Similarities between Frankenstein and Monster
Victor Frankenstein and his monster are considered conflation of each other. As the novel progresses, Frankenstein and his monster vie for the role of protagonist. With the progress of the story, the monster he created manifests itself as an identification of the traits and qualities of his creator, Victor Frankenstein. They are not similar physically and socially but their personality traits, thought patterns; their intents toward humanity and ambitiousness make them analogous.
Levine (1973) illustrates that the monster and Frankenstein are the sides of a same coin.
He depicts that “Frankenstein creates the monster and that, as they pursue their separate lives, they increasingly resemble and depend upon each other so that by the end Frankenstein pursues his own monster, their positions reversed, and the monster plants clues to keep Frankenstein in pursuit. As Frankenstein’s creation, the monster can be taken as an expression of an aspect of Frankenstein’s self”. (Levine. 1973)
First of all, the benevolence and munificence is a substantial feature of Frankenstein and the development of the story depicts that monster also possesses such personality traits of kindness and humanity.
His friends admire Frankenstein, the ship captain, who rescues him from the ice floe and even the monster as testify that Frankenstein is a benevolent person full with the “milk of human kindness”. Sea captain Walton says, “What a glorious creature must he have been in the days of his prosperity,” again writes Walton, “when he is thus noble and godlike in ruin!”(Shelley. p.210).
He greatness lies in the fact that he is revered by his worst enemy who describes him as, “Oh, Frankenstein! Generous and self-devoted being! what does it avail that I now ask thee to pardon me?” (Shelley. p.219). His evils and malevolencies do not mar his good characteristics and tendencies. Same is the case with monster that although he is often understood as a savage devoid of any human tendency but in reality, he is as benevolent and kind as his creator, Victor Frankenstein.
His atrocities toward human are the retorts to the world he inhabits, as opposed to something innate, for example his unidentified acts of kindheartedness to the cottage-dwellers and saving the life of a child are reimbursed with unsubstantiated abhorrence. But yet gain his intentions toward human were nobler and full of benevolence. Monster, during his reverence of his creator, points out his self-devotion. This self-devotion together with his benevolent aspiration to “banish disease from the human frame and render man invulnerable to any but a violent death” (p. 40) creates a dual nature in him.
Although his intents are virtuous but his ambitions capacitates him to go to any extent to get his objective accomplished. However, despite, Frankenstein ensnare himself in a despicable hunt that causes him to devastate his own good being and make his “fellow-creatures as if . . . guilty of a crime” (p. 55). The monster displays a parallel duality of nature exciting sympathy as well as dismay toward him. He claims our kindness to the degree that we identify ourselves in his existential seclusion.
Monster himself suffers from this duality of nature and had self-devoted cravings together with love and care for human beings. His love for Elizabeth and murder for the purpose to get him is reflection of this ambivalent personality. Monster ambitiousness is similar to Frankenstein. It makes him to learn and devise new ways of expressing himself. The major dilemma of monster is not devotion like Frankenstein but it is self-identification. He educates himself by reading such phrases of Paradise Lost. “Who was I? What was I? Whence did I come?” (p. 125) that generates in him an urge to locate his identity and that becomes the ultimate cause of his tragedy.
Levine, George. Frankenstein and the Tradition of Realism. NOVEL: A Forum on
Fiction, 7.1 (Autumn, 1973): 14-30.
Website: http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0029- 5132(197323)7%3A1%3C14%3A%22ATTOR%3E2.0.CO%3B2-3
Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft. Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s Frankenstein, or, The
Modern Prometheus. A Longman cultural ed. New York
Women in Frankenstein
In her novel Frankenstein, Mary Shelley portrays all of her female characters from both positive and negative perspectives. Writing the novel in the early 19th century, Shelley addressed the common stereotypical view of women as inferior to men that society of the time held. Dominated by male narrators, the female’s perspective is ignored in the novel. By excluding the female’s perspective of Frankenstein, Shelley reinforces in the reader the message that society of the time attributed very little to women.
In addition to that, the firm ideas that women should be dependent on males, to be taken care of and having little potential to achieve anything independently, resonates in several of her characters. Resonating with other characters, the readers are able to see that women are weak-minded, feeble characters who become easily influenced. This trend can be seen throughout Frankenstein with characters such as Caroline Beaufort, Elizabeth Lavenza, and Justine Moritz, who all played less substantial roles compared to the males in the story.
Shelley portrays the persistent feminine strength in her female characters through the small triumphs of Caroline Beaufort, Elizabeth Lavenza and Justine Moritz, however Shelley acknowledges how weak minded and dependent they become in the face of adversity and their lack of control over certain situations. Shelley is able to show that Caroline Beaufort is able to sustain herself financially, however Shelley brings the reader to the harsh reality that she must sooner or later be dependent on a man. Shelley states, “…there was no other prospect of support.
But Caroline Beaufort possessed a mind of an uncommon mold, and her courage rose to support her in her adversity. ” (p. 28). When Caroline’s father was on the brink of death, she contained herself emotionally and made ends meet in her household financially. However, Caroline’s momentum died out when the harsh reality became that she couldn’t support herself because of her grieving emotional state. Shelly continues, “This last blow came over her, and she knelt by Beaufort’s coffin weeping bitterly, when my father entered the chamber.
