The theme of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is when you play God it will always come back to plague you. Frankenstein is a creature created from dead flesh sewn together like a jigsaw puzzle of human parts. Victor Frankenstein is the mastermind behind the creation and becomes haunted by the unthinkable of what nature can produce. Nature proved to be more powerful than man. Playing God left Victor Frankenstein with nothing to love and a freak of nature.
Frankenstein’s monster is a garbled blend of body parts and flesh. Victor Frankenstein used this knowledge to create a life with dead parts with a monster as its outcome. The monster was created with superhuman strength and no sense of feeling for life. The monster escaped and went on a rampage to get revenge against Victor for creating him. Frankenstein was a great and unimaginable creation but it was also taking the place of nature and nature proved it was the better half.
During the 1800s in Europe Victor Frankenstein created a creature of bizarre features that were brought to life through electricity. Victor Frankenstein was very interested in natural philosophy and chemistry and basically tried to play God by creating life. He found the secret of activating dead flesh and created a superhuman being composed of rotted corpses. Victor received a letter about his brother’s death and could only feel responsible for what he had assembled. Victor would soon learn that his great creation would also be his demise.
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Frankenstein’s monster was given life with no knowledge of what to expect from the world around it. The monster was on a rampage with no harm intended, but fatally killed William, Victor’s younger brother, and in a way killed Justine Moritz when she was convicted of the murder of William and later put to death. As soon as Victor and his creation met again the monster confessed everything of what it had been through. Society didn’t accept him. The death of William was revenge, and he would promise to live away from society for the rest of his life. The monster had never intended on hurting anyone but never learned right from wrong and everything turned out violent.
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein was an intense novel, not for the fear because there was hardly any but for the hidden message. Mary Shelley definitely wanted the reader to know not to mess with nature and to let nature takes its course. This book is great for the teen community. There wasn’t one section of Frankenstein that I was bored with, I enjoyed most of it. Victor had an artificial masterpiece and nature had a great retaliation.
Mary Shelly wrote Frankenstein in a time of wonder. A main wonder was whether you could put life back into the dead. Close to the topic of bringing life back into the dead was whether you could create your own being, like selective breeding but a bit more powerful.
Close to where Mary lived there was a man named Vultair who was experimenting with putting electricity through Frogs to see if they could come back to life. With that going on close to her as well as the fear of a revolution and the pressure on her to think of a ghost story it is not surprising she thought of a horror story that would still be popular in the 21st Century.
Now I have explained where the story came from and why it is as it is I will explain the social responsibility it brings up and how it is still important today. Looking after something you create is one point it brings up. Frankenstein created his creature so he should have looked after it but instead just because he didn’t like the way it looked he ran away. He never taught his creature anything so, for all the creature knew, it could have been okay to kill people.
That relates to today as some children who were not taught right from wrong by their parents watch films like Scream and I know what you did last summer where murdering seems cool as it involves Jennifer Love Hewit, Sarah Michelle Geller, and Neve Cambell getting killed. The children watch these and think I want to be like that scary guy with the mask and they go and try to kill someone. If they do they get charged for the offense but many people think that the children s parents should be blamed as they never taught the child right from wrong and they didn’t stop the child (sometimes as young as eight or nine) from watching the video which is rated eighteen or fifteen.
When the filmmakers hear about how their film was responsible for death they never (except for once) take the film away from the public and what they usually do is make a less violent sequel, which isn’t really helping anyone, and less violence still is some violence. Teaching a child right from wrong is another point it brings up but I feel I have covered this point in the section above. Responsibility towards family is another point Frankenstein brings up. This point can be taken in two ways that Frankenstein was irresponsible to his creature or that the creature was irresponsible to Frankenstein. Frankenstein was irresponsible to his creature by running away and to his creature, Frankenstein was his family and Frankenstein was responsible for teaching him right from wrong, how to ride a bike, etc.
Instead, he ran away. The creature was irresponsible to Frankenstein as when Frankenstein left he should have done his best to fend for himself as a lot of animals do, they just lay their eggs and go away and when they hatch it is their responsibility to find food and shelter. The Creature should not have killed William and so caused the death of Justine. Also, Frankenstein was not responsible for his real family, as when William was murdered he should have said something rather than letting the family maid be killed for his murder.
This relates to today as when family members run away i.e. divorced parents and the father runs away, they still have a responsibility to visit regularly (every week) and spend lots of money so the mother can feed and clothe her children. Many people don t visit regularly and they don t send money but instead stay away and pretend they never had any children. Some people trying to raise themselves on the social ladder but being kept back because they have common parents dump their parents and when asked say that their parents are dead or are rich and live in Madagascar. That is not being responsible as their parents would feel bad and also they might need their money.
An individual s responsibility for their deeds to society is another point made. Frankenstein knows it was his creature that killed William and he didn’t say anything, which led to the death of Justine who was accused of the murder. If Frankenstein had said it was not Justine who killed William but it was a creature I made which I don’t know where it is there would have been a big operation to find Frankenstein s creature, which would stop the creature from killing anybody and Justine would have been saved.
That links to today, if somebody made a child break into a house and the child was caught by the police, the child would be arrested and everyone would think that they were bad. But, if the person who had asked the child to break into the house came along then the child would not get in any trouble. It is the same kind of thing for people who create a diversion while somebody else breaks into a house.
Responsibility for other lower beings is one of the final points made in Frankenstein. You can argue about whether Frankenstein or his creature is the lower being as Frankenstein is cleverer but the creature is bigger and stronger. So, I think that the creature is the lower being. Frankenstein sees his creation as a big ugly lower being and you have to be responsible for lower beings. Instead, Frankenstein runs away and leaves his creature with no knowledge and no skills. This links to today as many people leave their pets (lower beings) in boxes in the street or in alleyways. Whereas, they should keep them at home and feed them, wash them, walk them, and take care of them. But, they don’t.
The Final point Frankenstein brings up is that you have to look after your child or creature however it may look. Frankenstein just runs away from his creature because it is big and ugly (he designed it!). He should have stayed with it and taught it things, but he didn’t. That links to today as some parents, throw their children away just because they are ugly. That is cruel to the child, it shouldn’t matter what someone looks like and how they smell but, whether they are healthy and how their personality and attitude is.
Victor Frankenstein and his creation surprisingly share many of the same characteristics. Even though Frankenstein is an ugly, unwanted creature, he and Victor withhold an obvious connection throughout the novel. However, Victor and Frankenstein also share their differences as well. Victor was raised in a very caring and loving home. His parents gave Victor everything he wanted and Victor grew up with great friends.
Victor’s parents even adopted him as a lifelong companion in Elizabeth so he would never feel lonely. Victor had very strong relationships with those who surrounded him. Frankenstein’s upbringing was the exact opposite of Victor. Frankenstein was accepted by no one and he felt lost and sad in the big scary world. Frankenstein felt abandoned by his creator and he was out for revenge. Frankenstein felt that Victor owed him something considering that he brought Frankenstein into this world.
Frankenstein felt more and more betrayed by Victor as the novel progressed. Both Victor and Frankenstein have a curiosity about the world around them. Victor leaves both his family and friends and goes away to a college institution to study science. At the college, Victor finds his new passion for science and Victor works diligently to create a new form of a living being. Victor becomes so dedicated to creating the monster that he loses his insight into the entire world.
Example #4 – “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley
“Frankenstein” is a science fiction novel written by Mary Shelley. It revolves around a young boy named Victor Frankenstein who had an obsession with death and through this obsession he was able to create life from nothing. After creating the life he is however terrified and disgusted by how it looks and he decides to abandon it without giving it a name as its physical appearance is scary and nothing at all as he expected.
He, therefore, tries to live a normal life and makes an effort to forget his own creation. Due to the abandonment, the monster is left perplexed, annoyed, and frightened. After his tiring work of creating human life, Victor falls ill and it takes four months for his youth friend to nurse him back to health. The monster then travels to Geneva and meets a little boy called William in the woods, where he hopes that the young boy who is not yet corrupted by the views of older people and the world will accept him as he is.
The monster is, however, wrong and when Frankenstein sees it; he hurls invectives infuriating the monster. The monster however tries its best to talk to the boy but falls on deaf ears, the monster then covers the boy’s mouth to keep him quiet but this ends in the boy suffocating. Frankenstein receives a letter from his father stating that his younger brother is dead and that he was murdered. Despite the fact that this act was not intended, the monster took this as the first act of revenge towards his creator.
He places a necklace the boy was wearing on a sleeping girl, the nanny to the boy. Justine the boy’s nanny was tried and found guilty for the murder and executed. When Frankenstein arrives he saw the creature in the woods and knew that the monster had killed his brother and placed his mother’s locket on the sleeping nanny. Frankenstein troubled and heavily burdened by anguish and self-reproach for creating the monster that caused so much devastation, he flees to the mountains to find peace.
After a while alone, the monster approaches Frankenstein, who tries to kill it. But the monster being physically bigger, stronger, and more alert than his creator gets away and gives Frankenstein some time to cool off and compose himself. The monster tells Frankenstein of its encounters with humans and how terrified it was of them. He spends a year observing a family from a cabin he was living in, this gave him more knowledge and self-conscience concluding that his physical appearance was very different from the humans he was observing.
On revealing himself, however, the humans rejected him and were horror-struck by his appearance and reacted ferociously, a reaction that made the monster angrier and he seeks vengeance on his creator. The monster demanded that Frankenstein create a female companion for him as it had the right to be happy. The monster promises that they will vanish into the wilderness and not bother any more about humans. Frankenstein however does not create a companion for the monster and destroys all the work he was doing.
The monster witnesses Frankenstein destroying his creation and vows to revenge on it. The monster murders Clerval and implicates Frankenstein. Frankenstein is acquitted and he returns home to marry his cousin Elizabeth, who is murdered on their wedding night by the monster as part of the monster’s revenge. Frankenstein’s father dies after this tragedy as he could not handle the tremendous loss of William, Justine, Clerval, and Elizabeth. Frankenstein vows to go after the monster and destroy it.
