Theme of Knowledge in Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley Term Paper
Published in 1818 (Mellor 05), Frankenstein; The Modern Prometheus is a gothic novel written by Mary Shelley. The novel incorporates aspects of romance with some aspects of horror which is depicted by the character of the monster (Mellor 10).
Mary Shelley wrote the novel at a time when the world was changing very fast in all spheres that are in agriculture, transport industry and technological developments among others. It was the era of industrial Revolution and this era saw the world population increase and people started to earn more.
Coupled with the changes that were occurring in the world due to industrialization, people’s living standards started to improve and this also produced some effects to people’s culture.
The novel therefore was a clear reflection of what some of these advancements that were being invented during the industrial revolution would bring to the human race and perhaps act as a warning to people who were in pursuit of knowledge and inventions, to think of the consequences of their inventions before they brought harm to the human race (Mellor 17).
The milieu in which the novel, Frankenstein; The Modern Prometheus is situated served as a warning to people that the technological developments brought about by the quest for knowledge (Rauch 67) could bring about the very threat to human existence and who are we to question Mary Shelley’s warning.
Since the onset of industrialization, people have continued to talk about population increase to the extent of constraining our natural resources, global warning, pollution from factories and ethical issues related to technological advancements in the study of human beings for instance human cloning.
It therefore should not be a surprise the way Mary Shelley portrays the theme of dangerous knowledge with so much negativity in the novel and also through the way Frankenstein’s monster turned out to be hideous just like the hideous outfit mother earth wears of polluted environment (Stableford 35), lack of ethics to humans, among others due to advancement in the field of knowledge and man wanting to explore fields that are beyond his limit.
To bring out the theme of dangerous knowledge quiet clearly in the novel, Frankenstein; The Modern Prometheus, we can first of all analyze the symbolic title of the novel. Borrowing the word Prometheus from Greek ancient stories, Prometheus was known to be very intelligent and accredited with shedding light to mankind through stealing fire which was hidden from humans by Zeus (god).
Through this act of Prometheus, man was able to cook using the fire and became civilized. Perhaps Mary Shelley inclusion of Prometheus in the title of the novel had a deeper meaning? Perhaps she wanted to illustrate how through Prometheus’s intelligence of stealing fire from Zeus, mankind had been able to do bad and good things with the fire for instance cook and use the fire to sharpen iron tools and thereby kill.
For whatever reasons she gave the novel the title, The Modern Prometheus, it has great similarities with the ancient Greek legends of Prometheus in relation to dangerous knowledge.
Therefore, the theme of dangerous knowledge flows out throughout the novel that is from the first pages of the novel to when Frankenstein would die before he is able to kill his own creation. The creature eventually destroys itself through committing suicide (Shelley 55).
Prometheus can therefore be likened to Frankenstein for Prometheus did the evil of stealing the fire due to his intelligence and Frankenstein created the monster as a result of pursuit of dangerous knowledge which brought sadness through the way it killed people.
To briefly recap the story, Frankenstein recounted to Robert Walton how he had been obsessed with science and created the giant image that Walton had seen though not knowing that it was a monster (Stableford 40). Frankenstein created the monster while he had hoped to create human life (Freedman 100).
After he was through with the creation, Frankenstein was not pleased by his creation (Freedman 89) for the monster turned out to be ugly and he abandoned the monster. The monster becomes bitter for being left by his creator and therefore seeks to revenge through killing the people who are close to Frankenstein. It is prominent human beings may use their knowledge and come up with invention which they would not be happy about later on.
The monster murders William, and Justine who is implicated in the murder of William dies in the process; Clerval also becomes a victim of the monster quest for revenge on his creator and is murdered when the monster sees Frankenstein destroy his female companion whom he had agreed to create for him.
Frankenstein like Justine is also implicated in the murder of Clerval for the body of Clerval was found on Irish Beach where Frankenstein was. As if the monster had not done enough damage, he also murders Elizabeth, Frankenstein’s wife and this shocks Frankenstein’s father who also dies.
The main character Frankenstein has a passion for science and it is this passion that propels him to acquire knowledge which later on becomes dangerous not only to him but to even his family and friends (Holmes 15). From the novel, Mary Shelley depicts Frankenstein as a person who is obsessed with science and what science could do to mankind if utilized (Freedman 69).
