FrankensteinCritical Analysis Evaluation Essay
Frankensteinisa fictional novel by Mary Shelley, wife of English poet Percy ByssheShelley that was written and published in 1818. The story is writtenin an epistolary form that documents correspondence between CaptainRobert Walton and Margaret Walton Saville, his sister. Walton, afailed writer, is out for an exploration expedition in the North Polewhen his crew rescues an almost frozen and emaciated VictorFrankenstein. Frankenstein notices that Walton bears an obsessionthat is almost similar to his, and this prompts him to tell Waltonthe story of his misery ridden life as a warning. He tells Waltonabout his home, family background and how his ambition and search forpurpose led him into manufacturing a monster and giving it life.Eventually, this monster ended up destroying everything that he helddear to him including his wife. This recounted story serves as theframe for the narrative.
Manycritics have written critical reviews about Frankenstein’s story,and this forms the basis of this paper. The paper shall take the formof a critical analysis essay by comparing the work of two critiquesWalter Scott and Sherry Ginn.
WalterScott (1771- 1832) was a Scottish poet, playwright and novelistcommanding a massive following of readers in Europe, North Americaand Australia. To date, Scott’s novels and poems are still readwidely, with many of his works remaining part of the classic Englishand Scottish literature. Some of these works include Ivanhoe,Old Mortality, Waverley andThe Heart of Midlothianamong others. Sherry Ginn, on the other hand, is an experimentalpsychologist. An Assistant Professor of Psychology and Director ofthe Women`s Studies Program at Wingate University, North Carolina,she received her Ph.D. in General-Experimental Psychology from theUniversity of South Carolina. She has authored various booksincluding JossWhedon’s Dollhouse: Confounding Purpose, Confusing Identity, Powerand Control in the Television Worlds of Joss Whedonand OurSpace, Our Place: Women in the Worlds of Science Fiction Televisionamong others.
SherryGinn’s article classifies Frankenstein as science fiction. Sheargues that the story is grounded on pure scientific research andcomes with massive scientific inventions that were not even availableat the time of writing the book. The book predicts future scientificinventions, particularly cloning when Frankenstein makes a monsterthat can perform all things that can be performed by a normal humanbeing. Walter Scott, on the other hand, brings out the fictional sideof the narrative. He also goes to great lengths to expound theeffects of fiction on politics as well as the workings and powers ofthe human mind. With this, he goes on to narrate the story whilehighlighting the most unreal aspects of the story. The insistence onfiction is evidenced by a excerpt quoted by Scott in his article
“Theevent on which this fiction is founded has been supposed by Dr.Darwin, and some of the physiological writers of Germany, as not ofimpossible occurrence. I shall not be supposed as according theremotest degree of serious faith to such an imagination yet, inassuming it as the basis of a work of fancy, I have not consideredmyself as merely weaving a series of supernatural terrors. The eventon which the interest of the story depends is exempt from thedisadvantages of a mere tale of specters or enchantment. It wasrecommended by the novelty of the situations which it develops and,however impossible as a physical fact, affords a point of view to theimagination for the delineating of human passions more comprehensiveand commanding than any which the ordinary relations of existingevents can yield”
SherryGinn brings out the theme of feminism in her article. She has given alot of attention to Mary and her life, and the manner in which herlife experiences are related to the narrative. The reader of thearticle gets to know that she was a daughter of two influentialauthors who had the desire to live up to the standards set by them.She has been portrayed by Sherry as a strong woman a daughter,Percy’s lover, wife, his wife and finally champion.
Ginnhas articulately provided sufficient research material in support ofher thesis. She has availed information that would otherwise seemdifficult to come across, especially owing to the fact that MaryShelley lived in the early 19thcentury, a factor that would make it a bit difficult to be veryconversant with her day to day life. However, Ginn tends toconcentrate more on the author as opposed to providing adequateinformation on the book.
WalterScott’s article, on the other hand, contains minimum review withmore weight being put on describing the plot of the story. At someinstance, the reader would get lost since the article is not clearlytelling the details in a logical manner. In comparing the works ofthe critiques, Ginn’s review provides a better view ofFrankenstein, and the reader may not necessarily have to read theentire narrative to understand what the story is all about.
Inconclusion, a critique must support its argument against the subjectin a clearly understandable manner.
Ginn,S. Mary Shelley`s Frankenstein:Science, Science Fiction, or Autobiography? Web.http://www.clas.ufl.edu/ipsa/2003/ginn.html
Scott,W. Blackwood’s Edinburg Magazine 2. Web.http://www.rc.umd.edu/reference/chronologies/mschronology/reviews/bemrev.html[Accessed 3rd September 2016]