They chase each other for several months and they end up in the North Pole where Frankenstein dies from illness and the monster mourns for Frankenstein justifying its revenge and expressing remorse. Afterward, the monster travels further towards the pole to destroy itself so that nobody finds out of its existence. According to Shelley, Frankenstein believed more in science than he did in humanity. His obsession with death from the time he was a young boy made him believe that he could eliminate death through science.
This passion led him to pursue chemistry which became almost his sole purpose in life to use chemistry to create life and eliminate death. In the university, Frankenstein attempts to create life from nothing and he surprisingly manages to do so. The only thing is his creation turns out not differently than he expected, the creature is gigantic and it horrifies him to look at. He sees it as an eyesore, a disgrace and the creature escapes into society leaving it at the mercy of humanity. The point at which the creature escapes brings in the human aspect in the novel (55-56).
However, after escaping into society the creature is met with human hostility and feels rejected. The rejection forces the creature to vow revenge on his creator by killing all his close and loved ones (97). The creature carries out its vengeance on Frankenstein by killing his brother William, his friend Clerval and his wife Elizabeth (116). The creature also mourns for Frankenstein after his death showing that it has a sensitive human side and then it goes off to kill itself on its terms and takes responsibility for causing the death of its creator.
This shows that science and humanity came together in the creation and shaping of the creature. Science was used to bring the creature to life while humanity was used to shape how the creature interacted with people and how it handled its feelings and emotions. (173) In Shelley’s view, science and humanities are separated by how they are carried out and how one comes into contact with them. Humanities take root when the creature observes a family from the woods learning to speak and also develop emotionally. If the creature had not observed the family then nurturing the creature may have not taken place.
Science is preserved and maintained in the laboratory to make life from scratch while the humanities come into play as soon as the creature comes to life. Humanities take center stage when the creature is first of all rejected by its creator and all other people follow suit. This makes the creature feel as if he is not good enough and that it is its destiny to be alone without any companionship for eternity. This humanity in the creature forces it to go back to his creator to demand that he creates a companion but this turns out badly as Frankenstein does not go through with it (114).
Humanity in this novel is also seen when Frankenstein experiences the death of his loved ones that eventually pushed him to the scientific notion of creating life. Frankenstein’s mother’s death and his father’s professor rebuking him for reading trash which was in essence lightning that had destroyed a tree, pushed him to learn more about science becoming obsessed with it. If these events had not taken place maybe the creation of the creature would not have taken place leaving a very different story in its place.
In reference to Shelley, sciences have an effect on the people who study them. This is simply because the book shows us how one person’s irresponsibility and ambition can harm other people who are not directly involved in eh science project. Science made Victor Frankenstein create a monster and on realizing that the creature did not turn out to be how he expected, he abandoned and rejected it (73).
This rejection made the creature go on a rampage and kill innocent people related to the creator. The innocent people did not have to die but they lost their lives because of Victor Frankenstein’s obsession and ambition to create life. Life is sacred and surely to attempt to create it from dead body parts of other human beings is most likely than not expected to bring havoc and misery on unsuspecting individuals.
The main point in this book is every person should take responsibility for their actions and not expect other people to pay for their shortcomings. Science is something that every person who practices it should be aware that there is a probability of an experiment going wrong and therefore amply and adequately prepare for the outcomes of the experiment whether good or bad.
Humanities on the other hand are portrayed as how one builds his own personal character among the people around him and the people he encounters. In this novel, humanity is depicted in the loss of loved ones that makes Victor Frankenstein be obsessed with death and try to find a cure for it. Humanity is also seen whereby Frankenstein is anguished by the death of his brother, friend, Justine, and Elizabeth that he vows to kill or be killed by the monster (Shelley 86). This shows that however much Victor was obsessed with science he also had strong feelings for the people around him and it tore him apart when the creature he created killed them.
Humanity in the creature is shown when he feels dejected by his creator and every other human who sets eyes on him and when he observes a family from a distance learns how to speak and develop emotionally. The fact that everyone showed a hostile human side to the creature made the creature vulnerable and it went on a rampage killing innocent people (Shelley 208). In this novel, the creature displays humanity when he demands a companion to be created so as he can have someone to share his life with and also when he mourns over the death of his creator and implicates himself as the cause of the death of his creator.
In her novel, Shelley portrays the knowledge of humanity more as compared to the knowledge of science. This is seen when she portrays that young Victor Frankenstein got an interest in science after experiencing the trauma of losing his mother. This loss made Frankenstein obsessed with death and he tried to find a cure for death. Through his quest and ambition to cure death, he created the Frankenstein monster from dead decomposing body parts of other human beings that were sewn together and brought to life with the help of science (Shelley 73). Humanities is shown as more valuable and ethical as it forms the basis of how one will be portrayed by society and how one will react to different things and people in society.
Humanity is portrayed as better than science in this novel as it shows different relationships between different people and how the actions of one person adversely affect other people. For example, the decision by Victor Frankenstein to create life from dead body parts that brought for the creature termed as a monster brings serious effects and consequences to his family members not to mention the monster itself. Humanity allowed the creature to develop emotionally and learn how to speak through observation and experience kindness from a blind man and while saving a young girl from drowning, however in both instances the creature was reprimanded and driven off as people were not welcoming enough.
Science only creates that creature but it is humanity that the creature has to deal with and understand why humans are so hostile towards him. Similarities between science and humanities in this novel are brought out in that both concepts are interdependent and both of these concepts aim to bring improvements to society as a whole and reduce human misery. The fact that humanity pushed Frankenstein to look for scientific ways to eliminate death from society after his other loved ones died shows that these two concepts are correlated and work for hand in hand with each other to make the society a better place to live in.
The differences on the other hand are that ethics or the pillars of humanities while blind innovation and creativity is the pillar of science. This is to say that scientists do not take into consideration the effects and consequences of their experiments that at times may have a negative effect on humanity. This is seen when Frankenstein’s ambition makes him create a monster that is much bigger than the human race that caused havoc and misery among humankind.
Humanity is seen when Frankenstein is haunted by his conscience after the monster goes on a rampage killing his loved ones. This shows that humanity has consequences and that people should take into consideration the feelings of other people before they make decisions. In conclusion, “Frankenstein” tells of a young boy named Frankenstein who attempted to create life, though he succeeded the experiment turned out to be scary and wrecked havoc.
The novel shows as much as science is innovative and interrelated with humanity, ethical issues should also be taken into consideration for most so that innocent people do not suffer. One man’s decision caused the death of three individuals this is not justified. If Victor Frankenstein had thought of the ethical issues of his creation a lot of suffering, misery, and death would have been avoided.
The term Gothic conjures up images of frightened women, graveyards, and haunted castles in the mist, popular settings for horror films. But is this what Gothic means? The Oxford Companion to English Literature defines Gothic as, Tales of the macabre, fantastic, and supernatural, usually set amid haunted castles, graveyards, ruins, and wild picturesque landscapes (Drabble 405). Furthermore, according to the Oxford Companion, Gothic tales reached the height of their considerable fashion in the 1790 s and the early years of the 19th century (Drabble 406).
It becomes obvious that Gothic is a literary term which describes a particular type of story and atmospheric surrounding. In so doing, it establishes a contrast between darkness and light, which evokes a sinister irony. In such tales, darkness often prevails, and according to literary scholars, elevated these horror stories into the Gothic sublime (Bernstein 333). Specifically, the Gothic sublime symbolizes a black hole that finally absorbs history into its own emptiness (Bernstein 333). Gothic fiction is, quite simply, the man taking a walk on the dark side.
There is, undeniably, no novel which epitomizes the popular Gothic structure more than Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley s early 19th-century masterpiece, Frankenstein (actually entitled, Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus). According to Greek mythology, Prometheus is a hero who steals fire from the heavens to serve man, but he is ultimately punished by the mighty Zeus, who chains him to a rock, where a vulture feasts on his liver. Inexplicably, however, the liver grows back each night. This reference abounds with Gothic possibilities, which Mary Shelley was, no doubt aware.
She was long a fan of Gothic tales, and it was a night of story-telling in a Geneva castle that inspired her story. As she herself recalled in her introduction to Frankenstein, The season was cold and rainy, and in the evenings we crowded around a blazing wood fire, and occasionally amused ourselves with some German stories of ghosts, which happened to fall into our hands. These tales excited in us a playful desire of imitation. Two other friends (a tale from the pen of one of whom would be far more acceptable to the public than anything I can ever hope to produce) and I agreed to write each a story founded on some supernatural occurrence.
While the familiar castle may have been missing from the story itself, a castle setting and the telling of ghost stories inspired the science fiction foray into the supernatural. There is also a proper setting for a Gothic tale, and if there is no castle, there is usually a thunderstorm to inspire terror. It was one particular thunderstorm that ignited the imagination of the protagonist, Victor Frankenstein: When I was about fifteen years old we had retired to our house near Belrive when we witnessed a most violent and terrible thunderstorm.
It advanced from behind the mountains of Jura; and the thunder burst at once with frightful loudness from various quarters of the heavens. I remained, while the storm lasted, watching its progress with curiosity and delight. Victor Frankenstein was a bright young man with a dark fascination which began as a child, with the raising of ghosts or devils… a promise liberally accorded by my favorite authors (Shelley 20). First manifesting itself as a deep interest in science while a college student, it grew into an obsession with the dead.
While listening to his professor speak, increasingly tormented Victor lamented, I felt as if my soul were grappling with a palpable enemy; one by one the various keys were touched which formed the mechanism of my being: chord after chord was sounded, and soon my mind was filled with one thought, one conception, one purpose… I will pioneer a new way, explore unknown powers, and unfold to the world the deepest mysteries of creation. I closed not my eyes that night. My internal being was in a state of insurrection and turmoil (Shelley 25). Many Gothic tales from the time involved people who were stranded in a haunted castle who were struggling to get out.
