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Challenges Faced by Man as Depicted in Mark Shelley's Frankenstein

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To be Human is to have high aspirations and ignore limitations

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Anishinaabe-Ojibwe Creation Myth Ladder to the Sky explain that to be human is to ignore their limitation and to have aspirations that are too high. Victor Frankenstein in Shelley’s novel creates danger for humanity by his high aspiration of being like God to create a human kind. Similar to the grandmother in Ladder to the sky, where she creates danger to entire village through her aspiration of saving her grandson therefore climbs the forbidden vine. Throughout two stories, both Frankenstein and the grandmother create danger for others through their actions of ignoring human limitation therefore results in others to face the consequences of their high aspirations.

In Shelley’s novel, Frankenstein ignores his limitation as a human that he uses the power of science to create a being, just like God. As consequences, his loved ones suffered from his actions. He says while creating his creature, “a new species would bless me as its creature and source”. Frankenstein believes that his aspiration has helped him in breaking his limitation as a human, where he, with him newly found power placed himself as God, the creator. However, his aspiration leads others to find the negative consequences. As Shelley mentions in the book that Frankenstein’s creature has killed people who Frankenstein loves, including his brother William, his best friend Clerval, and his bride Elizabeth. Their death represents the negative consequences of Frankenstein’s high aspiration. Through this, Frankenstein has made his family and friend face the negative impact of his high aspiration of being equal to God.

Equally, in Anishinaabe-Ojibwe Creation Myth Ladder to the Sky, the grandmother with her aspiration to save her grandson breaks the limit of human by reaching to the forbidden vine that results in the punishment from Gitchi Manitou to the entire community. It stated in the story, “She broke through the power of the vine.all night she climbed”. By aspiring to have hr grandson back, the grandmother would do anything, including disobeying the Great Spirit and therefore breaking the human limitation of approaching the sacred vine. As a result, Gitchi Manitou sends a spirit to announce a punishment for the entire community, “Disease and pain will live among you people…your people will no longer live forever…all must die when the time comes”. Through this punishment the community does not have strong and healthy people anymore, which means all must be sick and die at the end. The grandmother’s aspiration doesn’t only result in the punishment of herself, but also the entire community as a whole.

The two stories are very different, but the two characters, those of Frankenstein and the grandmother, reflect the same aspiration as humans. Both of them have ignored their limitation by aspiring too high that results in negative consequences for others around them. Frankenstein’s aspiration result in the death of his beloved ones, similar to the grandmother’s, which results in the punishment of the entire community. By aspiring too high and ignoring their limitations as humans, they both have created misery not only for themselves, but also to others around them.

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Challenges Faced By Man As Depicted In Mark Shelley’s Frankenstein. (2019, March 12). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 2, 2022, from
“Challenges Faced By Man As Depicted In Mark Shelley’s Frankenstein.” GradesFixer, 12 Mar. 2019,
Challenges Faced By Man As Depicted In Mark Shelley’s Frankenstein. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 2 Jul. 2022].
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