Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein is a novel about a young scientist named Victor Frankenstein. Through science and his fascination of life he creates a repulsive creature that comes to life. Mary Shelley’s novel was able to impact the world with the message it conveyed and cause authors everywhere to critic her work. One of the authors who criticized her work was Walter Scott. Walter Scott can be characterized as a great Scottish novelist, poet, and biographer. Scott can be considered the inventor of historical novels. Walter Scott attended high school in Edinburgh, and apprenticed for his father in 1786 in law. He then began to practice law, but was very disconnected with the subject. Scott, then became interested in Gothic novels, and his work was first published in 1796. He is best known by many as the author of the “Waverley Novels”. Regardless of all the success Scott had claimed throughout his life, his first love and the earliest success he achieved was being a poet. Furthermore, Scott’s interest in Gothic genre, is an essential reason of why he criticized the novel. Walter Scott uses “Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine Review of Frankenstein ” to adequately argue that that Shelley’s work reflects on astonishing events not for their own objective, but to help theorize how these occurrences affect everyday citizens.
The thesis of Scott’s review states that Frankenstein is a novel or a romantic fiction of a peculiar nature that requires it to be described before attempting any report of the individual production. The article showcases application of supernatural in fictional materials. In addition, Scott’s review displays the laws of nature signify change. I agree with the author’s thesis in the review because Shelley’s Frankenstein does integrate laws of nature that have the ability to exceed other supernatural works. Scott mentions that in the novel, “the marvelous” is the central object for both the author and the reader. This is because it describes the effect that it had on the human victims that were associated in its wonders and pulled by the machinery (Scott n.p.). Throughout the critique, the author remains focused on his primary subject though he uses external sources to support his argument. He elaborates that Frankenstein is introduced to the wonders of the modern chemistry and natural philosophy together with all their platforms. He later executed these sciences to their most interior aspect and mysterious breaks. They are also incorporated with abnormal talents and unmatched success.
‘Creator and Created in Frankenstein’ is also a significant critique of the Frankenstein novel. The author, Naomi Hetherington, lectured 19th and 20th-century literature at Birkbeck, University of London. Several feminist researchers embraced and advocated because of her radical experimentation with weird poetic voice. Further, knowledgeable journalistic works regarding the freedom of women accompanied this. Such aspects made her remain controversial for her conferences of London Jewry that draw on contemporary anti-Semitic discourse.
‘Creator and Created in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein’ state that the novel’s subtitle, The ‘Modern Prometheus’ is a reference to two-fold Greek myth of the Titan. This is important in the creation of humanity from clay and stealing fire from heaven. From such allegations, Hetherington bases her thesis of the critique as she discusses how Mary’s alteration influences religions inferences of her novel. Arguably, Hetherington makes logical arguments and statements to support her thesis.
I tend to agree with the author’s thesis especially because of his use of external sources to support his argument. Evidently, Frankenstein matches with Christian structure of the creation and fall. However, there is a parallel pagan reference acquires from the legend of Zeus and Prometheus. This draws a sharp contrast with Walter Scott’s assertions, which focused more on the concepts of science and natural law over natural powers. This also seen when the latter is shown to have focused on scientific materialism versus the Christian perception of the pre-existent immortal soul.
Evidently, Hetherington has implemented external sources to illustrate his arguments. For instance, she uses Marilyn Butler’s 1818 text to illustrate that Mary’s story emanated as a narrative comment on the modern public debate (Hetherington n.p.). One of the characters Abernethy held that life is provided by the super-addition of an element analogous to electricity and somehow related to the human soul. Hetherington demonstrates how expanding her entry into a novel, Mary integrates Milton’s Paradise Lost and the Prometheus myth as the primary mythological foundation. For this reason, the original ghost story makes it appear as a short satire of Abernethy’s position and renders it as nonsense.
The use of the two legends enables the author to explore the religious insinuations of her rejection of spiritual reality. The confusion occurs after assessing the logical conclusion because the materialism idea refutes the notion of a transcendent god (Hetherington n.p.). Hetherington supports this allusion by asserting that materialism perceives nature as active and an all-inclusive. The different ways in which the characters conform to Milton’s illustrates that Frankenstein’s author wanted to develop a new and revolutionary story regarding the origin of humanity.
In conclusion, the alterations affected not only the spiritual aspect but also the physical outlook of the ‘being’ constructed appearing as the distortion of our form. I support Hetherington’s allusion that the creation itself is described entirely in human terms. In this case, the creator who should possess the alternative to an external physical animating methodology did not involve the omnipotent, all-loving Christian deity, but a demiurge in our form. On the critique, Hetherington shows how Mary revises her earlier pieces to distance them from Lawrence and marry the work with the orthodox Christian perspective (Hetherington n.p.).