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Mary Shelley's novel, Frankenstein, gains increasing significance in the modern world with its relevant theme of "man playing God." Creation lies in the hands of God/Nature, but man tries to interfere in this process.
Shelley shows Frankenstein, the young scientist, questioning the principle of life: "Whence, I often asked myself, did the principle of life proceed?" Frankenstein is an idealist who believes in his goals and will go to any lengths to achieve them. "It was a bold question, and one which has ever been considered as a mystery, yet with how many things are we upon the brink of becoming acquainted, if cowardice or carelessness did not restrain our enquiry." His intention is to rid the world of death, to "renew life where death had apparently devoted the body to corruption."
By examining the consequences of Victor's ambition, Shelley questions the goal of science itself: is science a way of improving life, or does it threaten life? Victor's creation comes back to haunt him and ultimately tries to destroy him. His plan backfires, and his "progress" remains on paper. The experiment he attempts turns into his own enemy.
Frankenstein's creation is unnatural. The monster is nothing but an assemblage of body parts which belong to dead people. This contrasts with the natural process of procreation through which life begets life. The monster never has a mother or a father.
Nevertheless, like man, the creature is basically good. This "creation" turns into a "monster" only after his love is not reciprocated. Shelley shows that monsters are made by their environment and their experiences in life.