He came like a protecting spirit to the poor girl, who committed herself to his care; and after the interment of his friend, he conducted her to Geneva, and placed her under the protection of a relation. Two years after this event Caroline became his wife. ” (p. 28). Caroline’s independency and self sufficiency was a failure since she was “rescued” from her troubles by Alphonse Frankenstein. Shelley’s bigger message to the readers is that women need to be rescued by men because they are incapable of maintaining themselves and need to be dependent on someone else.
Shelley is able to incorporate her time period’s stereotypical belief of women being possessions of men that need to be cared for in her example of Caroline Beaufort and Alphonse Frankenstein. Elizabeth Lavenza’s celestial beauty and enticing charm is what sets her apart from other women, however she is met by her death when she was unaware of Frankenstein’s mischievous secret. Elizabeth came into the Frankenstein household fully well aware of her expectations of fulfilling the position of Victor Frankenstein’s wife.
Victor states, “No word, no expression could body forth the kind of relation in which she stood to me- more than sister, since till death she was to be mine only. ” (p. 31). Victor expresses that his appreciation of Elizabeth is beyond what words can express, however it was his fault that Elizabeth met her untimely death. Victor’s creation took out his vengeance on poor Elizabeth, who was completely unaware of the knowledge that was being withheld from her. If Elizabeth had taken more of a firm initiative into Victor’s life outside of their relationship, there would not have been any discrepancies between the two.
Victor swore to protect Elizabeth, ironically he was the cause of her death because he withheld so much from her. The lack of their bond and understanding contributed to this miscommunication that allowed for the monster to kill Elizabeth. Shelley utilizes this instance to show the readers how the fault of Victor Frankenstein directly hurts Elizabeth Lavenza, which cost Elizabeth, her life. Justine Moritz remained strong in the arms of controversy, but due to her weak-minded mentality she was thrusted into her own downfall.
Moritz remained her firm stance on her innocence and she was firm on her beliefs. Her determination and persistence prompted her to gather witnesses in her defense to prove her innocence. She states, “I beg permission to have a few witnesses examined concerning my character, and if their testimony shall not overweigh my supposed guilt, I must be condemned although I would pledge my salvation on my innocence. ” (p. 79). Being the strong and independent minded thinker that Moritz was, she was hoaxed into giving a false guilty plead.
Moritz was forced to give a plead when the judicial authorities threatened her salvation, and being belittled forced her to give that statement. Victor stated, “The person to whom I addressed myself added that Justine had already confessed her guilt. ”(p. 81). Victor had the opportunity to save the woman’s life, however it was his hesitation and her weak will that allowed her to succumb to death. Shelley was able to portray a spectrum of both positive and negative perspectives of women, however she is able to show that they are weak infantile beings because none of the women survive.
The bigger message that Shelley is trying to send is that women lack the superior characteristics that allow men to be independent, self sufficient and non-dependent beings. Shelley’s significance of eliminating all her female characters surmounted to the feeling that society still wasn’t ready to allow women to reach their full potentials beside their indispensable characteristics. Being overshadowed by the society’s male dominated characteristic, women are set to the side to be onlookers when they should actually be the forerunners in this day and age.
Both 'Frankenstein' and 'Of mice and men' are concerned with the themes of loneliness and dependency
Compare the way Mary Shelly and John Steinbeck write about these human conditions.
In this essay I will discuss and compare the similar themes of loneliness, isolation and dependency in ‘of mice and men’ and ‘Frankenstein’.
Victor Frankenstein is the main protagonist character in the book ‘Frankenstein’. He is a scientist who challenges common science. He lives in a big family mansion in Geneva with all of his family. At first Frankenstein’s relationship with his family and friends is really close.
When he moves to the university in Igolstadt he writes frequent letters to his family and Elizabeth.
Frankenstein has an obsession with a desire to create life. He gets this uncontrollable desire from the unfortunate loss of his mother during the birth of his brother William. Frankenstein studied professor Waldman’s research on darker science and when the professor died it gave him the final push towards creating life. Frankenstein thought he owed it to the professor to finish his research.
The research was time consuming this made his letters less frequent and shorter. Elizabeth felt isolated because of this and this made Frankenstein lonely as well.
Captain Walton is the first narrator of the book. We learn the story of Frankenstein’s monster through his letters to his sister. He is the captain of a ship on an expedition to the North Pole. His ambition is to reach the North Pole where no man has been before. He doesn’t have a good relationship with his fellow crewmates because he is selfish and reckless you know because in the book the crew threaten to mutiny if he doesn’t let them go back home. Frankenstein and captain Walton have a link between them; they both have this deep imbedded urge to follow their ambitions without care of how reckless they are. I think this is the reason they connect so well and become close friends.
George is a young, migrant ranch worker who is reasonably small and has well-defined features. He is like a father to his mentally handicapped friend. He shares the dream of owning his own ranch with Lennie. George is a quite a quite lonely man because he hasn’t got a real future, can’t have any long term relationship because Lennie takes up mostly all his time. In the book George explain how he would be able to live easily without Lennie “God a’mighty, if I was alone I could live so easy. I could get a job an’ work, an no trouble. No mess at all, and when the end of the mouth come I could take my fifty bucks and go into town and get whatever I want”.