In Frankenstein, the door between life and death was unlocked by technology, and once through the door, Victor Frankenstein knew there would be no turning back. Not content with merely exploring the traditional Gothic form, Shelley decided to introduce a decidedly feminine quality to her Frankenstein story. By exploring and literally exploding the myth of motherhood, Mary Shelley created a new dimension to the genre, the Female Gothic.
Having recently given birth to a child who died shortly thereafter, Shelley employed the theme of birth, which had always been depicted as miraculous and beautiful, and put a terrifying spin on it as Dr. Frankenstein gives birth to his creation. According to one literary scholar, it was her nouveau female Gothic style which separated Frankenstein from similar horror tales of the time: Here, I think, is where Mary Shelley s book is most interesting, most powerful, and most feminine: in the motif of revulsion against newborn life, and the drama of guilt, dread, and flight surrounding birth and its consequences.
Frankenstein seems to be distinctly a woman’s mythmaking on the subject of birth precisely because its emphasis is not upon what precedes birth, not upon birth itself, but upon what follows birth: the trauma of the afterbirth ( Frankenstein: Birthing the New Female Gothic ami.frank.html). Of the most abnormal of births, Victor recalled, It was on a dreary night of November that I beheld the accomplishment of my toils. With an anxiety that almost amounted to agony, collected the instruments of life around me, that I might infuse a spark of being into the lifeless thing that lay at my feet.
It was already one in the morning; the rain pattered dismally against the panes, and my candle was nearly burnt out, when, by the glimmer of the half-extinguished light, I saw the dull yellow eye of the creature open; it breathed hard, and a convulsive motion agitated its limbs (32). The nightmare of birth continued, with a repulsed Victor Frankenstein observed, How can I describe my emotions at this catastrophe…
His yellow skin scarcely covered the work of muscles and arteries beneath; his hair was of a lustrous black, and flowing; his teeth of a pearly whiteness; but these luxuriances only formed a more horrid contrast with his watery eyes, that seemed almost of the same color as the dun white sockets in which they were set, his shriveled complexion and straight black lips… I had worked hard for nearly two years, for the sole purpose of infusing life into an inanimate body. For this, I had deprived myself of rest and health. I had desired it with an ardor that far exceeded moderation; but now that I had finished, the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart.
The creature Dr. Frankenstein bore during one rainy night in his laboratory became the most frightening of any Gothic monster. He wasn’t merely a singular ghost but was a composite of all the dead spirits who had once given his body parts life. However, setting and ghostly monsters are not the only characteristics of this Gothic work. There is usually a fair maiden in distress, who requires the care of a dashing knight/lover, who serves as her protector, warding off any evil spirits who may cross her path (Pitcher 35). This is also supplied in Frankenstein, in the character of Elizabeth Lavenza.
Adopted by Victor s parents, Elizabeth is the fairest and frailest of young ladies, having been seriously ill with scarlet fever as a child. She also provides the perfect Gothic contrast between darkness and light. Of his beautiful and adored companion, an enamored Victor would say, Everyone, loved Elizabeth. The passionate and almost reverential attachment with which all regarded her became, while I shared it, my pride and my delight… I… looked upon Elizabeth as mine- mine to protect, love, and cherish.
What Victor would later come to realize, it was he who would place his beloved Elizabeth in mortal danger. But he was clearly under Elizabeth s spell, and it was Elizabeth’s gentle encouragement which always resurrected him in much the same way as he had resurrected his monstrous masterpiece from the bodies of the dead. As Victor came to realize that his creation was a horrible mistake, for rejected by society as a whole, he embarked on a murderous rampage, even killing William, Victor s younger brother. Wracked by guilt, Victor cried, Alas! I had turned loose into the world a depraved wretch, whose delight was in carnage and misery (Shelley 46).
While it was easy for Victor to cast the blame on his monstrosity, was it really the monster who bore responsibility for the murders, or the creator? When the monster confronts his creator, the ironic consequences of his actions are readily apparent: All men hate the wretched; how, then, must I be hated, who am miserable beyond all living things! Yet you, my creator, detest and spurn me, thy creature, to whom thou art bound by ties only dissoluble by the annihilation of one of us.
You purpose to kill me. How dare you sport thus with life? Do your duty towards me, and I will do mine towards you and the rest of mankind (Shelley 61). This demonstrates not only irony but a popular Gothic technique of visits from the dead. After all, though the harnessing of electricity breathed life into the creature, he was still an apparition, nevertheless. He was a new breed of a Gothic ghost, one of the living dead, a scientific experiment went terribly wrong.
The stage was now set for the inevitable climax between the monster and the maiden. Victor married Elizabeth, believing that only he can protect her from the creature. He vowed to tell his new bride of his murderous invention, in hopes that it would set them both free. However, this wasn’t to be. The dark forces, which Victor has irrevocably set in motion, has obscured the light. After hearing her piercing scream, Victor ran into the bedroom to find the inert body of Elizabeth. According to Victor, She was there, lifeless and inanimate, thrown across the bed, her head hanging down, and her pale and distorted features half covered by her hair.
Everywhere I turn I see the same figure- her bloodless arms and relaxed form flung by the murderer on its bridal bier (Shelley 130). Unfortunately, the chivalrous knight was unable to save his damsel in distress. Victor was not altogether surprised by this turn of events, because he had long been haunted by nightmares that Elizabeth would someday perish. In one such dream, I embraced her; but as I imprinted the first kiss on her lips, they became livid with the hue of death; her features appeared to change, and I thought that I held the corpse of my dead mother in my arms; a shroud enveloped her form, and I saw the grave-worms crawling in the folds of the flannel Shelley 32).
Dream sequences play an integral part in the telling of Gothic tales, and scholars have later theorized that the awakening feelings of sexuality in the morally-conservative western Europe of the early nineteenth century were responsible for the subject matter of these dreams — usually, a presumed-dead woman, who, it is hoped by her suitor, will be miraculously brought back to life with his kiss (Pitcher 35). As literary fiction critic E.W. Pitcher noted, One can argue for… Gothic fragments that the dream-death-stasis was also the expedient retreat of innocence from the awareness of sexual appetite, and the differentiating attraction to the other.
Many Gothic fragments figured forth the struggles of sexual urgings (emergence into a mature self) with withdrawal into innocence (submergence in the old self) (35). Victor s wedding night was supposed to represent the satisfaction of his sexual desire for the virginal Elizabeth. But, instead, Elizabeth is killed by Victor s monster, which may have, perhaps, been an extension of his own perversions. By now completely consumed by guilt, and realizing he must destroy his invention, Victor is only at peace at night while asleep.
He mused, In sleep, I saw my friends, my wife, and my beloved country; again I saw the benevolent countenance of my father, heard the silver tones of my Elizabeth s voice (Shelley 136). Victor was eager to convince himself that his supernatural interactions were only dreams, but having crossed the precarious line between life and death, he couldn’t be certain. In a final showdown with his creation, Victor Frankenstein can deny his link to the monster. Did the monster actually destroy the lives of Victor s loved ones, or was Victor the culprit? Or was the real bearer of blame the rampant technology, which if left unchecked could destroy the society it was created to improve.
Mary Shelley does not provide any tidy endings in Frankenstein, which adds to its Gothic appeal. Readers are left to draw their own conclusions as to the meaning and the roots of the terror. Because the appeal of the Gothic novel was on the wane by the time Frankenstein appeared in 1818, it was the introduction of the science fiction element which rejuvenated the medium. As Professor Peter Pelzer wrote, It proved that Gothic could be revitalized by reshaping it to meet the changing interests in society.
Shelley combined the intended shock, the feeling of horror with the new interest in science and humanity of her age. On the one hand purposely rooted in the Gothic tradition, she was showing on the other hand the ways out of the limits of the genre for further development (Pelzer pelzer.htm). With Frankenstein, Mary Shelley brought Gothic literature into the 19th century and expressed the fears of her contemporaries that the Industrial Revolution would forever change the values and conventions they held so dear. Though intentionally a period piece, it was the future implications of Frankenstein which made it a timeless classic. Dr. Pelzer noted, What lay at the base of this innovation is a change in the time relation.
While Gothic was originally related to a certain era in the past, it is in the Frankenstein case directed to fantasies or speculations about the future which are able to create the same horror, to make the reader feel his nothingness. With Frankenstein, Mary Shelley not only mastered the Gothic form which had mesmerized her as a child, but she also improved upon it, leaving the indelible marks of her interest in the supernatural, her unlimited imagination, and her concerns for society.
Gothic novels not only explore horror through their characters, but they also bring their readers in touch with their own fears. The Gothic castles of old which used to imprison visitors with their fears were now replaced by society itself, terrorizing its citizens with technology that has run amok. What could be more macabre, fantastic, or Gothic than that?
In the novel Frankenstein, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley tries to warn people not to play the role of God, because someone will get hurt. The main character of the novel, Victor Frankenstein, plays the role of God by creating a living monster. The monster that Frankenstein is so proud to create ends up destroying Frankenstein and the people that Frankenstein loves.
Shelley uses irony in her novel to show the distaste of science during The story of Frankenstein is hubris or excessive pride that causes destruction of one’s self or others. Victor Frankenstein wants to be a god. “A new species would bless me as its creator and source; many happy and excellent natures would owe their being to me (Shelley 57).” Frankenstein wants to be worshiped like a god, so he creates a monster to worship him. Frankenstein’s monster is so ugly he hates it and becomes ill from the thought of creating such a hideous thing.
“But I was in reality very ill, and surely nothing but the unbounded and unremitting attentions of my friend could have restored me to life. The form of the monster on whom I had bestowed existence was forever before my eyes, and I raved incessantly concerning him (65).” Frankenstein worries so much about his monster, which he was proud of, before it came to life, that he falls very ill. Frankenstein falls so ill on the search for his monster that he eventually dies.
