Frankenstein Lives!

Philosophy Now 128:6-9 (2018)


In lieu of an abstract, here is the article's first paragraph: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein has remained in print ever since it was published two hundred years ago this year, and has been the basis for innumerable adaptations. While most novels from so long ago have been forgotten, Shelley’s lives on. Why has it remained so popular? Perhaps, at least in part, it’s due to the philosophical themes it addresses: tampering with nature, the dereliction of duties, and the importance of taking responsibility for one’s actions. The tale of a being born without a mother, written by a young woman whose own mother died a few days after giving birth to her, it is perhaps most of all an examination of the need for love in order to survive in a harsh and unforgiving world. It is also a cautionary tale of a man who achieves what he sought to do, only to have his creation turn on him and all he loves.

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