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The Enormous Influence of the Enlightenment on the World and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

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Background

In the 17th and 18th centuries, with the development of capitalism, the power of the
bourgeois became stronger. Feudal system hindered the development of capitalism.
Nature science was the weapon that could break the feudalism. The Enlightenment
was the product of this period. The origin of the Enlightenment was in England, and
throughout in the Europe. France was the core country of the Enlightenment. The
influence of the Enlightenment on the world was enormous. It provided plenty of
mental preparation for the French Revolution; had inspired role in American
Revolution.

Voltaire’s Letter on England

In the course of the Enlightenment, a large number of thinkers have emerged:
Montesquieu, Rousseau, Voltaire, Kant, Locke, etc. Among those people, Voltaire had
the most representative; he was also being the leader of the Enlightenment in
France. Someone said: the 18th century was the Voltaire’s century. This shows the
huge contribution he made in the European history. Letters on England was written
when he exiled in the England, through the understanding of the local government,
the observation of the religions, and the research on the social customs he wrote this book. This book not only was his first philosophical and political writing, but also was his representative thought. From this book, his writing from three major
aspects to describe Britain at that time.

Philosophy

As Locke and Newton’s believers, Voltaire inheritance Locke’s empiricism. Voltaire recognized the objectivity of the material world. From the Letter 13 and Letter 14,
he described Locke, Descartes, and Newton. Voltaire critiqued Descartes “Descartes
born to uncover the errors of antiquity, but to substitute his own” . Which show him...


... middle of paper ...


...ernment, which disclosure the dark society in the late 18th century. At that time, people’s right couldn’t be guarantee. From Voltaire’s point of view, a just society should be fair and equitable, but he also explained all the human being could divided into nobles and civilians. He didn’t oppose nobles or overthrow the absolute monarchy, he just advised to create monarchy.
For god, Voltaire had complex ideas, he believed god not because the metaphysical system, he thought god could maintain moral life. However for Mary Shelley, the Frankenstein was a symbol of god, “If I could banish disease from the human frame and render man invulnerable to any but a violent death” Frankenstein was trying to challenge the god.

In conclusion, no matter Voltaire or Mary Shelley. They both used their minds inspired and motivated people at that time, guide people to get successes.



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