Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Frankenstein as a Symbol of Struggle Between Enlightened and Romantic P

Potential explanations or answers to current philosophical dilemmas are often presented through temporally relevant works of literature. The Romantic Era of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century is characterized as a time in history in which aristocratic social and political norms of the Enlightened Era were radically investigated and questioned. For Enlightened thinkers, the idea of â€Å"being† was composed of three essential parts, the true, the beautiful, and the good. Isaac Newton’s contributions to scientific method were fascinating in the respect that they seemed to provide truths regarding quantitative matter. Yet his science failed to provide us with knowledge of all qualitative matters, such as morals and aesthetics. With Newton’s laws held in such high regard, the model of being was decomposed to simply the â€Å"true,† or scientific knowledge which is recognized and confirmed through his laws of motion, proceeding to exclude all matt ers which Newton’s lens could not be pointed. It is obvious that problems would arise as a result of Newton’s advancements. Qualitative matters could not be explained through Newton’s science, creating a sense of bewilderment. People began to question whether certain quantitative matters actually pertained to all aspects of life. Rousseau, whose writings contributed immensely to Romanticism, proposes a new model of â€Å"being,† which is later confirmed by Kant and Schiller. His new model strengthened the enlightened ideas of being, and allowed for the application of â€Å"being† to both the quantitative and qualitative. Mary Shelley’s â€Å"Frankenstein† provides an explanation to the struggle over â€Å"true being† between Enlightened and Romantic thinkers while exemplifying Romantic thought on pursuing p... ...he significance of the philosophical dilemma between Enlightened and Romantic thinkers is exemplified through Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. This symbolic literary work provides readers with insight to the problem philosophers of the time faced when dealing with the idea of true being. Through the monster, the townspeople, and Walton, we are able to gain a complete understanding of the situation Rousseau, Kant, and Schiller dealt with. In the end, it is clear that in order to experience true being and beauty one must not rely solely on Newton’s scientific lens, but must also understand the quantitative matters such as morals and ethics. Works Cited Rousseau, Jean-Jacques, Angela Scholar, and Patrick Coleman. Confessions. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2000. Print. Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Joseph Pearce. Frankenstein. San Francisco: Ignatius, 2008. Print.

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