Lennie is a mentally challenged ranch worker. He is a big strong man who is impetuous. Lennie and George are a magnet, Lennie is the north pole and George is the south pole. They are completely opposite however they still attract each other and stay together. Lennie is childish and maybe mentally handicapped however he can still manipulate George. You see this in this quote just after George was complaining about Lennie stopping him doing what he wanted to do with his life. Lennie say “if you don’ want me I can go off in the hills an’ find a cave. I can go any time.”
And George relied by saying “No-look! I was jus’ foolin’, Lennie. ’cause I want you to stay with me.”. Lennie likes to pet soft things he gets in trouble because of this. Lennie is very lonely because he can’t do what the other men do due to him being mentally challenged and irrational. You can see he is lonely from what he does in this quote ” Ever’body went into town,” he said “Slim an’ George an’ ever’body. George say I gotta stay hear an’ not get in no trouble. I see your light.”. This shows that he is lonely and is searching for a friend because he has been left out. This also illustrates that Lennie is an outcast.
Crooks is a black busted back stable buck. He is called crooks due to having a crooked spine where a horse kicked him. Crooks is lonely and isolated from the rest of the workers, he has to sleep in his own place in the stables because he is black and in the time of the book there was a lot of racism and it was accepted that blacks were inferior to the whites. He is bitter and angry due to the way he is treated, it’s a defence mechanism to try and stop him from getting hurt however when Lennie is left alone and he goes in to Crooks room he doesn’t judge him by his ethnicity still Crooks acts bitter because he doesn’t trust that a white man can be his friend this parallels with Frankenstein. In Frankenstein the monster thinks a kid wouldn’t judge him however the kid does. Even though there are differences the theme of judgement are in both texts.
The monster in ‘Frankenstein’ is a man made from the severed body parts from dead criminals that Frankenstein put together and brought it to life. He has overwhelming strength and is impetuous. The monster is lonely because he is incredible hideous, repulsive and horrifying which cause people to panic and run away from him. The monster just wants to be loved and have a friend he can talk to; he doesn’t care who it is. In the book he lived in the woods for a while and noticed a family called the De Lacys who where struggling to survive during the winter. He became friends with them and helped the by doing hard manual work. Over time the monster saw what the de Lacy’s had and he fell in love with one of the de Lacys. When he told her his intensions she panic and gave him a look of disgust. Then the monster was mad with anger so he burnt them alive.
The monster and Lennie a really quite similar they both are strong, impetuous and similar in appearance. The monster and Lennie have similar dependencies on their creator or carer. The monster is dependant on Frankenstein to build him a companion and eventually to be a father. Lennie is dependant on George to look after him and stop him getting in trouble.
Curley’s wife is very lonely, bored and frustrated. She lives on a ranch where there no other women and during the day all the men go to work so she is left on her own being bored because she has no one to talk to. This is shown in this quote “Think I don’t like to talk to somebody ever’ once in a while? Think I like to stick in that house alla time?”. She is also frustrated that her life turned out this way. She married a violent man who she didn’t love. She imagined her life to be full of glamour, fame and stardom. In the book Lennie and Curley’s are in the barn. Curley’s wife is flirting with Lennie. Lennie starts stroking her hair softly then he got harder and harder until Curley’s wife screams. Lennie panics, covers her mouth and shakes until she was dead. A similar thing happens in the book Frankenstein, the monster tries to be friends with William however William panics and the monster accidentally kills him.
The structure and style of both texts are very different. Mary shelly told the story of Frankenstein through letters that captain Walton wrote to his sister and at the end of the book we hear the monster’s side to the story. The style of Frankenstein is gothic horror. It is dark, gory and intense. Steinbeck’s is written in a more traditional structure in the third person. It is an emotional drama. Steinbeck uses description of scenery and animals to build characters however Mary shelly focuses on developing characters.
In conclusion I believe that both books illustrate loneliness and dependency very well however I prefer the story of Frankenstein more than Of mice and men because Frankenstein is more surreal and is gory which I like. Of mice and men is realistic and quite boring. I think the fact that they are very different types of books that were written at very different times and still have the same themes is quite interesting.
The characterization of Victor Frankenstein
The monster’s character also includes a lot of Gothic features, particularly in chapters 11-16 when it is the creature’s tale. In chapter 5 page 55 Victor is describing the beast’s ugly and attractive features. This is socializing disgust with desire, which is another crucial function in Gothic writing: “His yellow skin … his teeth of pearly brightness” (Chapter16. P. 137) The animals “yellow skin” which is viewed as an unsightly feature contrasts with the monsters attractive “teeth of pearly whiteness”. Nevertheless, this is not suggested to make the creature more appealing, but to emphasise how unsightly it is.
This is a great language technique used by Mary Shelley that follows the functions of Gothic writing. After developing the monster, anyone would believe the monster would be grateful for providing him any life at all. However, the beast desires Victor to feel as unpleasant as he does. This is because everybody who the beast has attempted to challenge, they have been revolted at his ugliness and afraid or afraid: “Monster! Ugly wretch! You want to consume me and tear me to pieces.
You are an ogre.” (Chapter 16. P. 137) After insults like this there is not surprising that why the beast is so upset and angry.
