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Sample Essay on “Frankenstein and Radical Science” Marilyn Butler

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Sample Essay on “Frankenstein and Radical Science” Marilyn Butler

Frankenstein and Radical Science” by Marilyn Butler mainly focuses on rather concentrates on the existing contrast between two revisions that were made on the novel Frankenstein. Butler argues that the major focus in the first edition is religion and its relations to creation. Thus, it tries to bring up the concept that God created the world and the creatures in it. In the essay, it is also found out that there are mixed reactions or rather divided opinions concerning the concept o creation and how it explains about the origin of earth and man. There are debates included: Lawrence’s and Abernethy’s about their beliefs on how the earth and man came into existence. Butler articulates that the debates took place between 1814 and 1819 (Clayton 227).

The other main discussion by Butler focuses on the species and whether or not it should be described as being sub-human. She says that in the novel, the creature is never known by the name of a different species. She adds that the story of the creature is just a typical or mere story.

Butler’s article sums up by including the point of parent-child relationship and how the point has contributed greatly to the novel. According to Butler, Shelley is a character who involves the views of Lawrence regarding parent-child relationship with the aim of creating a true “human experience”. This is evident when the story of the creature and how the creature has no parent and this idea makes the creature become a demon, a name of the creature. However, it should be noted that the demon is independent, is able to make his life without seeking for any kind of assistance from human parents (Clayton 228).





The article has addressed the issue of radical science by coming up with three main ideas. To start with, the idea that comes up in Butler’s article is the relationship between evolution and creation. Butler’s article thus states that Mary Shelly opposes Christian beliefs of creation and wants people to embrace the belief of evolution; that man evolved from apes to the modern man he is today.

Butler’s article also brings up the theories of vitalism and materialism. Vitalism is Abernerthy’s theory that stresses on the chemical and physical components of life. On the other hand, Butler opines that materialism is a theory brought up by Lawrence and that articulates that the mind of human beings is only made up of processes that are chemical and nothing else (Clayton 226).

Butler’s article also talks about incest though not at a great level. Incest is a vice that is not accepted both in the ancient and in the modern times. The article suggests that several people have expressed negative attitudes towards incest and describe it as great sin in the world.



On the basis of opinion, one would disagree with a few concepts brought up in Butler’s article. For instance, Butler argues that evolution is the major theory that led to the existence of man. Besides, the article opposes Christianity. Any individual who has passed through a number of incidences since birth till present would go against this. It is worth noting that life is a special gift from God and it is not a guarantee that one should live. This underlines the fact that God was the creator of the earth, human being and all the organisms on the earth. This discredits the point pointed out by Butler, that man underwent the process of evolution.


On the other hand, one would support or rather agree with the article that incest is a major vice in the ancient and modern times. Incest is great sin or vice which involves sexual relationships between members from the same family or relatives that are very close, say cousins or nephews. In several cultures, people in the society who engage in incest are cursed and are no longer considered members of a community. This is common in the African culture where people, especially youths who engage in incest are cursed and sent away from the community or society. One would also be in agreement with the fact that the human mind is made up of chemical processes as articulated by Lawrence in his theory. That is to say, the human mind undergoes several stages of development from childhood to adulthood, just like several chemical processes.



In conclusion, it should be noted that radical science as argued by most scientists articulates that man underwent the process of evolution, and was never created by God. This is the major reason why scientists oppose Christianity and never believe in the existence of God. It is also worth noting that the community should struggle to get rid of or rather do away with vices such as incest which uphold moral decay in the society. The other aspect that is notable is that scientists support the fact that the human brain is in a process of development, which is the major reason why it is considered to be made up of chemical processes.

Works Cited

Clayton, Jay. Charles Dickens in Cyberspace: The Afterlife of the Nineteenth Century in Postmodern Culture. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003. Internet resource.

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