Frankenstein to the Holy Bible: What Do They Have In Common Essay

How to Make A God

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is about the different forms of a God. The Bible and Frankenstein are both stories of creation, revenge, and power. Throughout her novel she constantly compares and contrasts to the Bible to show the similarities and differences between alike characters in the two stories. The novel alludes to the Bible’s stories of creation and upbringing in Genesis to demonstrate the parallels between Creature and the unforgiving and ruthless God in the Bible to portray an all powerful God as evil. However, Frankenstein and the Bible differentiate to show that characters determine what is good and evil by the way they are treated.

The novel uses the Creature’s attempts of revenge against Frankenstein to compare him to the ruthless God in the Bible. Soon after Creature is created, he is the sworn enemy of Frankenstein. After realizing the horrors of man, Creature launches a ruthless campaign for revenge upon the Frankenstein family. Creature blames his malicious intents and actions on Frankenstein. The Creature yearns for an opportunity where he can unleash his rage and fury upon Frankenstein and those who wronged him. Creature’s killing of William best shows how he enacted his revenge on others than just Victor. “Frankenstein! You belong then to my enemy – to him towards whom I have sworn eternal revenge; you shall be my first victim” (142). Creature tells Victor the story of why he got revenge on William and his subsequent spite for the Frankenstein family. Creature blames the entire Frankenstein family for Victor’s mistake. God, like Creature, also blames an entire group for the mistakes of one or few people. A biblical event similar to Creature trying to kill all of Frankenstein’s relatives for revenge, is when God drowns the entire earth to kill the sinners he believes wronged him. “And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them” (6:7). Creature’s deep feelings of hatred towards those who oppose him is similar to God in the Bible. God is extremely eager to enact revenge upon those who have different beliefs or interfere with his goals for humanity. Both God and Creature enact revenge upon a population because of wrongdoings of a small group. The novel draws upon the similarities between creature and God to make Creature the god of the novel and not just the creation. Considering Creature as a god helps demonstrate that revenge is a tool gods use to abuse their power over weaker beings. Both Creature and God have the ability to kill many people effortlessly. In Frankenstein, the novel uses the theme of revenge to draw a parallel between the actions of God from the bible and Creature: the god from Frankenstein.

The creature’s knowledge of his power over humanity makes a parallel between him and God. Both the creature and God are immensely powerful. Both can kill at will and use their threats to get what they want and need. Creature wasn’t intended to be god-like, but one of Frankenstein’s consequences of his inhuman creation is its immense power of normal humans. The Creature’s immense power over man is best demonstrated when Frankenstein decides to destroy the female creature. Victor’s destruction of the new creature launches Creature into a furious rage against Victor’s family. “You believe yourself miserable, but I can make you so wretched that the light of day will be hateful to you. You are my creator but I am your master” (167). Creature’s fervor shows that like God he believes himself far superior and more powerful than man. In the Bible, God also threatens to ruin any people that do not abide by his biddings. In the story of Adam and Eve, God, like Creature, uses his power in attempt to convince Adam and Eve to do his bidding. “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (2:16-17). God recognizes his power of the inhabitants of the garden of Eden and tries to force them to do his bidding with serious consequences if they defy him. IN Frankenstein, creature tries the same tactic with Victor to try to make him a female creature. Knowing that Creature is all powerful compared to the other characters in the book effectively compares him as the equal to God in the bible. The novel draws a parallel in the way Creature and God use their power. Creature and God are both the strongest beings in their environments. The two of them also don’t use their power for good, but instead for fear mongering and extortion. Creature and God’s similarities imply the novel views God as evil and not to be trusted.

Even though the novel draws parallels between Creature and God, it creates differences between the stories of creation in the Bible and in Frankenstein to show how different creators can impact their creations perceptions on what is good and evil. Throughout Frankenstein the characters face a constant battle of what they believe is good and evil. Frankenstein’s immediate abandonment of Creature skews what he perceives as good and evil. Creature tells his story about becoming evil to Walden. “Evil thenceforth became my good… you come here to whine over the desolation that you have made. You throw a torch into a pile of buildings; and, when they are consumed, you sit among the ruins, and lament the fall“ (220). Creature acknowledges that he commits evil acts; however, he pinpoints the roots of his evil on Frankenstein. He believes Frankenstein’s abandonment of him corrupted him, and set him off like a burning torch in a house. The novel’s differs from the Bible to show that good and evil is not predetermined at birth. In the Bible, God creates a tree in the middle of the Garden of Eden that if ate, contains the secrets of good versus evil for humans. He warns Adam and Eve not to eat from the tree, because if eaten, the fruit of the tree would give them and their children the knowledge of good and evil, and they would become god like. “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die”{2:17}. Unlike Frankenstein, after Adam and Eve eat the apple, the Bible tells that humans are thenceforth born with the knowledge of what is good and what is evil. Frankenstein includes the creation of Frankenstein to challenge this. Because Creature is immediately abandoned by his creator, he is forced to choose what he believes as good and evil. Although Creature’s choice ends up being harmful, he has to discover his own truths unlike characters in the Bible. In the Bible, Adam and Eve are created by God and then given the knowledge of forever knowing what the true good and evil of the world are. God never abandons his creation and thus is able to heavily influence and control what mankind views as good and evil. In Frankenstein, the opposite of this happens. Creature is abandoned by his creator and given no resources or assistance in deciphering the world’s goods and evils. The Novel creates this obvious difference from the Bible to show that people can decide what is good and evil versus it being predetermined at birth.

Frankenstein is subtitled as “The Modern Prometheus,” she could have called it the modern Bible. Creature is equally as powerful as God in the bible. Creature can kill at will and fear mongers exactly like God. Frankenstein is a bible translated into modern times that shows God as a being to be feared and respected, like Creature. Frankenstein is a way to shine the Bible in a new light, one that promotes discovery of good and evil, and claims an all powerful god can be ruthless and wicked.

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