This was a contrast due to the fact that although the beast saved the child, he got shot even if of the method he looks. It is occasions like this that take place throughout the story that develop the animals anger a lot that he wants his developer dead. Animal imagery is used to describe the creature in chapter 16. This could be seen as a Gothic function as it makes the monster much more uncommon and freak-like. One Gothic function is that a piece of writing takes a look at the limits of order/disorder and the monster certainly falls under this classification: “I was like a wild monster that had actually broken the toils” (Chapter 16.
P. 131) This quote by the monster shows that he has lost all confidence in himself and even he can see himself as ugly and an animal. The word “beast” is of course the word we relate to animal imagery. He even describes himself as “wild” which shows that even he knows things got out of hand and he has done wrong. The Wretch also uses satanic imagery to describe himself, which has a similar effect as the animal imagery has. Gothic writers often show a darker side to the hero, but in Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’ the monster’s character is used as a darker side to Victor throughout the novel.
Victor being the hero, and the monster being the darker side of him. After all, it was Victor who created the monster so it is his responsibility and is sort of a part of him: “God in pity made man beautiful and alluring, after his own image; but my form is a filthy type of yours, more horrid from even the very resemblance” (Chapter 15 P. 126) This is a very important quote in the story by the monster. Not only does it show that the monster is extremely intelligent, but that he has feelings and is sensitive as well.
The phrase “my form is a filthy type of yours” shows that he resembles Victor, but only the negative points. It also represents what can happen when reason sleeps- the monster comes out. Multiple narration is another key Gothic feature and this novel is no exception. The story starts off with letter from Robert Walton. These are important letters that set the story off and are important to the Gothic tone. Chapters 1-10 are Victor’s words, it then moves on to the creature’s tale up to chapter 16. Victor is then left with a very important decision to make in Chapter 17:
“My companion must be of the same species and have the same defects. This being you must create. ” (Chapter 16. P. 139) This quote was taken from the end of chapter 16. Victor then has to make up his mind of whether to create another monster or not. He then is left to make a decision in chapter 17 when he becomes the narrator: “The being finished speaking and fixed his looks upon me in the expectation of a reply. ” Multiple narration has a number of positive features. It gives different perspectives, which allows the reader to become more critical.
It also avoids the restrictions of 1 narrator and gives a deeper insight into the characters, creating similarities and contrasts. It also affects the reader’s feelings buy avoiding biased views. It often makes the reader feel disgust and desire, which is of course a gothic feature. The narrative structure in ‘Frankenstein’ is no exception. The settings in Gothic novels are very important to the storylines. They often represent how the character is feeling or that something is going to happen. In chapter 7 Victor receives a letter telling him that his brother had been killed.
This, Victor thought, was the work of his creation. The storms brewed and Victor said: “This noble war in the sky elevated my spirits” (Chapter 7 P. 73) This is pathetic fallacy representing Victor’s emotions: rage, anger and revenge. The words “noble war” also creates irony as the wretch later on claims an “ever-lasting war” with Victor. We also think of monsters when we hear storms and the thought of lightning links to lightning and electricity. The word ‘moon’ is repeated numerous times throughout the story. However, this is not just a spooky Gothic feature. It has symbolism behind it.
The moon is supposed to be like menstruation and influence our emotions like menstruation does. The word menstruation is comes from the word month which is derived from the moon. Diana the Huntress is a mythical creature who is supposedly the Goddess of the moon. She is supposed to be a pioneer and have guided people through the wilderness. This obviously links to the novel ‘Frankenstein’ because the wretch spent most of his time in the wilderness of the forest. The novel ‘Frankenstein’ obviously falls into the Gothic category, following all features that good Gothic novels have.
The Gothic literature characteristics and features, combined with Mary Shelley’s great language techniques have made ‘Frankenstein’ a big success. ‘Frankenstein’ was an original storyline, inspired by a nightmare, and has carried on for centuries, making the name ‘Frankenstein’ a name everybody has heard of. Today, the name ‘Frankenstein’ has a myth behind it, which is a big green man with bolts through his neck and a deep croaky voice. After reading Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’ I now know that Frankenstein was the creator of the monster and the wretch is actually an intelligent, sensitive being.
Mary Shelley will carry on being well known for this original piece and her ‘Frankenstein’ has done the Gothic novel status proud. The novel is still raising important questions today because life has still not been formed. The nearest we have got to this was Dolly, the world’s first cloned mammal and she died young of lung disease. Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Mary Shelley section.
Suspense in Frankenstein
Shelley uses isolation as a literary technique to create gothic horror and suspense. In the novel the main character Frankenstein ‘paid no visit to Geneva’ whilst he was working to create the monster. In working so hard, Frankenstein isolated himself from others and concentrated only on his goals being ‘solely wrapped up’ in his purpose. Through this Shelley makes it clear to the reader that Frankenstein is alone, thus creating suspense as the reader assumes that something will go wrong and in the event of this there will be nobody to help Frankenstein.
Shelley’s choice of vocabulary, gothic words and phrases, is a contributory factor in the development of horror and suspense in Chapter four. Shelley’s repetition of the word ‘darkness’ is used to create horror and suspense in the novel. This is a deliberate and effective attempt by Shelley to create a frightening atmosphere. The darkness is emphasised through repetition. Shelley chooses to emphasise the word darkness because of the significance of the word as it is a metaphor for Frankenstein’s situation.