In the novel, Frankenstein therefore sees the world around him through the eyes of science and the reason why he created the monster. The danger in obsession with acquiring knowledge eventually turns tragic for Frankenstein when his own creation leads him to his own death (Rauch 60).
This is another sign that quest for knowledge that allows humankind to do things which are beyond his/her control can result to. It also shows that there is no point of man performing the role of God for there are some things that are beyond human understanding.
The theme of dangerous knowledge is first encountered in the first pages of the novel when Captain Robert Walton is exploring the North Pole in search of scientific facts that can make him famous and also help him increase his nest of friends through his scientific discoveries which he hopes to find (Holmes 25).
It is not in vain to note that Captain Robert Walton also was in pursuit of knowledge when he saw Frankenstein. It is also satirical to note that at that time Robert Walton was exploring the North Pole, he finds Victor Frankenstein, a victim of dangerous knowledge. Victor Frankenstein when found by Captain Robert Walton narrates his experiences to the Captain (Shelley 9).
At the beginning of his narration, Frankenstein first cautions Robert Walton against pursuing knowledge to heights that are beyond limit (Shelley 3). Therefore Captain Robert Walton is warned of his pursuit of knowledge, of whether his search for scientific knowledge was going to bring him shame and regret like it had brought Frankenstein or acquaintance and recognition like he was hoping to get.
“Lean from me, if not by my precepts, at least by my example, how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge, and how happier the man is who believes his native town to be the world, than he who aspires to become greater than his nature will allow” (Shelley 53).
The two characters, Frankenstein and Captain Robert Walton, share the drive for acquiring knowledge though Frankenstein had gone a little further and created the monster.
On the contrary, we cannot also dismiss Robert Walton, for his desire and quest for knowledge made him sail through the North Pole. The North Pole is a region that is mostly covered by ice and few explorers have managed to explore the whole of the region. It is a region that most explorers who set up to explore always find themselves turning back to the south lest they risk getting lost.
No explorer can be said to have explored the North Pole successfully even in the present day for there are some areas which are unreachable. However, Robert Walton (Holmes 28) is ambitious in exploring the dangerous place so that he could only acquire scientific facts.
What kind of drive would make a man that obsessed with facts if not the drive for dangerous knowledge (Stableford 14)? He eventually risk his life for he ends up trapped in the North Pole and luckily for him, finds Frankenstein who warns him of his pursuit of dangerous knowledge and they head back south.
Drawing from my own conclusion, Robert learns from Frankenstein that pursuit for knowledge can be dangerous and therefore turns back.
The novels is in the context of industrial revolution and therefore caution to the explorers and a cry from Mary Shelley that there should be more cautious when dealing with the technological advancements and inventions in the industrial revolution era brought about by the desire of man to test beyond his limits thereby gaining recognition.
That it would have been better to head back like Walton did than to try and reverse the situation when it’s already too late like in the case of Frankenstein.
The theme of knowledge relates well with the two prominent people who are in search of knowledge in the novel. Both Victor Frankenstein and Robert Walton had the passion for dangerous knowledge but for self gain.
To Frankenstein, knowledge was to help him discover things that were beyond humans and likewise for Captain Robert Walton, he was in pursuit of knowledge so he could only gain recognition among his friends. Therefore, the characters only use the knowledge they have for their own individual benefits as illustrated in the novel.
The character of the monster most definitely helps us to decipher the theme of dangerous knowledge. When the monster is talking about itself, a reader can be convinced beyond doubt that the creature is harmless and thus be supportive with it. Even at the early stages after its creation, the creature is harmless and only wanted affection. But as time goes by, the creature even learns how to read, becomes hostile to the humans more so his creator.
The theme of dangerous knowledge as depicted in the character of the monster is that people tend to endeavor in inventions and they are very passionate about them for these inventions are deemed to help them and not to destroy them (Rosenburg 4). Only when time elapses that we see the negative effects created by the consequences brought about by our endeavors of dangerous knowledge (Rosenburg 4).
The society is depicted by Frankenstein’s family and friends and collectively they are used in the novel to show how the desire for dangerous knowledge can influence the society negatively. The society as a whole is affected by the individual’s selfish ambitions for knowledge.
