Exploring Themes in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein


Frankenstein is written by Mary Shelley, tells the story of a monster created by a scientist and explores themes of life, death and man versus nature.

The monster has no name in the novel, due to Victor Frankenstein’s rejection of its creation.

The book tells the story of Victor Frankenstein, a natural science student who creates a man from pieces of corpses and gives life to his creature. Frankenstein believes that by creating the Monster, he can discover the secrets of “life and death”, create a “new species” and learn to “renew life.”


Although it is not specifically said, it is clear that it is not a Christian.


In Frankenstein, the reckless pursuit of scientific discovery leads to chaos, tragedy and despair for all the characters in the novel. … The novel does not oppose scientific progress or discovery, but focuses on what happens when science is not paired with individual moral responsibility.


One of the most important symbols is light.

What does the fire symbolize in Frankenstein?
After being consumed by fury due to its reception from the people of the village, the creature proceeds to burn its house, transmitting that fire symbolizes outer destruction.

What does darkness symbolize in Frankenstein?
Darkness is also a symbol for evil. Darkness symbolizes vacuum and despair, as described in Victor’s dark depressions.

What does the moon symbolize in Frankenstein?
The moon is used to help make the creature a monster. When there is no moon, the violence of the creature increases.


Victor Frankenstein is the main protagonist of the novel. He is obsessed with scientific achievement and glory, leading him to discover the secret of life. He spends all his time studying, sacrificing his health and relationships.
He makes a horrible monster, the monster escapes and destroys, and Frankenstein loses control of his creation. The monster asks her for a companion. Frankenstein promises to create one, but he does not want to be complicit in the spread of similar creatures, so he breaks his promise. The monster, angry, kills Frankenstein’s close friends and family.
Frankenstein represents the dangers of illustration and the responsibilities of great knowledge. He dies alone, looking for the monster.

The creature wants human connection and a sense of belonging. Its exterior scares everyone and is chased out of villages and houses, leaving it alone. He’s a compassionate character. He is a vegetarian and helps bring wood to the peasant family that lives nearby, and teaches to read. The creature becomes violence due to its isolation. He demands that Frankenstein create a female creature so that the couple can live away from civilization peacefully, and be together. Frankenstein does not fulfil this promise, and by revenge, the creature kills Frankenstein’s loved ones, transforming itself into the monster that has always seemed to be. Denied a family runs to the North Pole where he plans to die alone.
The creature is a complicated antagonist, he is a murderer and a monster, but he began his life as a compassionate and misunderstood soul that sought love.

Captain Robert Walton is a failed poet and captain on an expedition to the North Pole. The novels begin with Walton’s letters to his sister. He shares with Frankenstein the desire to achieve glory through scientific discoveries.
At the end of the novel, after listening to Frankenstein’s story, Walton’s ship is trapped by ice. He faces a choice to go ahead with his expedition, risk his own life and that of his crew, or return home with his family and abandon his dreams of glory. After hearing the story of Frankenstein’s misfortune, Walton understands that ambition occurs at the expense of life and human relations, and decides to return home with her sister. Walton applies the value of the connection and the dangers of scientific illustration.

Elizabeth Lavenza is a woman of the Milanese nobility. Her mother died and her father abandoned her, so the Frankenstein family adopted her when she was only a child. She and Victor Frankenstein were raised together by their nanny Justine, another orphan, and have a close relationship. She is an angel for Frankenstein, in fact Frankenstein and Elizabeth reveal their romantic love for each other as big, and commit to marrying. On the night of her wedding Elizabeth is strangled to death by the creature.

Henry Clerval, son of a Geneva merchant, has been a friend of Frankenstein since childhood. He serves as Frankenstein’s role: his academic and philosophical activities are human, rather than scientific. The nature of Clerval contrasts with that of Frankenstein; instead of seeking glory and scientific success, Clerval seeks moral meaning in life. He is a constant and true friend, and nurse Frankenstein back to health when he gets ill after creating the monster. Clerval also accompanies Frankenstein on his travels to England and Scotland, where they separate. While in Ireland, Clerval is killed by the monster, and Frankenstein is initially accused of being his murderer.

William is the younger brother of Victor Frankenstein. The creature is caught in the forest and tries to be friends with him, thinking that the young child would make him not prejudicated. However, William is terrified of the ugly creature. His reaction seems to suggest that the creature’s monstrosity is too much for the innocent. In a rage attack, the monster strangles William to death.

The De Lacey family. The creature lives for some time in a needle attached to a cabin, which is inhabited by the peasant family De Laceys. The creature learns to speak and read by observing them. The family is made up of the old blind father De Lacey, his son Felix and his daughter Agatha. They later host the arrival of Safie, an Arab woman who fled Turkey. The four peasants live in poverty. They serve as an example of a family, the creature wants to live with them, but when it is revealed to the peasants they move away from them for fear.


Persecuting knowledge

Shelley wrote ‘Frankenstein’ during the Industrial Revolution, when major technological advances were transforming society. One of the main themes of the novel is the research of the man of scientific knowledge and discovery, exploring the anxieties that followed during this period. Frankenstein was obsessed with discovering the secrets of life and death with ruthless ambition. In the study process, he despised his family and ignored all family ties. Frankenstein’s efforts led him to discover the cause of life, but the results he pursued were not positive. Instead, his creations brought only grief, misfortune and death. The creature created by Frankenstein is the embodiment of human scientific lighting.

Family Importance

This theme is expressed more clearly through this creature, whose unique motivation is to seek human compassion and companionship.
Frankenstein isolates himself and loses those he loves because of his scientific ambitions. The creature, on the other hand, wants exactly what Frankenstein refuses. He especially wanted to be embraced by the De Lacey family, but his enormous structure prevented him from being accepted. She resorts to Frankenstein to seek help and company, but is betrayed and expelled. This isolation is what drives the creature to seek revenge and kill. Shelley sees the family as an important means of achieving love and purpose, but also describes family bonds as complex and potentially unattainable.


The novel begins with Walton’s Arctic expedition and then travels through the mountains of Europe to tell Frankenstein’s story and the creature.
These desolate landscapes reflect the problems of human life. Frankenstein went up to Montanvert to clarify his mind and reduce human pain. The monster runs to the mountains and glaciers as a refuge for civilization and all human faults, unable to accept it for its appearance.
Nature is also considered the most important factor in life and death, even more important than Frankenstein and his discovery. While Frankenstein and his creatures persecute themselves in the depths of the frozen mom, nature eventually kills them.