Not only Frankenstein dies because of the monster, but his friends and family are killed too. The monster directly kills William Frankenstein, Henry Clerval, Elizabeth Frankenstein, and two other innocent women. The monster indirectly kills Justine Moritz, Frankenstein’s father, and Victor Frankenstein himself. Frankenstein’s pride in himself, by trying to be a god, caused the destruction of himself and others.
Example #6 – Frankenstein Monsters And Their Superiority
This reflects how both Grendel and Frankenstein must have felt during their lonely lives. The monsters simply wanted to live as the rest of society does. However, in our prejudice of their kind, we banish them from our elite society. Who gave society the right to judge who is acceptable and who is not? A better question would be who is going to stop society from judging? The answer is no one. Therefore, society continues to alienate the undesirables of our community. Some of the greatest minds of all time have been socially unacceptable.
Albert Einstein lived alone and rarely wore socks of the same color. Van Gogh found comfort only in his art and the women who constantly denied his passion. Edgar Allen Poe was “different” to say the least, consumed by the morose. Just like these great men, Grendel and Frankenstein’s monster do not conform to the societal model. Also like these men, Grendel and the monster are uniquely superior to the rest of mankind. Their superiority is seen through their guile to live in a society that ostracises their kind.
Grendel, though he needs to kill to do so, functions very well in his own sphere. Grendel survives in a hostile climate where he is hated and feared by all due to his frightening physical appearance. He lives in a cave protected by fire-snakes so as to physically and spiritually separate himself from the society that detests yet admires him. Grendel is “the brute existents by which [humankind] learns to define itself” (Gardener 73). Hrothgar’s thanes continually try to extinguish Grendel’s infernal rage, while he simply wishes to live in harmony with them.
Like Grendel, Frankenstein’s monster also learns to live in a society that despises his kind. Frankenstein must also kill, but this is only in response to the people’s abhorrence of him. Ironically, the very man who bore him now searches the globe seeking the creature’s destruction. Even the ever-loving paternal figure now turns away from this outcast from society. The monster journeys all over the world to escape from the societal ills that lead everyone to hate him. He ventures to the harshest most desolate, most uninhabitable place known, the north pole knowing that Frankenstein will follow.
Frankenstein does pursue his creation in hopes of pushing it to the edge of the world trusting that the monster would fall off. At the same time, the monster leads Frankenstein to the solitude of the icy glaciers in hopes of better explaining to Frankenstein how he exists in society. The monster lives this way until his father’s death, where they join in the perpetual silent acceptance of death. Frankenstein’s creation makes only a few attempts to become one with society and almost gives up until he is accepted by the captain.
As the captain listens to the monster’s story he begins to understand the monster’s plight. He accepts the monster as a reluctant, yet devoted servant to his master. Although the monster does not “belong”, he is accepted with admiration by the captain. The respect that he has longed for is finally given to him as he announces his suicide in the name of his father, the late Victor Frankenstein. On the other hand, Grendel makes numerous attempts to assimilate into society, but society repeatedly turns him back. Early in his life, Grendel dreams of associating with Hrothgar’s great warriors.
Nightly, he goes down to the mead-hall to listen to Hrothgar’s stories of the thanes’ heroism, but most of all, he attends to hear the Shaper. The Shaper’s stories are Grendel’s only education as they enlighten him to the history of the society that he yearns to join. “[The Shaper] changed the world, had torn up its past by its thick gnarled roots and had transmuted it, and they, who knew the truth, remembered it his way – and so did [Grendel]” (Gardner 43). Upon Grendel’s first meeting with Hrothgar, the great hero tries to kill him by hacking him out of a tree.
“The king [Hrothgar] snatches an ax from the man beside him and, without any warning, he hurls it at [Grendel]” (Gardner 27). After being attacked by those he so admires, Grendel turns against them to wreak havoc on their civilization. The more society alienates Grendel and Frankenstein’s monster, the more the two “creatures” come to realize the invalidity of “social heroism”. As Grendel’s oppressors see it heroism consists of the protection of one’s name; the greater glory of their line; and most of all, their armor collection.
According to Frankenstein’s time, a hero is someone who protects a lady’s name; earns greater glory for themselves and their country; and has a large collection of prestigious degrees to hang on their walls. Social heroism is not a single event; it is properly defined as a “revolution”. It is an on-going, ever-changing series of “heroic” events. This “revolution is not the substitution of immoral for moral, or of illegitimate violence for legitimate violence; it is simply the pitting of power against power, [hero against hero,] where the issue is freedom for the winners and enslavement of the rest” (Gardner 119).
This revolution is built on intimidation; the powerful in society oppressing the undesirables. “Murder and Mayhem are the life and soul of [the] revolution” (Gardner 118). This revolution is most evident in John Gardner’s Grendel. In Hrothgar’s mead-hall, his thanes are discussing the heroic revolution with the Shaper. According to the Shaper: the kingdom, those in power, pretends to be protecting the values of all people. Supposedly, the revolution causes the kingdom to save the values of the community; regulate compromise; improve the quality of the commonwealth.
In other words, protect the power of the people in power and repress the rest . . . It rewards people who fit the system best. The King’s immediate thanes; the thanes’ top servants, and so on ’till you come to the people that don’t fit in at all. No problem. Drive them to the darkest corners of the kingdom, starve them, arrest and execute a few, or put them out to war. (Gardner 118) In Grendel’s time, violence is the common denominator in all righteousness. “The incitement to violence depends upon total transvaluation of the ordinary values.
By a single stroke, most criminal acts may be converted to heroic and meritorious deeds” (Gardner 117). Certainly, the only difference between appalling acts of violence and heroic deeds is who commits them. What might be appropriate for a king would be unheard of by a peasant. “If the Revolution [ever] comes to grief, it will be because [the powerful] have become alarmed at [their] own brutality” (Gardner 117). Then, as the rich descend, the poor will rise to power in order to complete the revolution. “The total ruin of institution and [heroism] is [in itself] an act of creation” (Gardner 118).
To break the circle would cause “evolution”, forward progress that would enhance the natural progress of mankind. However, according to Gardner, this will never happen because the powerful enjoy their present state of grace. Though not as overt as Grendel, the concept of “revolution” is also displayed in Frankenstein. Frankenstein’s society ostracises its undesirables by chasing them to the darkest corners of the world in much the same way that Grendel’s society does.
Frankenstein’s monster is driven from his birthplace by his creator only to find that he must hide in shadowed allies to avoid social persecution. In the theme of revolution, the rich control what is acceptable, and to them, Frankenstein’s monster definitely does not fit the mold. Next, he seeks asylum in a small barn. The place where he finds refuge is a cold dark corner symbolic of how society forces the non-elite from their spheres to places where they cannot be seen or heard and therefore do not exist. After the monster saves the starving family by harvesting their crops, they repay him by running him off their land.
This incident repeats itself throughout his journeys. Finally, the creature travels to the cold wastelands of the Arctic Circle. In this uninhabitable place, there is no one to persecute him, and Frankenstein maliciously continues to follow his own invention, hoping to completely destroy it. When Frankenstein dies, his monster is the first to come to lay his body to rest and the first to follow him into the afterlife.
Frankenstein’s monster fits the idea of a true hero, rather than the romantic view of heroism shared by society. He is chivalrous and loyal. Showing his chivalry by helping a family in need, he still accepts their hatred of him. He helps others although he receives nothing in return and holds absolute loyalty to his creator. Frankenstein shuns his creation and devotes his life to killing the monster. However, the same monster he hunts until death is the first to show respect to the fallen master after his death. The monster builds a funeral pyre to honor Frankenstein whose despite for him is ceaseless.
His loyalty extends as far as the ritual suicide he commits while cremating the body of his creator. Most importantly, the monster is true to himself. Society wishes that he would cease to exist, but their opinion is irrelevant to him. His creator disdains him, but the monster learns to cope with his own emotions, supporting himself. The monster relies solely on what he believes in, not on what society believes to be important. His actions are based upon his own assessments of situations, rather than what is socially acceptable.
Grendel, like Frankenstein’s monster, is isolated from society, and his actions classify him as a true hero. Grendel has little outside influence and has to rely on his own emotions to make decisions. Grendel is the epitome of “blind courage”. For example, when the bull attacks Grendel, he simply calculates the bull’s movements and fearlessly moves out of the way. Even when the bull rips through his leg, Grendel is not afraid. He repeatedly charges into the mead-hall and destroys its best warriors without a second thought.
Grendel even has the courage to taunt Hrothgar’s best thanes by throwing apples at them. Grendel “breaks up their wooden gods like kindling and topples their gods of stone” (Gardner 128). It is this type of “blind courage” that Grendel believes saves his life in battle. Just as society’s heroes fight foolishly, their opinions are made by prejudice and reflect the ignorance of humankind. Both monsters are seen as the minions of evil. It is as though Grendel is compared to Cain, who murdered his own brother and was left with the “mark of the devil”. Even the author alludes to the descent of the race of Grendel from Cain.
Frankenstein is proposed to be of cursed origin. However, neither of the two can be properly defined as Satanic, especially based on the information through the rest of the two books. Through the predetermined society, Grendel is seen as an evil come to destroy all of mankind. Conversely, Grendel is a victim of society; he was not born inherently evil. Society unduly restrains Grendel to heinous stereotypes that he does not fit. For example, another character, Unferth, more closely fits the description of Cain than Grendel. Unferth was responsible for his own brother’s death just as Cain killed his own brother.
