How does Frankenstein demonstrate the fear of the power of science?

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As a genre, Gothic literature tends to reflect the presiding fears of the society in which it is written. This is certainly true of Frankenstein, whose primary concern is one we see elsewhere in works from the Enlightenment era: that science was evolving too quickly for humans to deal with, with the result that people were beginning to think they could, effectively, become gods.

In this novel, the subtitle "The Modern Prometheus" points the reader to its central thesis. The story of Prometheus is a cautionary tale of a man who thought he knew better than the gods, and, indeed, that he could relate to humanity just as well as they could, provided he had the right equipment. But the fire Prometheus stole was the preserve of the gods for a reason; and they kept it from humanity for a reason, too. In the case of Victor Frankenstein, then, the fear expressed is not that science will turn us into gods; rather, it is that science will make us egocentric enough to believe that our advanced technology makes us equal to gods, whereas, in fact, this is pure hubris.

Victor is not at all equipped to handle the creature he births. His knowledge of science may have permitted him to create life, but he does not know how to...

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