Frankenstein And Boule De Suif – Differences Between Romanticism And Realism As Aesthetic Movements

Romanticism and Frankenstein

Romanticism in Frankenstein is surely visible through the dominance of the plot where events with drama lay. There is an intrigued structure of unlike events that take place in this novel. Mary Shelley has narrated the story very beautifully through words and metaphoric comparison of happenings. The novel consists of metaphoric significance and exaggeration in expression.

Romanticism is imposed as a literary movement in this novel where the reader is forced to create images and visionary imaginations to feel the actual essence of the event taking place. Mary Shelley has captured sublime of moments and has represented them through words. When the audience read the text, they are able to create collective imagination in order to understand new ways of interpreting the world and humans of the society where they live in. The more personal are the experiences, the better is the representation. However, the story of Frankenstein was not the personal experience of the author but still, she was able to craft this piece of romantic text with initiating gothic elements to make it more fascinating and redefining the text.

The novel portrays a quest for something unusual i.e. Victor Frankenstein’s quest for creating a living organism out of something raw. He reflects romanticism by making an effort for the creation of a human-like object. Victor Frankenstein wants to be God-like and creator of the unknown. Hence, it is strange and exotic for him to be a dreamer willing to control the world with unattainable idealization. Romanticism, however, in Frankenstein includes the strive against norms of the society, set of discourse for limitations and boundaries. As the way, Victor Frankenstein wants to cross all the limitations and boundaries, regardless of the duties assigned to him, in order to play a God-like character to accomplish the impossible which led him to imply methods full of frustration and overstepping. The novel explains the idea of imperfection and non-ideal availability of the solution to any social experiment taking place.

Romanticism suggests that nature and plot of a story are of high importance for better understanding of textual situation and establishment of the physical qualities of the characters in the novel and thus, same happens in Frankenstein. Characters in Frankenstein will unwrap as when the readers will proceed reading. Each time the reader will read a successive chapter, a new character will appear.

The plot and setting in Frankenstein symbolize the essentiality of relative themes in the novel. As a romantically gothic novel, the setting in Frankenstein is of Orkney. Orkney is an exotic setting with dark, barren, rough, and greyish environmental conditions. It is more of a dirty and dusty plot. In the novel, Victor Frankenstein and his family live in a beautiful world of harsh realities whereas, the monster is created in Orkney. The author uses imageries to create a contrast between the hills of Switzerland and Orkney to assist the art of appropriate pairing of characters and the setting plot.

Considering the main focus of the novel i.e. the monster, an object that lacks in speech, physical abilities, and faces rejections multiple times, tries very hard to develop a relationship with the humans of the society, the environment but then soon realizes the differences between himself and the rest.

The novel leads to no such happy ending but a powerful message that there is no such thing as accepting the unusual. It is completely impossible to fight against the set roles and norms of the society. The novel belongs to an exemplary form from the romantic tenure, stylized hugely with more fantasizing approach than realistic. The story is an allegory for original emotions and experiences of romantic writers with the possibility of two genres. It allows examining yourself, expression of desiring the toughest i.e. impossibility. Shelley does not philosophize her own experiences in the text, instead, she leaves questions to the readers about an ethical and moral quest.

Realism and Boule de Suif

Boule de Suif, also known as the ball of fat, is quite different from Frankenstein. In this story, there are more dominant characters with strong characterization and easy visualization. There is the presence of metonymic contiguity among the plot and the characters. Everything is completely defined.

Maupassant starts with developing a vision of the plot during the nineteenth century. It is the earliest moments of the Prussian invasion when troops of French citizens started escaping towards the coast. The author’s strong tools of rhetoric I.e imagery and developing photographic memories enables him to present a power of emotions in this masterpiece. The author provides sense to the readers for visualization. Maupassant constructs a realistic social hierarchy inside the coach which was later outraged by the tension created. The hierarchy includes two nuns who are very less involved in any sort of scandal, a prostitute i.e. Boule de Suif who earns through immoral ethics and means, a democrat who follows a leftist ideology, and a few socially respectable elite individuals. But all of this social hierarchy is crashed when they are offered food and drinks by the selfless Boule de Suif and then everyone is on equal footing.

The character of Boule de Suif is symbolizing as portray of a very deep message throughout the story that is understood by her acts and not her words. Maupassant detailed an incisive depiction of her as a prostitute in his text. The author also unfolds numerous scandals faced by the people in the coach despite their societal value in the hierarchy. The elite people are seemed not to care for their respect and honour as they accept the offering of food from Boule de Suif and then they force her to commit immoral act as the only way to get rescue from the Prussian army. Maupassant explains the characteristic of greediness and selfishness among the people in the real world. This is the realistic view of human nature as corruptive and arrogant, not undertaking the high morality ground too. Boule de Suif’s state of being promiscuous leads to a confusion as she confronts to possess moral codes of ethics. She has rules set for her and she stands for whatever she believes. Her profession on one side is to bring the pleasure of utilitarianism to a vast number of individuals but on the other hand, she refuses to sleep with an enemy and serve him to free herself and her companions. Over here, she seems to be morally troubled.

On many stages in this story, realism is expressed in terms of manipulation and emotional hazard. There is a comparison between acts of lowering morality and acts of increasing morality of all the social classes. Maupassant wants to alarm the readers to recognize the ostentation of the society by using convoluted realistic methodology. Maupassant uses language as a symbol of emotions, characterization, and piteousness.

Boule de Suif also goes through a great emotional damage when she fulfills the needs of the enemy by the pressurization of her companions but still gets nothing in return except shame and taunts for being immoral. She is the antihero of the story, the weakest and not at all powerful. The author coined her the name “Boule de Suif” for her being soft, fat, short, but a fringy prostitute.

Source by Arijah Siddiqui

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