Darkness is symbolic of Frankenstein’s of what he is experiencing as he cannot see what the outcome of creating the monster, just as one cannot see in the dark. Suspense is created in the chapter, this is also foreshadowing. The reader expects a sinister result from Frankenstein creating the monster. However, the reader does not know at this stage exactly what will happen and therefore suspense is created for the reader in not knowing what will happen. Shelley also uses rhetorical questions to create suspense.
A method of creating suspense is slowing down the pace of the novel, this is the effect when Shelley uses rhetorical questions to create in the novel. Rhetorical questions cause the reader pause and answer the questions slowing the reader down and therefore, slowing down the pace of the novel. This prolongs the reader’s suspense as they have not yet found out what happens in the novel because they are being slowed down by the rhetorical questions. In Chapter four Frankenstein asks ‘who shall conceive the horrors….? ‘ causing the reader to think about the ghastly deeds Frankenstein may be performing.
Through this, the pace of the novel is slowed down creating suspense. In chapter five Shelley uses pathetic fallacy to create horror. The frightening description of the weather is used to create a scary atmosphere. This is seen in the novel as chapter five takes place on a ‘dreary night’ which is used to create the terrifying atmosphere in the chapter. Additionally, this phrase creates an ominous sense of foreboding as the reader expects something terrible to happen – the fact that the chapter takes place on a dreary night gives the reader a clue of something terrible will happen.
Short simple sentences are used by Shelley in chapter five to create horror. Horror is created as Frankenstein says ‘I trembled’ when he thought that Clerval intended to ask him about the monster. The structure of the short sentence creates a natural pause in the reading of the novel causing the reader to think about the meaning of sentence. The reader can infer that if Frankenstein trembles at the possible mention of the monster, the monster is indeed very frightening which creates horror as the reader is then scared of the monster.
The message of the novel is that scientists should have self-control in their work to avoid becoming obsessed, otherwise this will lead to their ‘destruction’ as was the case with Frankenstein. In the novel Captain Walton learned from Frankenstein and decided to put an end to his obsession of reaching the north. Frankenstein loses everything in trying to achieve his scientific goals , Shelley warns that this will happen to others who become as obsessed with their work as Frankenstein was.
In the 21st century there have been a number of scientific advancements such as the development of stem cell technology. This is particularly relevant as stem cell technology is about creating or extending life, under pretences deemed immoral by some. An embryo is created, parts are then extracted from the created embryo for medical use – helping people. Shelley did not agree with science intervening heavily with nature. However, scientists have good intentions working with stem cell technology as this could mean the ability to cure currently incurable diseases, surely this is a positive thing?
Conversely, Frankenstein also had good intentions in creating the monster because he wanted to be able to bring dead people back to life so people would not have to experience the death of a loved one as he had experienced, nevertheless, this still lead to his destruction. Perhaps it is unlikely that Shelley would discourage the advancements of science if she saw the positive effects they had on today’s society and the positive implications they have for the society of tomorrow.
Shelley effectively creates gothic horror and suspense through the use of literary and linguistic techniques. In Chapters four and five horror and suspense are more strongly created than other parts of the novel, as these are the main parts of the novel being the chapters in which most of the plot advances occur. Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Mary Shelley section.
The presentation of Frankenstein in chapters 11 16
The novel, Frankenstein is a story about a man who went to great extent to defy the laws of nature. His greatest desire; to create a being from scratch, one who will cheat its way out of the hands of death and diseases, one who never has to die or lose a loved one, a superior being, one that will revolutionise humankind. The author of this novel was a young woman named Mary Shelley who wrote the story at a youthful age of 19.
It’s said that the inspiration of the story came in a form of a nightmare while she was enjoying a holiday in Geneva with her family. The story was published in London in 1818.
The tale had a large impact across literature and sparked the birth of gothic horror in books and films. The novel has 2 settings; the North Pole and Geneva, her holiday location. The title of the novel refers to a scientist, Victor Frankenstein, who learns how to create life and creates a being in the likeness of man, but larger than average and more powerful with powers and attributes no human could ever possess, kind of like taking the role of God into his own hands.
Miraculously, he is successful with his creation, but due to hasty decisions, he rejects it.
This he comes to regret later on, as one by one each of his family members die at the hands of the being who is driven by anger and revenge, until the only person left alive is Victor Frankenstein. Up until chapter 11, we hear from only Victor his impression of the monster. This is not a very nice impression as everything he says is very negative. But when the monster has enough of the rejection and hatred from society, he realises that the cause of this is Victor, therefore he hunts him down and forces him to listen to his sorrows.
At this point in the novel, we hear everything first hand from the monster’s perspective. We learn how the monster fights great hardship and suffering, yet still had the longing to learn the nature of human beings and the world around him. This causes conflict between the two received impressions and radically challenges our views of the monster. Before we hear the creature’s side to the story, we need to be aware of what Victor thinks of his creation. When the creature is first brought to life, Victor is taken aback horrifically by the physical appearance of the creature.
“Breathless horror and disgust filled my heart”. Victor thought his creation would be a successful project with beauty as a feature; this is because he specifically chose parts of the body from beautiful people. But the creature was totally opposite. ?? ?? ?? ?? Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Mary Shelley section.
Think before You Judge
The monster’s mature attitude towards people is demonstrated in his relationship with the De Lacey’s. After the monster was forced out of the village, he “fearfully took refuge in a low hovel” (132). His new home had “a wretched appearance after the palaces [he] had beheld in the village” (132). This hovel was attached to the De Lacey’s cottage. While living outside of the De Lacey’s cabin in the hovel, the monster observed the family and learned their ways of living.
