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Apotheosis Now: A Hegelian Dialectical Analysis of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein


More than a nineteenth-century Gothic monster story, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein provides much fertile ground for the exposition of the text with contemporary philosophic inquiry. Utilizing such philosophic analysis, some scholars assert that the critical moment in the text occurs in Victor Frankenstein's refusal to grant the monster's demand for a mate, which commences a downward trajectory in the text that culminates in a textual failure to achieve any elevated moment. By analyzing Frankenstein using the master-slave dialectic from Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit, I argue that the critical moment occurs, instead, in the development of the conclusion of the text where both Victor Frankenstein and the monster face their demise, and that throughout the text there is an upward trajectory all the way to the text's conclusion, where Frankenstein takes Hegel's master-slave dialectic to its zenith, or telos.

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