Critical Essay on Frankenstein

Posted on August 27, 2014

Critical essays are written after carefully reading and analyzing a given text. Critical essay writing is a common requirement in colleges. To succeed in this type of writing, a number of tips are essential. To begin with, the student has to conduct a sufficient research concerning the topic. This will provide a solid framework for analyzing key themes or concepts of which the instructor is expecting. A critical analysis demands a close reading of the text. A critical essay on Frankenstein, for example, cannot be written unless one adequately understands what Frankenstein is all about. A sample essay is as follows:

Authored by Mary Shelley, Frankenstein is a Gothic novel with a storyline that is simply unforgettable. Revolving around Victor Frankenstein, the novel seeks to examine how knowledge can be used for purposes of doing well or for furthering evil in society.

Additionally, the author is intent on depicting how technology has invaded modern life, thereby demonstrating how man often does not take responsibility for what he creates. In addition, the novel shows the power that nature has in restoring order after unnatural events. In so doing, Frankenstein adequately demonstrates a distinctive feature of Gothic novels, which is the focus on mysterious as well as supernatural happenings.

For example, in Frankenstein, the thick, misty scene in which Victor collects body parts to use in his experiments indicates secrecy in what Frankenstein intends to do. In addition, the technologies that Victor uses to create life have been condemned as archaic and ineffective by one of his professors. Elsewhere in the novel, life is created in an unnatural manner.

Another notable element in Frankenstein is its almost exclusive focus on the experiences of males. Throughout the novel, the female characters do not have a voice but are seen as fragile and end up being killed. This element has much to do with the author’s biography. Mary Shelley was brought up in the absence of her natural mother, who passed away after Shelley’s birth. For those characters who survive, the novel depicts them in such a way that personifies what is dominantly expected of a lady. Likewise, two male characters in Shelley’s novel are depicted as being highly ambitious and averse to having sexual relationships with females.

Although Frankenstein seeks to demonstrate that society cannot achieve meaningful developmental progress if it continues excluding female participation in its public agenda, it can be faulted for seeming to endorse the stereotyping of women as fragile or weak. This is supported from two perspectives, one being the fact that the novel’s authorship was initially disguised. Secondly, the notable concentration on male characters instead of female ones might suggest that the novel approves of male dominance.

Despite this, one message is clear: Mary Shelley uses her novel to convey the oblique acknowledgment that enlightened women rarely survive in a male-dominated society. This is seen in the lack of independent and self-fulfilled women characters in the novel. What is conclusive from the novel is that self-fulfilling women in patriarchal structures are viewed via the male perception. What this means is that women characters in the novel are used only as tools to promote male characters as strong and independent. This is a very visible phenomenon in real life.

Tips on critical essay writing:
To prepare a decent critical essay on Frankenstein, you will need to become acquainted with at least several creative interpretations of this character: either in literature, or in cinema and theater. It will be easier for you to compose the essay based on the perception of the character and the widely known history of the story’s evolution. To offer valuable insight, you will need to provide particular examples from the novel or the screen adaptations to support your ideas and to make the content of your paper more convincing and valuable.

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