Clearly, it is not Grendel that should be condemned. He only tries to assimilate into society, but after being continually rejected he turns to violence in response to society’s hatred of him. Similar to Grendel, Frankenstein’s monster is also pictured as satanic. The monster is a unique creation. Like Adam, he is united by no link to any other being, yet by his condition, he resembles some devilish character. Also, like Grendel, Frankenstein was not born evil; he was forced into his way of life by the society that rejected him. After this rejection, Frankenstein “like the arch-fiend, bore a hell within him” (Shelley 136).
He understands his existence and how society wrongfully rejects it and simply wants society to have that same understanding in order to overlook his configuration. The two monsters’ superiority to humans can be seen in their ability to live in a society that has excommunicated them; their true heroism in place of society’s romantic view, and the ignorance on which society’s opinion of the monsters is based. Frankenstein’s monster and Grendel not only seem to manifest society’s fears; they also speak of nature to inform us that we do not have to be afraid of them.
Example #7 – Scientific Quest in Frankenstein
In Mary Shelley’s chilling novel Frankenstein, certain characters represent major thematic ideas that Shelley endeavors to criticize or praise. The main character, the scientist Frankenstein, is used to exemplify the consequences of uninhibited, systematic manipulation of the natural world. Similarly, the explorer Walton, whose Arctic voyage provides a framework for Frankenstein’s narrative, strengthens Shelley’s critique of this type of science by typifying the same traits at an earlier stage.
On the other hand, the Creature produced artificially in Frankenstein’s laboratory demonstrates some of the horrifying effects of Frankenstein’s work. In addition, the Creature provides a contrast to the disciplines that are critiqued by Shelley through the aforementioned characters. Thus, Shelley employs the prominent figures in her novel in an effort to address two contrasting types of scientific inquiry and the morality associated with each.
The most important characteristic of both Frankenstein and Walton is that they have an obsessive desire to use human reason to penetrate the inner workings of nature. In accordance with the Romantic ideals with which the novel is associated, Shelley criticizes this type of inquiry, and consequently, there is usually a negative and unnatural atmosphere created by these characters’ narratives. The novel opens in an epistolary format, with Walton describing his quest to explore undiscovered regions of the Arctic to a faraway sister. Walton refers to his project by stating that “its productions and features may be without example, as the phenomena of the heavenly bodies undoubtedly are in those undiscovered solitudes” (Shelley 1).
He also details his work ethic, explaining “there is something at work in my soul which I do not understand. I am practically industrious – painstaking, a workman…there is a love for the marvelous…which hurries me out of the common pathways of men, even to the wild sea and unvisited regions” (7). Shelley’s diction creates a foreboding and unnatural impression on the reader, particularly at the mention of an unknown yet powerful force that is driving Walton. Spiritual words such as “phenomena” and “heavenly” imply that Walton is attempting to reach beyond his humanity and obtain knowledge that is not necessarily intended for him.
The same force acts upon Frankenstein in his similarly unnatural explorations. In his narrative, Frankenstein describes to Walton his own sources of motivation, saying “It was the secrets of heaven and earth that I desired…whether it was the outward substance of things or the inner spirit of nature and the mysterious soul of man that occupied me, still my inquiries were directed to the metaphysical.. the physical secrets of the world” (23).
The narrative continues to describe how, after receiving inspiration from a professor, Frankenstein vowed: “I will pioneer a new way, explore unknown powers, and unfold to the world the deepest mysteries of creation” (33). After his experiment began, it was apparent that Frankenstein was still under a potent driving force, and he tells Walton, “my present situation was one in which all voluntary thought was swallowed up and lost”.
Frankenstein’s tale has an atmosphere analogous to that of Walton’s, and spiritual words are placed within his narrative to impart a feeling that he is reaching outside normal human boundaries. Indeed, the object of his studies is referred to as “secrets” in an effort to strengthen this idea. It appears that this type of science has objectified nature.
In addition to an intrinsic motivational force, both Walton and Frankenstein are influenced by egotism. Walton displays this trait throughout his letters, explaining to his sister, “you cannot contest the inestimable benefit which I shall confer on all mankind, to the last generation”. Again, it is clear that Walton has placed himself above other human beings. Walton’s egotistical nature is also indirectly referred to when he tells his sister that he has been seeking a companion, complaining: “I have no one near me, gentle yet courageous, possessed of a cultivated as well as of a capacious mind, whose tastes are like my own, to approve or amend my plans”.
Rather than desiring a genuine friendship, Walton’s concept of a relationship is based on his egotistical needs. Frankenstein is similarly subject to his own overbearing ego, an idea most clearly demonstrated by the fact that he creates life artificially in the lab, in the hopes that “a new species would bless me as its creator and source; many happy and excellent natures would owe they’re being to me. No father could claim the gratitude of his child so completely as I should deserve theirs” (38-39). Frankenstein’s attempt to replace normal reproduction, an instinct governing humankind, with artificial paternal propagation makes it obvious that like Walton, Frankenstein has placed himself above the rest of the human race.
This unnatural relationship with humanity serves as a criticism of the ego-driven scientific investigation. Furthermore, Shelley demonstrates how unchecked hubris and scientific processes lead to alienation and personal neglect. Walton is so blinded by his desire to explore the Arctic that he is willing to disregard his health, as he writes: “I commenced by enduring my body to hardship. I accompanied the whale-fishers on several expeditions to the North Sea; I voluntarily endured cold, famine, thirst, and want of sleep; I often worked harder than the common sailors during the day” (2-3).
Frankenstein displays the same trait early in his studies when he describes “I pursued my undertaking with unremitting ardor. My cheek had grown pale with study, and my person had become emaciated with confinement” (39). His health continues to decline into relapsing nervous fevers. Frankenstein also becomes so involved in his work that he removes himself socially, as he tells Walton: “the same feelings which made me neglect the scenes around me caused me also to forget those friends who were so many miles absent, and whom I had not seen for so long a time” (39-40).
This statement stands in stark contrast to the loving and genial upbringing that Frankenstein describes earlier in his narrative. Shelley, therefore, suggests that fervor for science and research replaces normal physical and emotional states. The Creature, Frankenstein’s artificial progeny, serves to reveal the damaging effects of objectifying and dissecting nature. This is most obvious in his relationship with Frankenstein, whom he entreats, “I am thy creature, and I will be even mild and docile to my natural lord and king if thou wilt also performs thy part, the which thou owest me” (80-81).
However, the Creature’s need for “natural” paternal care is neglected, and he expresses his disappointment by comparing himself to the Biblical Adam: “Like Adam, I was apparently united by no link to any other being in existence” (110). The Creature notices that while Adam “has come forth from the hands of God a perfect creature, happy and prosperous, guarded by the special care of his Creator; he was allowed to converse with and acquire knowledge from beings of a superior nature,” he is merely “wretched, helpless, and alone” (110).
Because the Creature represents the offspring of unbridled research, his removal from the human race implies that such science can lead to harmful and unnatural dehumanization. Shelley, therefore, uses the Creature to comment on the moral aspects of the methodical study. Most importantly, the Creature is a foil for Frankenstein and Walton in the sense that he epitomizes a beneficial and natural type of inquiry. Rather than attempting to manipulate and scrutinize nature, the Creature simply learns and is inspired by nature through observation.
For instance, the Creature describes coming across a fire and being pleased by the warmth it provided. The Creature details his response: “In my joy, I thrust my hand into the live embers, but quickly drew it out again with a cry of pain. How strange, I thought, that the same cause should produce such opposite effects!” (85). He goes on to learn about how wood fuels the fire, and notes how “the wet wood which I had placed near the heat fried and itself became inflamed. I reflected on this, and by touching the various branches, I discovered the cause” (86).
The Creature’s method of learning through observation and thought is juxtaposed with Frankenstein and Walton’s need to manipulate and control nature, thus presenting a practical and favorable form of science. The Creature progresses in the same manner until he eventually learns language, which he refers to as a “godlike science” for its ability to communicate ideas and produce emotion (93). Shelley sharply contrasts Frankenstein’s science with the natural and instinctive experiences of the Creature.
In the same way that Frankenstein’s science has negative and destructive consequences, the Creature’s science generally produces positive results. For instance, the Creature gains the ability to speak eloquently and survive in difficult climates. In addition, the Creature’s narrative often refers to the value of respecting nature rather than dissecting it. He references the healing power of the undisturbed natural world, illustrating his response to a changing season by saying, “My spirits were elevated by the enchanting appearance of nature; the past was blotted from my memory, the present was tranquil, and the future gilded by bright rays of hope and anticipations of joy” (96).
Also, the Creature tells the reader how before he realized his state of neglect, he felt that “he had begun life with benevolent intentions and thirsted for the moment when he should put them in practice and make myself useful to his fellow beings” (72). Thus, the type of learning and inquiry exhibited by the Creature is practical, useful, and beneficial for mankind. Shelley praises this method of learning over the destructive objectification of nature by contrasting the Creature with Frankenstein and Walton.
In Shelley’s novel, the characters of Frankenstein, Walton, and the Creature are used to exemplify and critique two opposing types of scientific learning. Frankenstein and Walton’s method is destructive and dehumanizing and accordingly is cast into a negative light in the novel. The Creature’s natural method, in contrast, offers a way to gain knowledge in a positive manner.
Example #8 – Nature of Revenge in the Novel the Frankenstein
It makes your blood boil. Your eyes see red. Your fists clench so hard that they turn pale. It keeps you up at night, thinking and formulating plots on how to extract it. It flows through your body and mind like an uncontrollable rage, seething to be released. Revenge is toxic. And such strong, violent emotion is fueled by a single act: an act of betrayal. Yet its effects are so lasting that it inflames wars of all sorts, from between two individuals to between two nations. But oddly enough, this terrifying emotion has been the focus of many artists and authors, not because of its consequences but because of how intriguing it is.
Despite its ferocity, revenge is perhaps one of the most humane emotions, on par with (and often going hand in hand with) love. One such author, Mary Shelley, exemplifies the very essence of revenge in her novel Frankenstein. In her novel, the protagonist, Victor Frankenstein, is faced with a continual conflict with his creation, the creature, creating an obsessive cycle of anger and disgust that inevitably leads both to their demise.