For instance, William, Frankenstein’s father, Clerval and Elizabeth all die as a result of Frankenstein’s pursuit of dangerous knowledge. This is symbolic in that, only few people are in hunt of dangerous knowledge but their inventions affect the whole society.
From the above analysis, it is evident that the theme of dangerous knowledge is approached with so much caution in the novel, Frankenstein; The Modern Prometheus. Starting with the main character; Frankenstein, who is ashamed of how hideous his creation turned out to be and he therefore abandoned it.
“A flash of lightning illuminated the object and discovered its shape plainly to me; its gigantic stature, and the deformity of its aspect, more hideous than belongs to humanity, instantly informed me that it was the wretch, the filthy demon whom I had given life” (Shelley 34).
The fear of pursuing knowledge to heights that are dangerous is further propelled by the damage that the monster caused, that is, the way the monster ended up killing Frankenstein’s close friends and family members in pursuit of revenge.
Perhaps while narrating to the Captain his story, Frankenstein wanted to caution Captain Robert of the consequences of pursuing knowledge while not thinking of the consequences of such scientific discoveries.
We can also draw this conclusion from the fact that when Frankenstein’s monster demanded that Frankenstein create a female companion for him, Frankenstein first agreed but when he sat and thought of what two monsters could do to the human race if only one of them had so far killed his brother and set on fire the De Lacey’s chalet, Frankenstein eventually destroyed the female companion he was creating which of course angered the monster more.
Technological advancement which is brought about by Frankenstein’s pursuit of knowledge to the level that the knowledge becomes dangerous is portrayed as evil through the hideous monster.
The theme of dangerous knowledge in the novel also brings to our attention of the reaction of Frankenstein on finding out the monster was out to revenge on him. Frankenstein preferred to hide from the monster and eventually wanted to kill it after it had killed his family members and friends.
Should mankind therefore fear knowing too much to the extent that he does not put into use the knowledge he acquires to come up with new creations? In the novel, the monster wanted to talk with Frankenstein but it is Frankenstein who is reluctant to negotiate with the monster.
However, after careful thought and a lot of convincing by the monster, Frankenstein agreed to create a female companion so that the two monsters would disappear (Levine 72). Unfortunately, Frankenstein acting on second thoughts destroys the female creature.
This is an illustration that knowledge does not have to be too dangerous. This conclusion is drawn from the fact that the monster was willing to disappear from mankind only if it had a female companion so that it would not feel lonely and would live a normal life just like humans (Levine 72).
This is symbolic in that in as much as the theme of dangerous knowledge is prominent in the novel, Frankenstein; The Modern Prometheus, knowledge does not have to be dangerous and human beings do not have to fear discovering such creations as Frankenstein’s monster (Levine 72).
Its only takes responsibility with dealing with the consequences of advancements brought about by dangerous knowledge rather than running away from our own actions.
“The world was to me a secret which I desired” (Shelley 36). Why then would Frankenstein fail to adore his creativity of bringing a creature to life? After his creation, Frankenstein fails to understand what he has done and therefore his life stops to have any meaning for with all the time he spent creating the monster, he had to spend more time devising ways in which he could destroy his creation.
How then is this pursuit of dangerous knowledge fulfilling? This is a clear pointer that stretching our ambitious to heights that we cannot cope with will bring disillusionments. This is the dangerous knowledge Mary Shelley talks about in the novel, the knowledge which makes our lives meaningless rather than useful.
To analyze the situation in real life position, many scientists spend their time in the laboratories coming up with new inventions that eventually destroy the existence of humans (Idiss 37). For instance, why would man invent green houses which have adverse effects on the environment and spend equal efforts in curbing these negative effects of green houses on the environment?
To say Mary Shelley had an insight of what the future would look like if man continued to pursue his quest for dangerous knowledge would be to understate her for she clearly illustrated the concept in her novel, Frankenstein; The Modern Prometheus.
The theme of knowledge as portrayed in the novel, Frankenstein; The Modern Prometheus, by Mary Shelley brings to our attention the knowledge that society does not accept, that is dangerous knowledge (Shelley 5). By terming the pursuit of knowledge that surpasses human understanding as dangerous, Mary Shelley is referring to that knowledge that is of self gain (Shelley 13).