The monster learned that the De Lacey’s would treat strangers with great respect.
This helped the monster believe that the De Lacey’s would treat him with respect as they did the other strangers. The monster wanted to help the family and become their friends. He did this by finding ways to “assist their labours” (137). The monster would cut wood for them to allow them more time to gather food. The monster lived there for a very long time and helped the De Lacey’s anyway he could.
He would perform his helpful tasks at night while they were sleeping, so that the family would not see him and run away.
The reader would not have expected this kind act from the monster after reading Victor’s narrative. The monster does not want to live in solitude. He wants to interact with people and become their friend. His appearance makes this interaction difficult. With his “height so superior to thine; [his] joints more supple” (126), he is always going to be looked at as a creature. As the monster explains his life, we begin to understand and feel sorry for the monster. The only reason he killed William, Victor’s brother, was to punish Victor for creating and abandoning him to complete solitude.
Angry with Victor the monster “declared everlasting war against the species, and, more than all, against [Victor] who had formed [him], and sent [him] forth to this insupportable misery”(161). The monster’s observations are a method for the monster to learn about the way he should act to become their friend. The way Victor treats people is very immature compared to the monster’s method of observation and adaptation. Victor treats people with disrespect. He does not write home for months at a time while he is on his travels.
He expects his family to be there for him, but he has no obligation to them. Anyone unfamiliar with Shelley’s novel Frankenstein has the idea that the monster kills people at random. In fact, the monster is a very kind and passionate person who only wants to be loved. It is the human nature to judge people by their first impression. We believe what we hear and it is sometimes difficult to change our initial perception. It is important for us to keep an open mind when we hear another person’s perception of an individual.
The most wonderful person you will ever meet may be the most disliked person by your peers. Frankenstein teaches us an important lesson; look with your own eyes, and think before you judge. Work Cited Shelley, Mary. “Frankenstein”. United States. Colburn and Bentley. Dover-Thrift-Editions Dover Publications, Inc. New York. 1994. Frankenstein; or, the Modern Prometheus Mary Shelly Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Mary Shelley section.
It was a dreary night of November
Shelley created this negative image of Frankenstein in our minds, possibly, because she is intimating that excessive emotion is wrong. It is shown through his exclamations (“Oh! ) and talk of “breathless horror and disgust”. Her father Godwin believed it inappropriate too – perhaps she was coming into agreement with him as opposed to the philosopher Rousseau, who stated that humans should be ruled by emotion rather than reason. She did elope with Percy Shelley to her father’s antipathy however, which suggests an alteration of her views during this time.
Certainly, Victor is not portrayed as a hero.
He clearly perceives the human characteristics within the monster the better, and finds the unusually “shrivelled complexion” and “black lips” repulsive. He is discriminating against difference. The dream deals with the idea of death. It appears that this was an important concept for Shelley, as the paragraph is considerably longer than the others in the passage. It runs into the monster’s watching over Frankenstein, which suggests that the nightmare had morphed into reality.
The dream itself features the two most important women in Victor’s life: his mother and Elizabeth.
Women are natural life givers, and yet Victor attempted to change nature itself. In the nightmare, he becomes a death giver, as he inadvertently became as a result of the monster’s creation. Because of his marriage to Elizabeth, her lips indeed “became livid with the hue of death”, as she had therefore become a victim of the creation. Due to her death, his mother’s wish of their union never truly ensued. By escaping from the monster repeatedly, Frankenstein demonstrates that he does not live up to gender stereotypes. He does not attempt to attack the monster, as Felix does, but escapes like Safie.
Even through escape, he could not seek comfort though. Shelley shows his suffering through her words: “horror… hell… black and comfortless”. The verse from Coleridge’s Ancient Mariner sums up this terrible inability to escape. It implies that he has lost his family, as the road is “lonely” – because of his experiment he shut out the people he loves, and now that he needs them most, they cannot help him. He is panicking and stricken with paranoia, as he “turn’d round”, only to find that the monster is actually “close behind him”.
It is a possibility that guilt and regret are also following him, as well as the creature, as he must carry a dread of people’s reactions to him. He has this same dread later in the novel, when he assumes that if he creates the monster a partner, “future ages might curse [him] as their pest”. The verse allows Frankenstein to stand as the victim. The passage is geared towards Frankenstein’s standpoint and so it is possible that the reader will not realise his cruelty against the defenceless monster until he gives his interpretation of events.
This is possibly for Shelley to allow the reader to understand both motivations without bias. There is a great contrast in opinion of Frankenstein with hindsight of the monster’s narrative; through the subsequent reading we see the immorality of the creator’s use of derogatory terms for his ‘child’. WORD COUNT: 1010 cwk Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Mary Shelley section.
These actions suggest that human nature can change as someone can be nice towards one thing and then they can be disgusted with that same thing at a different time. Victor gets very friendly with Henry Clerval in the time that they are in Ingolstadt. Henry nurses Victor back to health when he is ill. They came to be in the same college because Henry persuaded his father to let him come to Ingolstadt, but he said that it was hard to persuade as Henry’s father thought that all the skills that you need in your life are used and gained when you are a book keeper.