The cycle begins when Frankenstein first abandons the creature out of disgust, as soon as he creates the creature. Once the creature comes to realize this, he is angered. Frankenstein brought him into the world and abandoned him immediately simply because of his physical appearance. In one of his raging fits, the creature says “Frankenstein! You belong then to my enemy – to him towards whom I have sworn eternal revenge; you shall be my first victim”. Here, the creature reveals an important aspect of his mindset. He does not think of Frankenstein as the only enemy; instead, he thinks of Frankenstein as part of it.
In other words, the creature’s desire for revenge is directed towards all of mankind, to which Frankenstein is a part of, rather than solely Frankenstein. This gives insight into one of the consequences of revenge: cloudy thinking. If the creature could think calmly and logically, he would realize that his misery is a result of solely Frankenstein and no one else’s actions. But regardless, from this point onwards, the creature has an innate hatred of all humanity, especially Frankenstein, that guides all his actions. Frankenstein, getting angered by the creature threats, retorts with his own anger-filled response.
“I will work at your destruction until I desolate your heart so that you shall curse the hour of your birth” (134). Like the creature, Frankenstein does not put lucid thought to his words; if he thought from the creature’s perspective, he would have realized that the creature is justly angered. But instead, Frankenstein decides to throw threats back at the creature, illustrating that the emotion of anger brings both of them to the same mental level.
But more than just producing irrational thought, vengeance has an obsessive nature that eclipses other emotions and morals. It can transform a mind that knows nothing but innocence to one filled with hatred and loathing, just as it did with the creature. When first brought to life, the creature knew nothing; he could not speak, let alone have a grasp of human emotion and complex thought. But as he spent time learning how to speak English and adapting to human personalities, he came to realize his state of abandonment.
“Cursed, cursed creator! Why did I live? Why, in that instant, did I not extinguish the spark of existence which you had so wantonly bestowed? I know not; despair had not yet taken possession of me’ my feelings were those of rage and revenge”. As he realizes this, the creature starts transforming from one that accidentally harms a little girl to one that willingly kills Victor’s brother William just because of their relation. The creature’s obsession with revenge is further shown when he states that “revenge kept me alive; I dared not die and leave my adversary in being”. In other words, the creature has become a being whose sole existence is to exact vengeance rather than to try to fit into the society that fearfully rejected him.
Furthermore, he refers to Victor as his “adversary” in life, instead of by his name or as his creator, suggesting the complete lack of respect and the embodiment of hatred the creature has towards him. At this stage, the creature has reached his lowest point and gives up on trying to control his life; instead, he seeks solace in controlling Victor’s.
Through both the creature and Victor’s quest for vengeance, the two inevitably lead each other towards mutual destruction. The escalating misery the creature causes on Victor’s life eventually leads to Victor breaking down and falling ill. Once he is nursed back to health, the creature confronts him, explaining his loneliness and sadness in the world in a calm, logical manner. He then finishes with the demand that it only be fair that Victor creates a female counterpart for the creature, and if he does so, the creature would forgive Victor for his abandonment by leaving him—along with the rest of humanity—alone.
As Victor debates it, the creature angrily adds “If you refuse, I will glut the maw of death until it is satiated with the blood of your remaining friends” (86). The creature’s scope for revenge has become so large that he now is willing to kill all of those related to Frankenstein to give him a slow, painful death. In other words, Frankenstein has no option but to comply with the creature or kill him. However, the creature is incredibly strong and agile, so Victor cannot kill him; this leaves him with one option: to comply.
But once Victor comes close to creating this female counterpart, he realizes that he cannot bring another “creature” into the world and that one was already too many, so he kills the female. The creature sees this and, as promised, kills Elizabeth on the two’s wedding night. At this crossroad, both of their demises become inevitable. Victor needs the creature’s approval to live a happy life without having to fear for himself and his loved ones.
The creature needs Victor if he wants any chance of another being like him to be created. But once both of them kill each other’s potential “wives”, they go down a road of immeasurable hate towards each other. Both of them need each other to live but neither of the two has each other’s approval. Therefore, Victor’s death on the boat, followed by the creature’s acceptance of his own death was unavoidable.
Through escalating acts of violence and hatred, Victor and the creature’s obsessive nature of showing anger led to each’s demise. Both needed each other to survive yet had to go through an incredible amount of pain and heartbreak as a result of the other, so the pair’s end was inevitable. Ironically symbolic, Shelley emphasizes the two’s foil-like nature and cyclic acts of anger by starting the book with the creature’s birth and ending with Victor’s death.
Yet it is the creature who ends the novel with humanity as he comes to terms with his rash acts of anger while Victor never could. All in all, vengeance, like a disease, will consume and kill you if left unchecked. As clergyman Douglas Horton once said, “While seeking revenge, dig two graves—one for yourself.”
Example #9 – Frankenstein – Monster or Not?
One would define a monster as, an imaginary creature that is typically large, ugly, and frightening. Many times in literature, the main character of the story is viewed as the good guy and goes up against an evil villain or a monster. Despite the fact that the creature in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein meets the physical standards of what determines a monster, big, ugly, unnatural, the reality is that the true monster of this novel is Victor the main character.
He is the one who desired to create life in such an unnatural way and ultimately led to the deaths of everyone he loved. Some people would argue that the creature, based on his physical appearance is the monster in the story, but just because he looks like a monster doesn’t mean he is one. The only reason that the creature is first associated with the term monster is due to his appearance, His yellow skin scarcely covered the work of muscles and arteries is hair was of a lustrous black his teeth of a pearly whiteness, but these luxuriances only formed a more horrid contrast with his watery eyes his shriveled complexion and straight black lips (Shelley 48).
This is a classic example of judging a book by its cover. Society saw only the scary parts of the creature and did not consider what he felt on the inside. Someone who is newly born cannot be evil, because they are not at the point where they know right from wrong. He is shown to be fascinated by nature, I started up and beheld a radiant form rise from among the trees. I gazed with a kind of wonder. It moved slowly, but it enlightened my path, (Shelley 100). This moment his first experiences with his surroundings and shows how curious he is, and in this situation, he doesn’t seem like a monster, but more like a child.
The creature even showed the potential to be good by performing helpful deeds for the De- Laceys such as gathering wood. If he was brought down the right path he could have been a benefit to society. I discovered also another means through which I was enabled to assist their laborers. I found that the youth spent a great part of each day collecting wood for the family fire, and during the night I often took his tools, the use of which I quickly discovered, and brought home firing sufficient for the consumption of several days (Shelley 109). His personality is one that cares for others and craves acceptance.
Despite all the helpful actions he performs the De-Laceys still don’t accept him when he reveals himself to them. Agatha fainted, and Safie, unable to attend to her friend, rushed out of the cottage. Felix darted forward, and with supernatural force tore me from his father, to whose knees I clung, in a transport of fury, he dashed me to the ground and struck me violently with a stick (Shelley 136). The Creature loved this family, yet they were terrified of what they saw. They had no idea that he was the one who had helped them during the winter and they failed to see past his looks to the person on the inside.
Mary Shelley creates the false perception that Victor’s creature is the monster of the story, yet this is not true. Victor is a selfish being whose rejection of his creation led to the death of him and his family and because of this, he is the true monster of the story. When the Creature is firstborn, he is introduced to the world in a very heartless way. His creator regretted his creation and abandoned him, which for a person who was just brought into the world could be confusing and scary.
He held up the curtain of the bed; and his eyes, if eyes they may be called, were fixed on me. His jaws opened, and he muttered some inarticulate sounds, while a grin wrinkled his cheeks. He might have spoken, but I did not hear; one hand was stretched out, seemingly to detain me, but I escaped and rushed downstairs. (Shelley 49). He wasn’t born evil, he is a product of Victor’s unwillingness to accept the consequences of his experiment. He tries to reach out to people, which stems from Victor abandoning him.
All the creature ever wanted was to be accepted, and his one chance at such an acceptance was taken away from him before his own eyes when Victor destroys his companion, The wretch saw me destroy the creature on whose future existence he depended for happiness, and with a howl of devilish despair and revenge, withdrew (Shelley 171).
It was at this moment that the creature reached his breaking point. Throughout his entire life, he was not shown a single act of kindness and was distraught like anyone else would be in this situation. Now and angered creature promises Victor I shall be with you on your wedding-night (Shelley 173). Even though the creature gives Victor a warning, Victor still married Elizabeth and lost her to the Creature’s desire for revenge.
Something can not be created evil. It is their surroundings and their environment in which they have raised that influence the way a person behaves. Too many people focus on what’s on the outside and forget to look at what’s on the inside. Victor was a reckless monster who was driven by the passion to satisfy his needs and this is why he ran away from his family, instead of thinking about what he was creating, he was consumed by his need to become famous.
When Justine is accused of a murder he stays silent instead of taking responsibility, and when the creature threatens him on his wedding day he only thinks about protecting himself and not Elizabeth. Victor does not take pride in the creature as he describes him as an animal instead of looking at him as a human. The creature’s life is filled with rejection and hate and his reasons for his actions are justified in the sense that society is responsible.
On his own, the creature has shown us his true nature of being kind, when he saved the little girl from drowning in the river, or when he helped out the De-Laceys. They don’t see him as a hero, but as a monstrosity due to his looks. That is why he was shot by the man and was beaten down by Felix. It is when he is misjudged by society when he acts out in anger. Society has a major impact on the way people act.
Although humans have the tendency to set idealistic goals to better future generations, often the results can prove disastrous, even deadly. The tale of Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley, focuses on the outcome of one man’s idealistic motives and desires of dabbling with nature, which results in the creation of a horrific creature. Victor Frankenstein was not doomed to failure from his initial desire to overstep the natural bounds of human knowledge. Rather, it was his poor parenting of his progeny that lead to his creation’s thirst for the vindication of his unjust life.
