fast as 3 hours.