It is ironic that Henry sees knowledge as a good thing but Victor uses scientific knowledge and turns it into a tragedy, Frankenstein should of followed in ‘s footsteps as Victor’s creation turned out to kill Henry. The way that Victor treated his family, is completely different to the way that Henry treated Victor.
Victor dumped all of his family life behind him, and only spoke to them through short sharp letters, but Henry cared dearly for Victor and even spent useful time looking after Victor when he was seriously ill, Henry also puts his life on hold just to make him better.
I think that the readers of the novel will be ashamed of Victor for abandoning his family and his creation, but also for letting Henry put his life on hold just to make him better. This is a selfish act, and Victor should be more grateful towards Henry and his family. Henry is a very caring man and has a lot of time for people, especially Victor who just takes his skills for granted. Henry’s kindness is shown throughout, examples of this kindness are; ‘I did not before remark how very ill you appear; so thin and pale, you look as if you have been watching for many nights. ‘, and ‘I will not mention it, if it agitates you.
‘ These shows that Henry cares greatly for Victor and that he doesn’t want to upset Victor. This caring manner contrasts with that of Victor’s when he rejects the monster because of its looks. Victor’s selfish side is shown throughout the novel, a few examples are; ‘I had deprived myself of rest and health. I had desired it with and ardour that far exceeded moderation, but now that I have finished, the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart’, ‘infinite pains’, and ‘I felt the bitterness of disappointment. ‘ These show that again Victor’s selfish. He doesn’t care about anyone but himself.
Victor also uses the personal pronoun, ‘I’, this states that everything is about him, so this is also a selfish action. Victor keeps his creation a secret, he does not want to tell anyone as he is not yet sure of the outcome of the creature, but after the birth of the creation, he is ashamed of it, he believes that it is a product of hell and that the monster is beyond control and just decides to keep it to himself and lie to other people. This influences the readers’ attitude towards Victor in the rest of the novel because the readers may now believe that he can not tell the truth and that the narration of the story may be biased.
This relates to the theme of secrecy in the rest of the novel, for example; when he makes a companion for the monster, and also not telling anyone that he knew what killed someone of his family and friends. Mary Shelley suggests that lots of people do keep secrets and do not want to tell anyone. We keep secrets because it will ruin something special, the person is ashamed or embarrassed of it, the person can not confide in anyone, or they just do not want to tell anyone, as it may get someone in trouble.
People do keep secrets and usually lie, it may be small lies or it may be a serious lie. People tell lies to put the problem off for as long as they can until they crack, they do this because they think it is an easy option, but in the long run, it is the hardest option as it drags a lot out of your self esteem. The ending of the chapter is a contrast of the rest of the chapter, especially the beginning, the weather and the atmosphere created. In the begging of the chapter the weather is dull, and gloomy. This is shown throughout the opening paragraph.
The phrases ‘the rain pattered dismally against the pains,’ and ‘dreary’ suggest that the weather reflects on the dark atmosphere created by the near birth of the creature, it also suggests that something may happen may happen later on in the chapter. In the ending paragraph, the atmosphere created is completely different. The descriptions show that there is change as it is now light. This is a pleasurable sight for Victor as the weather was so uninviting earlier on in the chapter. The phrase ‘young buds were shooting forth from trees that shaded my window.
It was a divine spring,’ shows that the darkness has subsided to make way for the light. Also, there was a new beginning for the natural processes, growing of buds etc. There was a non artificial mood in the air as everything that was happening was completely natural, so this is a great contrast to everything that was happening in the first paragraph of the chapter. The word ‘divine’ is connected with heaven, so everything is moving on from Victor’s deed. It is also to do with God, so it is a contrast between the thought of hell earlier on in the chapter.
In the following chapter people may think that Victor tries to accept the monster and is not so selfish towards it and also the rest of his family, because the chapter ends with relief for Victor. The reader, at the end of the chapter, may be wondering where the monster has gone and what the monster is really doing. It may be that they think he has gone to commit another deadly murder. To conclude, this chapter is very vital. In it, there is always something going on. The chapter helps you to see how Victor really is and how he treats people in times of struggle.
When, the monster is created, we get the impression that Victor was excited, but then he was ashamed of the outcome. Furthermore, when the monster disappears he felt relieved even though it could still come back. At the time when the monster disappeared, it was like Victor started a whole new life, this showed that he was not really bothered about what would happen if the monster was let loosen the world. From this chapter, we find that when Victor gets engrossed in something, he forgets about the whole world around him and abandons people, like his family.
Victor is prone to abandoning things and people in this chapter. For example; he abandons the monster just because of the way it looks, and hurts its feelings, making it commit murders on people close to Victor to get its own back. We find that Victor is to blame for the actions of the monster, and that Victor is very selfish. This is shown when he uses the person pronoun ‘I’, which shows that he is completely aware of himself and that he does not care much for other people. The secrecy in the novel is constant. Victor is always keeping secrets from his loved ones, whether large or small.
The scientific ideas that Victor has are also important, as they bring together the whole story, as he knows man can create life with the correct theories and equipment. The theories that Victor has are going against God as it is an un-natural process, and that the creation will be forever criticized whether it is handsome or ugly. It also sums up how we treat each other in society today. I don not feel the same way as Victor did towards his creation. I think the actual monsters are Victor Frankenstein and M. Waldman these people both tried to create the creature, but Victor got further.