In his idealism, Victor is blinded, and so the creation accuses him of delivering him into a world where he could not ever be entirely received by the people who inhabit it. Not only failing to foresee his faulty idealism, nearing the end of the tale, but he also embarks upon a final journey, consciously choosing to pursue his creation in vengeance, while admitting he himself that it may result in his own doom. The creation of an unloved being and the quest for the elixir of life holds Victor Frankenstein more accountable for his own death than the creator himself.
Delivered into the world, full-grown and without a guardian to teach him the ways of the human world, the creation discovers that he is alone, but not without resources. He attempts to communicate with his creator, however, he is incapable of speech. As Frankenstein recounts the situation, he says, I beheld the wretch—the miserable monster whom I had created. He held up the curtain of the bed; and his eyes, if eyes they may be called, were fixed on me. His jaw opened, and he muttered some inarticulate sounds, while a grin wrinkled his cheeks.
He might have spoken, but I did not hear; one hand was stretched out, seemingly to detain me, but I escaped and rushed downstairs (Shelley, p. 43). As Frankenstein explains, he declares that he deliberately neglects to communicate with his creation, based on its shockingly hideous appearance. Had Frankenstein taken the time to communicate and care for his creation, with all the knowledge that he possesses of the responsibility of a good parent, the creation would have never developed the sense of vindication and reprisal that lead him to murder Victor’s loved one’s.
The creation would henceforth account Frankenstein for all his sufferings succeeding his birth. Frankenstein’s first of numerous mistaken decisions ill-facing his destiny relies greatly upon a lack of responsibility for the creation he so passionately brings to life in the early chapters of his tale. From his very first words, Victor claims to have been born to two indefatigably affectionate parents in an environment of abundant knowledge. As he speaks of his parents, Frankenstein attempts to portray his fortunate upbringing,
Much as they were attached to each other, they seemed to draw inexhaustible stores of affection from a very mine of love to bestow them upon me. My mother’s tender caresses and my father’s smile of benevolent pleasure while regarding me are my first recollections. I was their plaything and their idol, and something better—their child, the innocent and helpless creature bestowed on them by heaven, whom to bring up to good, and whose future lot it was in their hands to direct to happiness or misery, according as they fulfilled their duties towards me (Shelley, p. 19).
By these recollections, Frankenstein illustrates his parents as being the most ideal caregivers imaginable to any child, being granted all the vital tools of a responsible guardian as a result, which he neglects to utilize upon animating his creation. Frankenstein abandons his hideous child, feelings of vindication arise, and the creation kills members of his family for all the mental anguish that has been set upon him.
In his idealism, Frankenstein is blinded and fails or is unable to foresee the dangerous outcome of his creation, giving life to a hideous being that could never be accepted in such a superficial world. As Frankenstein recounts the procedures of making his being, he admits himself that his idealism blinded his ability to foresee the drastic effects that might result in giving life to an unloved creature.
No one can conceive the variety of feelings which bore me onward like a hurricane, in the first enthusiasm of success. Life and death appeared to me ideal bounds, which I should break through, and pour a torrent of light into our dark world. A new species would bless me as its creator and source; many happy and excellent natures would owe they’re being to me. No father could claim the gratitude of his child so completely as I should deserve theirs.
Pursuing these reflections, I thought that if I could bestow animation upon lifeless matter, I might in process of time (although I now found it impossible) renew life where death had apparently devoted the body to corruption (Shelley, p. 38-39). Frankenstein’s intent was to create a being unlike any other, superior to all human life and so he picked the most perfect body parts and beauteous features, all to be pieced together in great anticipation. However, the results are horrific and irreversible. Accusing Frankenstein of bringing him into a world where he could never be accepted, the creation realizes his creator’s faulty idealism.
However, Frankenstein is unable to detect his idealistic blindness. In a conversation with Frankenstein, the creation explains, attempting to make him conceive the amount of mental anguish that has been brought upon him by giving him life, instead of threatening, I am content to reason with you. I am malicious because I am miserable. Am I not shunned and hated by all mankind? You, my creator, would tear me to pieces and triumph; remember that, and tell me why I should pity man more than he pities me?
You would not call it to murder if you could precipitate me into one of those ice-rifts and destroy my frame, the work of your own hands (Shelley, p.130). In the creation’s loathsome words, he merely justifies that had Frankenstein not have been passionately immersed in the creation of a superior being, gigantic and repulsive as a result, all his sufferings would cease to exist.
Longing for the attention that Frankenstein neglects to provide him with at his birth, the creature attempts to gain it by stalking and killing his loved ones. The creation does finally attain this attention as Frankenstein feels that he no longer has any reason to live but to seek revenge upon the being that has ultimately destroyed him. Upon hearing Frankenstein’s declarations of reprisal, the creation is delighted in finally receiving the attention that he neglected to provide to him at his birth.
The creation challenges him in pursuing him and. replies, “I am satisfied miserable wretch! You have determined to live, and I am satisfied,” (Shelley, 186). Frankenstein initiates the conflict that would lead directly to his doom. Consciously choosing to pursue his creation, Frankenstein implores himself to seek reprisal upon him. Frankenstein vows that he will undertake the great task that is the pursuit of his creation. Although he may be enraged with a vengeance and unrestrained anger, Frankenstein does admit that this pursuit may indeed result in his own death. As he declares this vengeance, he says,
By the sacred earth on which I kneel, by the shades that wander near me, by thee, O Night, and the spirits that preside over thee, to pursue the demon who caused this misery, until he or I shall perish in mortal conflict. For this purpose I will preserve my life; to execute this dear revenge will I again behold the sun and tread the green herbage of earth, which otherwise should vanish from my eyes forever (Shelley, p. 186). Ultimately, in the end, this leads to Frankenstein’s demise even though he realizes that it might, for the death of either his creation or himself will obliterate and relieve all the sufferings that he has been forced to endure.
Frankenstein is the tale of a man doomed to failure and death for his desire to play with nature. By creating a destructive being, in human form, that he cannot control, Victor Frankenstein brings about his own ruin. Frankenstein neglects to take responsibility for his creation, abandoning him, resulting in the murder of his most loved ones as the creation’s revenge. In his idealism, Frankenstein is blinded and is unable to foresee the drastic effects of giving life to a being that could never be entirely accepted by human society, which further the creation’s vindictiveness.
Lastly, consciously choosing to pursue his creation in vengeance, Frankenstein’s sufferings are finally obliterated, for he was well aware that it may lead to his ultimate doom. The creation of an unloved being and the search for a death cure hold Victor Frankenstein more responsible for his own demise than the creator himself.
Example #11 – Frankenstein and Rur: Depiction Human Behavior
Frankenstein and RUR both depict human behavior with inhuman things and also describe the effects of the work that isolated a human being from society. The isolated world setting of both the books is different but the disparity and conduct of humans with their creations are similar. Victor’s isolation from the rest of the world ignited negative energy in his mind that enabled him to research the secret of life and create an artificial human being. Later the Creature also faces the same loneliness situation as faced by Victor.
The creature is scorned by society as well as by his creator that ends up with his evil nature. However, robots are treated like slaves in RUR, which results in a robot’s rebellion against humans which further leads to the extinction of humanity on the earth. Therefore, loneliness and unequal behavior generate negative energy in the mind of an individual that results in murder, death, and fear in society.
One of the main reasons behind Victor’s unchecked passion and negative energy was that he was without anyone else’s input at school. After the longtime research process in the lab, one day when Victor’s best friend Clerval met him on the way, he said to Victor, “I did not before remark how very ill you appear; so thin and pale; you look as if you had been watching for several nights”(86). These lines predict that Victor was a healthy looking person before he engaged with the search of the secret of life. So, Victor’s loneliness and isolation from the society due to his unchecked passion make him unhealthy. In the end, it can be concluded that loneliness may cultivate diseases and other disorders in human life. Mary Shelley noticed that the subject of depression and its impact on people was critical and this topic she emphasized the most in her novel. For Frankenstein’s situation, it can be contended that it is generally his depression that prompted the formation of the creature.
Loneliness likewise plays out in the creature’s life. He turns to slaughter in light of the fact that he is so alone – no one acknowledges him, he has no sidekick, and even his maker has rejected him due to his ugly appearance (Shelley). This loneliness and unequal behavior of society turn the Creature into evil. At a certain point, he reveals his loneliness to Frankenstein and ask him to generate a female mate for him, in order him to quit slaughtering and fled to never be seen again (Shelley), He said to victor “shall each man” cried he, “find a wife for his bosom, and each beast have his mate, and I be alone?”(176).
These lines of the Creature prove that he was alone in a society that results in his evil nature towards other human beings. To live a happy life, he also needs a partner or acceptance of society. But, society refuses to accept the Creature due to his ugliness and this is the main reason he demands a female mate from his creator. Frankenstein, who ought to comprehend the dangers of isolation, rejects this thought. So not exclusively did depression prompt the production of the creature, but also ends up with the murders of everyone related to Frankenstein.
As victor’s loneliness results in the creation of a monster and sickness for him. Moreover, Monster’s loneliness results in the death of all human beings who were near to victor. According to the journal of economic psychology, people are not intended to live single lives. Science has demonstrated over and over the significance of companions – in everything from feelings of anxiety, to bliss levels, to the future. Recent research established that the feeling of anxiety and loneliness push an individual to seek information that can overcome their negative feelings (Shani).
The same thing happens with Victor. His isolation from society leads him to search the information about the secret of life. At last, victor’s research finishes with the creation of a monster that ruins his life. Hence, a person who isolates himself from society and family may turn to a wrong path in life. So, a strong bonding with society, family, and friends are very crucial in our life. (Shani)
On the other hand, slavery and the unequal conduct of mankind turn into the reason for robots’ rebellion against humans in RUR. Everybody was expecting that robots should work according to human commands. But, Helena was struggling to provide equal respect and rights for robots, the same as humans have. “Helena- Oh, I think that if you were to show them a little love. They are to be – to be dealt with like human beings.”(13) In contrast, the robots seem to have no self-interest, nor any instinct for self-preservation.
