It is evident that Mary Shelley was an author deeply embedded in the romanticism era as can be seen specifically in this novel, Frankenstein. At this time, this novel exceeded the works of the period by simply creating a sublime experience that was quite unfathomable in the 18th century. The main character Victor Frankenstein and the creature as well as the scenes of nature, existence all combine to create individual representations of the romantic visions Mary Shelley held for society.
Victor Frankenstein himself represents the idea of the use of imagination that could lead to a broader understanding and vision of everyday life. Shelley chooses to portray Victor as a man that is destined for greatness through experimentation yet falls short due to unreachable standards and thoughts. The creature on the other hand is shown trying to overcome struggle with morals, humanity, and even the environment. In the single quote, “ The human senses are insurmountable barriers to our union…. and if I cannot inspire love, I will cause fear…” (Shelley 167) we can see that this novel is taking a turn that no other romantic novel had done before. Instead of ending on the usual happy note, we can see that Shelley is opting to push this idea of Romanticism forward by having the characters display themselves in a manner other than what has been destined from the start of the novel. In a literary sense, the fiction story can be seen as an “allegory” pertaining to the emotions/struggles that were very much so affecting the romantic writers at this time.
The inclusion of a gothic genre within this romantic novel only serves to further define Mary Shelley as an influential writer of her time. By concocting this story, we see are able to see the after effects of one man’s “romantic quest for a scientific ideal of the perfect human” (Smith 2). We are led to believe that Shelley does not believe that there will ever be a state of perfection reached in society. She is able to create a novel that is filled with questionable acts, unfinished business, and even include scientific research without making it jargon to everyday readers; A true mastermind in my opinion.