Influence Of Alchemy In Frankenstein English Literature Essay

Frankenstein, the novel compiled by Mary Shelley, calls for ideas found in literary texts, moments in time, and folks and has them in to the novel to tell the framed narrative. Alchemy and the alchemists, although scarcely pointed out in the novel, are quintessential to the continutation of the story. It's the alchemists and their ideas, especially those of Paracelsus and the idea of the elixir of life, that propel Victor Frankenstein to go after the idea of creation through knowledge, finally leading Victor to the creation of the creature in Frankenstein.

A modern misconception is the fact that alchemy is the take action of transmuting things such as lead and mercury into gold and silver for material gain. In Frankenstein, the natural beliefs that is mentioned views alchemists as those who wanted to discover the puzzle of life and the creation of inanimate objects in addition to those who searched for to revive the human heart to excellence. By observing alchemy in such way, Victor wishes to use the alchemy he discovers from his professors to exterminate the point out of death, a goal that's not for the wealth but for the benefit of the folks.

With the motive of demonstrating of how Victor utilizes alchemy, one must see where Victor learns alchemy. While on a trip with his family, undesired weather prompts the family to remain inside the inn where Victor stumbles after a reserve by the alchemist, Cornelius Agrippa. With Agrippa's ideas as an impulse, Victor continues on to read all of Agrippa's works as well as works by Paracelsus and Magnus, alchemists that resided in a period before Frankenstein was written. Victor regards these three alchemists as his professors. Even Victor claims that he is "a disciple of Albertus Magnus" that arose in the eighteenth hundred years. (Shelly 23) Shelley uses this direct reference to illustrate that alchemy was the beginning of Victor's education. Though it is visible all three alchemists have ideas that contribute to Victor's education, the works of Paracelsus are most recognizable and distinctive in the book.

Paracelsus was a Swiss alchemist and physician who seen and used alchemic drugs most importantly other ideas of alchemy to help people. Paracelsus "taught that 'the subject of chemistry is never to make gold, but to get ready medicines'. " (Redgrove 60) These drugs would be able to extend the life span of man by treating them, and thus allow them to live a life an improved life. It had been thought that the exilir of life, a goal of several alchemists, was the ultimate medicine that could allow man to live on eternally. With this in mind, you can view a parallel to Victor's idea in Frankenstein. Victor himself seeks the fabled elixir in the book. He directly quotes the elixir of life. "I entered with the best diligence in to the search of the philosopher's stone and the elixir of life. Butriches was a substandard thing; but what glory would enroll in the discovery, easily could banish disease from the individual frame, and render man invulnerable to any but a violent fatality!" (Shelley 23) At this point, Victor's focus is based on stretching life, not the wealth that may have come with the breakthrough of making life. As a result the ideas that the alchemists instruct Victor and lead him towards creation do not stay with him totally.

In spite of most that alchemy has taught Victor, present day science troubles the views of the alchemists and pushes Victor toward chemistry. Although in this event Victor becomes a scientist, one must know that alchemy developed into chemistry. It is a demonstration with electricity that Victor's dad conducts that triggers "the overthrow of Cornelius Agrippa, Albertus Magnus, and Paracelsus, " in Victor. (Shelley 24) For this reason experiment, Victor moves off to review natural sciences at a college in Inglostadt. At Inglostadt Universiry, Victor results in two professors, Krempe and Waldman, both men of technology, with different views of alchemy. Krempe, on one hand, ridicules Victor and tells Victor that his time has been misused learning on alchemy. On the other hand, Waldman considers Victor's educational background and does not criticize Victor. As Waldman claims, "They had kept to us, as a less strenuous task, to provide new labels, arrange in linked classifications, the facts that they in a great degree had been the equipment of providing to light. " (Shelley 29) These words solidify that chemistry originated from alchemy since the statement identifies how this natural beliefs of alchemy, as a precursor, brought some of the mysteries of the world into general population knowledge. Along side eachother, you can check use of alchemy against the utilization of science. Shelley uses both alchemy and technology in the novel and therefore, with what Waldman says, it sometimes appears that alchemy and science can not be separated. It's the union of the practice of technology and ideas of alchemy that allow the creature to be created.

The creation of the creature is one of the very most, if not the most, important moment in time in Frankenstein, yet to see how alchemy is related to this minute, an observation on the incidents resulting in the creation must be made. Victor state governments, "One of the phaenomena which got peculiarly seduced my attention was the framework of the individual shape, and, indeed, any creature endued with life. " (Shelley 31) Victor starts off to give attention to the idea of life and death in living beings. It really is here that he commences to question what can cause death and more importantly, what can cause life. With this, Victor eventually discovers the trick of the barrier that seperates life and death. "I been successful in discovering the reason for technology and life; nay, more, I became myself with the capacity of bestowing animation upon lifeless subject. " (Shelly 32) At this point Victor makes the biggest scientific discovery possible at that time and goes to work on rendering it possible by beginning to collect dead subject, or in terms of alchemy, foundation materials to construct his creation.

Intitially Victor is indesicive in what he needs to make, but he eventually decides on making the creature based on the image of human beings. When Victor has gathered all his materials, after two years of working on his finding, he finally brings his creation alive. In spite of how methodical his decision may be, it also offers roots in alchemic teachings. Among Victor's professors, Paracelsus, educated, "the opinion in the unnatural creation of minute living animals resembling men (called 'homunculi'). " (Redgrove 61) This decision to make the creature resemble a individual can classify it a homunculus, since it was created artificially. This is important to see since in the book, Shelley will not explicitly notify her readers the process in which the monster was made. The thought of collecting the useless material, before the creature is put together, can be seen as alchemy. In addition, the byproduct, the homunculus, also has an idea in alchemy. It would therefore appear the real creation of the monster would have been alchemic as well because the preliminary and finals state governments were alchemic.

As it has been noted, alchemy and the teachings and ideas of alchemists were very important in the creation of the creature in Frankenstein. Paracelsus' teachings along with the ideas of the elixir of life and the animation of inaminate materials are the key items that allow the creature to be blessed. Although you can say that knowledge was the essential aspect in the creation of the monster, the technology most obvious in the reserve, chemistry, has its origins in alchemy. The addition of first alchemy and then technology does not imply alchemy is more important than research or vice-versa. These sources to alchemy also fast one to observe the case where alchemy was inexistent in the novel. This prompts the questioning of the original impluse that Victor will get. Imagine if Victor had at first picked up a e book in religion or oceanography while at the inn instead of a reserve on alchemy? In this case I really believe the novel would have advanced in another way than way so it do, since without alchemy, using science to create could have little value. Waldman's personality might not have been as supportive towards Victor since it is Waldman's view to alchemy, the earth for both, which makes Victor trust him. Without alchemy, it's possible that Victor may have never pursued learning about the boundry of life and loss of life. Without the desire to discover how to bring inanimate objects back again to life Victor might have never created the creature therefore prompting a total shift in the storyline of the story. It really is alchemy that allows the creation of the monster and allows the book to continue the way Shelley initially published it.

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