But later, Dr. Gall said “I changed the character of the robots. I changed the way of making them. Just a few details about their bodies. Chiefly, their irritability. I did it in secret.”(41) Dr. Gall makes changes in robots so that they become able to feel pain and protect themselves from any danger without any command. But, nobody thinks that if robots have more power or especially when they would have irritation features then they might get irritated by human commands. After changes robots were able to feel irritation from human commands and unequal behavior with them.
As in Frankenstein, the Monster gets irritated by the behavior of society. The same thing happens in RUR, robots also get irritated by the unequal behavior of humans. As a result, robots started a war against humans that results in the extinction of humanity from the earth. Robots hate with humans becomes clear in these lines of Radius (an intelligent robot)- “You are not as strong as the Robots. You are not as skillful as Robots. Robots can do everything. You only give orders. You do nothing but talk.” “I don’t want any master. I know everything for myself.
I want to be master over people.”(47) It shows that inequality may create negative energy in an individual mind. Almost every intelligent person may expect that he should be the master and he does not need any controller. The same thing happens in robots’ case, they were intelligent enough to control themselves. This is the reason, they become angry with human commands. After some time, this irritation of robots from humanity changed into a war that causes death and fear in society. Hence, it explains that unequal behavior may show irritation in anybody that may become the reason for war or rebellion.
After reading both the novels it will be right to say that everybody makes sure, you have loved ones you can swing too, and maybe more essentially, who can take your responsibility when you get off track. Victor Frankenstein disengaged himself and paid the consequences for it. However, inequality in society may generate negative energy in the mind of an individual that may result in murder, death, and fear in society. We should not treat anyone badly on the basis of their look and status in society. It may become harmful for all human beings on earth. As acceptance of the monster’s ugly look in society might have saved many lives and providing equal rights to robots could have saved humanity on the earth.
Example #12 – Frankenstein Cruelty
Frankenstein is one such story that is considered to be utterly significant. The author, Mary Shelley, does this by incorporating a mentor who dramatically changes how the character views not only himself but the world itself. Such instance is the professor, Waldon, who inspires Victor about life which influences him to be bring something extraordinary into life.
In Frankenstein, professor Walden exhibits a strong influence on Victor. Walden is a chemist professor who sparks Victor’s interest in alchemy. Victor’s sense of obsession for knowledge leads to the creation of the creature. Victor’s desire for wanting to create a life with electricity results in a tragedy for not only the creator but also the creature. Victor abandons his creation after giving it life and he denies him a companion.
As a result, the creature decides to stop seek love through kindness and instead decided to lash out his own cruelty. He begins to threaten Victor’s life in which he does by killing his family members. He begins with William, then with Justine, and the servant Henry, and finally until he kills Elizabeth which also leads to Victor’s father’s death.
Through the lack of understanding of each other’s circumstances leads to the desire for revenge. Victor and his creation are each consumed by cruelty. This causes them to lose all of the happiness and the love they acquire throughout their lives. Victor and the creation both end as monsters due to their actions. The cruelty that is continually exhibited throughout the novel, finally darkens the creature’s heart, causing him to become capable of great destruction. Victor blames the creature but yet, in the end, the one who truly had fault was Victor.
The creature could have remained an innocent and kind creature, but instead, cruelty turned the creature into another ruthless perpetrator. This leads back to the professor’s mentorship of Victor. The professor is one of the many factors that spark Victor’s and the creature’s cruel acts toward each other. He makes the book as a whole since he played a huge role in mentoring Victor about life. As a result, Victor uses all the knowledge he gains from the professor to make such a creation.
In the course of the novel, the professor’s influence is a key factor in portraying and developing the plot. He was the driving force behind the whole novel’s plot development. Without the professor’s influence, Victor might have not had the idea to create such a creature. Maybe the whole novel would have ended differently or at least it would have had a different plot.
Another aspect of romanticism that is prevalent in Shelly’s novel is the way Frankenstein, and his creation, are controlled by their emotions. Frankenstein is continually ruled by his feelings of fear, guilt, and love throughout the novel. For instance, he works for nearly two years to accomplish his goal of creating life, only to immediately flee because of fear when his work comes to life.
This was a major illustration for the reader that despite being an experienced scientist Frankenstein was still ruled by emotions. In a large portion of the novel, Frankenstein seems to be completely motivated by his fear of the creature he created. When his brother died, he feared people discovering his secret so he let an innocent woman stand trial. When the monster requested a partner, his fear of the monster propelled him to try, only to have his fear of having two creatures alive stop him from completing the work.
At the end of the story, Frankenstein’s anger over the death of his family members propelled him to chase the creature across the frozen waters, which lead to his death. Frankenstein was a brilliant thinker who was continually consumed and motivated by his emotions. Frankenstein’s creation was also very much controlled by his emotions. After he is created and Frankenstein flees from him, he searches across the land to find companions.
Example #14 – interesting ideas
Victor Frankenstein’s collapse comes about through his personal experiences with loss (his mother, his brother William through the Creature, his brother Ernest interestingly enough in a more emotionally distant way and also by means of them being complete opposites in motivation and personality, Elizabeth’s unhappiness and then death through the cost of Victor’s obsession and detachments and hatred, literally her own demise was at the hands of the person who loved her most).
As well as the inability to prevent inevitable things like circumstance, death, loneliness…not to mention chasing the pipedream of finding the Elixir of Life. Unfortunately, he becomes obsessed with the idea of creating life in the inanimate matter through artificial means, dropping out of school to pursue this goal for the next two years.
Assembling a humanoid creature perhaps by stitching together pieces of human corpses, he realizes he’s gone too far and flees his creation. Later Frankenstein tries pursuing his Creation he ultimately fails in his mission, however, and after relating his tale to the captain of a ship of explorers that has picked him up, he dies of pneumonia. His creature, upon discovering the death of its creator, is overcome by sorrow and ends the novel by vowing to commit suicide by burning himself alive.
Victor, a man tragically driven by ambition and scientific curiosity, unable to deal with the consequences of his actions in playing God (not Shelley’s words), or being an irresponsible, neglectful parent. Basically put, Victor could not control his burning desires or his fiery and manic visions, and those flames engulfed him.
Mary shelly’s Frankenstein ESSAY help!? Question: In what ways is the creature a hero or a romantic scapegoat? Make certain that you represent ideals of Romanticism correctly in your discussion.
Answer. Well, we can’t write the essay for you, but you need to start with your perspective of the story. The way you wrote the question here looks like you have an either/or type question to start with, so is the creature a hero, or is he a scapegoat? A Romantic (capital R don’t forget) hero is all about the individual who understands himself and is able to connect with nature and God on that one-on-one basis. If you’ve read the book, there are many scenes where the creature is in nature and on his own, so does this shows him functioning as a hero?
Alternatively, as a scapegoat, he is repulsive to Dr. Frankenstein, his own creator and Dr. Frankenstein acts like the creature is to blame for not leaving him alone and creating his own living situation. Once you have your opinion, make a list of why you came to your conclusion and part from the book that shows how each reason works. This will be the body of the essay so come up with like 4-5 reasons (that way you have an extra one to throw out if you don’t like it or can’t back it up).
Frankenstein thematic essay help?
I need help with a thematic essay of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. The assignment is to identify a theme found in the novel that is most relevant in today’s society. I was thinking of the dangers of the abuse of knowledge and power or the dangers of neglecting others. Any ideas?
Answer. The “theme” that one should not tamper with the forces of nature is something the film adaptations impose. The fact is in the actual book it’s heavily implied that the creature would have been a perfectly decent person if HE (stop calling him “it” other replier!) had been cared for by his parent and not rejected by the world.
There are morals to the story that most film adaptions leave out. In the novel, Victor Frankenstein abandoned his creation of mere moments after he came to life. In real life around that same time, Percy had left Mary (temporarily) with a premature baby girl who did not survive for long. And Mary herself had been more or less abandoned by her own father because of her scandalous relationship with Percy Shelley (which had started while he had still been married to his first wife).
The parental rejection or even postpartum depression as we know it now are major themes. Notice how excited Victor was to have created life but the moment the creature was “born” he panicked. The next theme that’s often overlooked is forgiveness. The creature could not forgive Victor and went on a quest for revenge that ultimately left him feeling empty and miserable because it brought him no peace.
Though the creature learned at an impressive speed (able to speak German, French, and English fluently by the end of the novel and quoting John Milton) he had to learn the hard way that revenge was not the answer. Meanwhile, Victor himself could not forgive himself or his creation for the lives the creature took in his (the creature’s) quest for revenge. Revenge destroyed the creature emotionally and it destroyed Victor physically.
If they had just forgiven each other a lot of the sorrow and death in the novel could have been avoided. The creature had to forgive Victor for abandoning him and for later breaking his word about making a mate. And Victor had to forgive the creature for the lives he took in his mad quest for revenge yet neither did until it was too late.
Finally promises. Victor broke his promises to Elizabeth and then later to the creature and in the end, Captain Walton did not keep his word to Victor about destroying the creature for him. There’s a cycle of promises broken and at least with the first two, those broken promises lead to disaster. If Victor had learned to keep his promises things might not have ended the way they had.
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I hate the anti-science theme people tack onto the novel because that was never the issue. And the creature was never evil by default so the fact that he existed was not the point. He changed from being a kind being because of how the world treated him. Also many don’t realize this but the novel heavily indicates that the creature was NOT just the product of science. He was also of alchemy. Alchemy is mentioned many times yet most film versions ignore this aspect of his creation. That means he’s partly science and part magic.
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