Scarlet Fever Essay

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In Frankentstein, a gothic novel written my Mary Shelley, scarlet fever was a huge part in the main plot line. Scarlet fever was a common disease during the time Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein. Scarlet fever was particularly common in children and was fatal and deadly. It was a disease that affected many children and hat many sympotms, causes and stages (Bunch 54). In the modern world we live in with modern medicine it’s not as common, however, back then if you were to get this disease, you were deemed tainted and couldn’t be touched due to the fact that it was extremely contagious and no one wanted to be exposed to the disease.

In Frankenstein, the scarlet fever plays a big role in the plot of the story and puts a lot of extra stress on Victor Frankenstein, the creator of the monster. One could argue that scarlet fever is kind of the start of a series of e events that lead to another event that’s twice as bad as the last one. It’s a chain reaction and the scarle fever starts it off. Victor’s family adopts Elizabeth, who then gets infected by the scarlet fever. Elizabeth then proceeds to give the disease to Caroline, Victor’s mother. Caroline then dies from the scarlet fever while Elizabeth survives.

This causes Victor conflcting feelings because he loves Elizabeth so he’s happy she survives, however, he is sad because his mother did not survive. So, he is feeling love for Elizabeth while at the same time he has to mourn the death of his mother. After Caroline dies, Justine is convicted for Victor brothers murder due to the fact that Justine had Caroline’s neckalce that Victor’s brother had in his possesion. Everyone knew Justine liked the necklace so they blamed her, when really the montster put the necklace in her clothing, her being unaware of the situatin.

The disease could be the start to verything because after Caroline dies from it, all the other bad things start happening such as Justine being convicted innocently and Victor’s brother being murdered by the monster. The fact that the scarlet fever kills Caroline creates a lot of tension with Victor and puts extra stress on him. Scarlet fever is a fairly common disease, especially in children. Scarlet fever is named for the flushing of the face that it causes. This disease is caused by the same kind of streptococus bacteria that causes “strep” throat.

Scarlet fever, also called scarlatina used to be widespread among children because it’s a contagious and nfectious disease. Today the causes are rare. The symptoms of this disease are sore throat, chills, fever, vomiting and a characteristic bright red rash of the skin on the face, neck, chest and abdoment. Another sympotom is a farily rapid pulse. This disease has an incubation period of three to five days. Symptoms tend to begin on day two. If this disease is untreated however, it infects the heart and becomes rheumatic fever, no longer being scarlet fever.

If it infects the kidneys it then becomes glomerulanephritis. (Bunch 55) Today, it can be treated with antibiotics that kill the bacteria and a full recovery is expected. The fever will start to go away quickly Antibiotics are used to kill the bacteria that causes the throat infection. This is crucial to prevent rheumatic fever, a serious complication of strep throat and scarlet fever. (Vorvick) The biggest mistake made when diagnosing the disease is by paying too much attention to the rash and not the throat. In many cases no rash appears at all; the throat is the thing to watch.

Six days after a child is exposed to scarlet fever there will be a rise in fever and a sore throat. And In most cases,a day or so later a fine scarlet rash will appear and the patient should be quarantined;which usually lasts our to six weeks. Complete isolation is required in order to control scarlet fever. The recovering of a patient is Judged by the scaling of the rash,but the throat is the thing to watch. (“Scarlet Fever and History of”) Husband and wife Gladys Henry Dick and George Frederick Dick developed a vaccine in 1924 that was later eclipsed by penicillin in the 1940s. “Scarlet Fever- Treatment”) Alphonse Raymond Dochez (April 21, 1882-June 1964) was an American physician and disease researcher. He developed an antitoxin for scarlet fever and definitively established that viruses cause the common cold. Also, in Frankenstein, Alphonse is the name of Victor’s father. (Tulalit) Even though scarlet fever was a big scare for people back then, especially children, and some adults, it has become a common disease that is easilty treatable. If not treated withtin a timely manner however, scarlet fever will turn into rheumatic fever which starts the infection of the heart.

If that is left untreated, the disease then becomes glomerulanephritis which is the infection of the kidneys. Today, scarlet fever is treated with antibiotics that kill the bacteria and the rash should go away in 3-4 days. When Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein scarlet fever was definitely omething to be afraid of and killed a percentage of the population. The children with it were quarentined and not to be touched, due to the fact that it’s extremely contagious and is spread through skin on skin contact.

When Elizabeth gets the scarlet fever in Frankenstein it puts a lot of stress on Victor. Then, when Elizabeth gives it to Caroline, Victor’s mother, it puts even more stress on him. When Elizabeth survives and Caroline dies Victor has conflicting feelings. The scarlet fever was the start of a series of unfortunate events that tend to unfold in Frankenstein. Scarlet ever has come a long way in the last decade going from a dealy disease in children that caused many deaths to a fairly common disease that can be treated with antibiotics and full recovery.

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