They both created an abominable creature. I think some of the concerns in the novel are relevant today because not many people abandon things like children and pets, but the lucky ones get looked after. People also get abused because of the way they look, I think that this is wrong and should be stopped. By Samantha Loader Page 1 Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Mary Shelley section.
In chapter 5 Frankenstein abandons the creature he created and his actions have a big impact on the rest of the story. The monster is left on his own to deal with fear and loneliness. He also has to deal with the humanity, who judge him on his appearance and as a result do not welcome him. Shelley’s message to her readers could be that, we should all take responsibility for everything that we do. And that we should not judge things of they’re appearance.
When Frankenstein sees his friend Henry Clerval, he asks about his family and we can see that he is worried. The lines ”It gives me the greatest delight to see you; but tell me how you left my father, brothers, and Elizabeth” shows that Frankenstein cares about his family and that he is worried about them. The fact that he is worried is significant because later on in the novel his family is going to be in danger, which worries Frankenstein even more.
In chapter 5 we might feel sympathy for Frankenstein, when he shows confusion by saying:” How can I describe my emotions at this catastrophe, or how delineate the wretch whom with such infinite pains and care I had endeavoured to form?”. Shelley could have used this rhetorical question to make us feel sympathy for Frankenstein. The readers understand that Frankenstein is finding it hard to deal with emotions as he is experiencing the rhetorical question emphasizes his confusion.
Frankenstein has waited nearly two years for this moment, we know this because he says: ”I had worked hard for nearly two years, for the sole purpose of infusing life into an inanimate body.” Evidently he was very passionate about what he was doing and we partly feel sorry for him because he was unhappy with what he had done. However Shelley draws use also to feel sympathy for the monster, when he tells his story, further in the novel. We feel more sympathy towards the monster because, he was left all alone and it was actually Frankenstein’s fault. The monster didn’t do anything wrong, but Frankenstein judged him for the way he looked and left him.
One of the most important moments is when Frankenstein says:” I stepped fearfully in: the apartment was empty and my bedroom was also freed from its hideous guest. I could hardly believe that so great a good fortune could have befallen me, but when I became assured that my enemy had indeed fled, I clapped my hands for joy and ran down to Clerval.” Frankenstein announces the monster has left which he is overjoyed with; this is ironic because the monster has not gone for good! He will return and look for revenge. The monster is just like a child because if Frankenstein had brought him up and showed him love the monster might not have become a killer.
In chapter 5 Frankenstein’s obsession is shown very well. He does not think about anything but his work. We can see this when he says:” For this I had deprived myself of rest and health. I had desired it with an ardour that for exceeded moderation; but now that I had finished the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart.” Shelley uses strong words, to emphasize Frankenstein’s obsession. Shelley suggests that if you desire something so badly and it doesn’t work about to be the way you had expected it; this will be very hard for you to accept.
When Frankenstein says:” He might have spoken, but I did not hear; one hand was stretched out, seemingly to detain me, but I escaped and rushed downstairs.” we see his cowardice. Frankenstein is scared that the monster will kill him and he tries to get away, after he has ‘escaped’ the monster, we can guess that he is proud of escaping the creature. In the lines:” I then paused, and a cold shivering came over me.
I threw the door forcibly open as children are accustomed to do when they expect a spectre to stand in waiting for them on the other side; but nothing appeared.” We see that Frankenstein compares himself with children; Shelley could have used this simile to emphasise the fact that Frankenstein is trying to get rid of his responsibilities. In chapter 5 we also see that Frankenstein is a very selfish man and that he only thinks about himself. We can see this selfishness in the relieve he shows when he finds out that the monster has left. Without thinking about where the monster might have gone, he says:” I could hardly believe that so great a good fortune could have befallen me”.
Shelley uses pathetic fallacy in her novel as the weather reflects the mood of Frankenstein. She starts the chapter with:” It was on a dreary night of November”, the weather emphasises Frankenstein’s disgust, fear and depression. He is also talking about a ”comfortless sky”, this could emphasise the fact that Frankenstein has no one to comfort him. At the end of chapter 5 Shelley uses pathetic fallacy again.
We can see that when Frankenstein says:” It was a divine spring, and the season contributed greatly to my convalescence”. Frankenstein feels like he started a new life, because it’s spring. We can guess that Shelley has used the season cycle to emphasise that, even though Frankenstein thinks he is being given another chance and he can start a new life in spring, the winter will come back and so will the monster.
Chapter 5 shows us the obsession that a lot of people could have to create life. Even thought we try so hard we would never be able to make something as beautiful as god can. Frankenstein says:” it became a thing such as even Dante could not have conceived.” This is ironic because god is the one who gives life. We can assume that Shelley used irony here to emphasise the hate and disgust Frankenstein has. The contrast between God and Dante, winter and spring emphasize the fact good and evil will be a contrast throughout the novel.
There is a lot of loneliness shown in Chapter 5, until Clerval comes. Frankenstein is very pleased with finally having someone around. We can see this when he says:” 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.” In this chapter we have learned that in the nineteenth century people were very religious and even though they believed that you couldn’t play god, they were very interested in science, creating of life and things like that. We also know that this novel was very popular in the nineteenth century, because there was no entertainment such as televisions and theatres. This novel was also popular because people those days were interested in horrific images and unnatural ideas.