For instance, Victor Frankenstein created a monster by collecting bones and using science to bring the monster into life. He brought forth a creature that society could not accept as one of its own, as a human being and therefore Mary Shelley’s implication of dangerous knowledge in the novel (Shelley 5).
A classic novel that portrays themes which are even recent in the 21th century despite the novel being written in 1818 is my ultimate conclusion. Nanotechnology, genetics, chemical engineering, space engineering, human cloning and the list is endless for what we human beings are trying to achieve through science. One is left to wonder whether science equates to the answer of all the problems that human kind experiences (O’Flinn 59).
Whether, it is in the reproduction process, science has taken its toll in solving the problems through test tube babies and cloning or in producing food to sustain the world population (O’Flinn 59), it is the scientific knowledge that humankind is making use of to solve this problems for instance the genetically modified foods (Idiss 57).
Do those people who come up with such scientific developments stop for a minute and think of the consequences before their technological advancements are put to test? Or do they first put the technological inventions to test and face the consequences later? Little is done to research on the negative effects of science and it’s only when there are adverse effects that certain discoveries are deemed as not good (O’Flinn 59).
For instance, during the industrial revolution, people were excited at the recent developments that we happening and scientists were in the mad rush of inventing and discovering new things, but if we closely look at the consequences that expansion of the industrial revolution brought to mother earth the reverse would be the better option, just like Victor Frankenstein wished to kill his creation for it brought him loneliness.
Freedman, Carl. “Hail Mary: On the Author of Frankenstein and the Origins of Science Fiction”. Science Fiction Studies. 2002. 60 – 144.
Holmes, Richard. Shelley: The Pursuit. 1974. London. Harper perennial. 2003.
Idiss, Brian. “On the Origin of Species. Mary Shelley”. Speculations on Speculation. Theories of Science Fiction. Ed. James Gunn and Matthew Candelaria. Lanham. MD. Scarecrow, 2005.
Levine, George & U. C. Knoepflmacher. Eds. The Endurance of Frankenstein: Essays on Mary Shelley’s Novel. Berkeley. University Press. 1974.
Mellor, Anne. Mary Shelley: Her Life, Her Fiction, Her Monsters. New York. Methuen. 1988.
O’Flinn, Paul. “Production and Reproduction: The Case of Frankenstein”. Literature and History. 1983. 199 – 300.
Rauch, Alan. “The Monstrous Body of Knowledge in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein”. Studies in Romanticism. 1995 53 – 227.
Rosenburg, Amy. Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley. Book Review. 12th October, 2008.
Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein. 1816. London. Oxford University Press. 1971.
Stableford, Brian. “Frankenstein and the Origins of Science Fiction”. Anticipations: Essays on Early Science Fiction and Its Precursors. Ed. DAVID Seed. Syracuse University Press. 1995.
Innocence of Frankenstein’s Monster Term Paper
Frankenstein has been a very famous fiction novel in British society. Since its creation, it is still regarded as a very famous novel today. Frankenstein is about a monster that was created from corpses by a scientist named Victor. The monster creates havoc and ends up killing Victor’s brother William as well as his wife Elizabeth.
Victor, in rage, seeks out the monster but who confesses his crime and begs for mercy and a mate to help fight his loneliness. Victor creates the mate but then destroys it fearing the consequences. Because of that, the monster kills Victor’s bride and nearly evades Victor. Victor later dies but the monster, regretting everything, flees to die also.
Shelley’s Biography in Connection to Frankenstein
Through this novel, Mary Shelley sought to teach her audience not to view others with evil because of appearance but to view others with intentions and to understand that not all people that look like villains are villains. Through emotions, the audience is able to understand both sides of the story, and would also make better judgments on other people. This makes up the central issues that will guide this paper.
The creation of the monster traces Mary Shelley’s life and influence in science by her husband and father. Mary’s creation of the monster, in literary terms, is clear shown in her already known prowess that she has gained by writing other novels as well as literary articles.
In the novel, Frankenstein grows up as child who has no obvious satisfying life. Mary depicts Victor as young man who, therefore, is not happy and, thus, all through his life, before the creation of the actual monster, in the science lab, has being searching for happiness. The name of the novel as Frankenstein conceals the major occurrence of the novel, hence, masking the intentions of the writer at first.
As a result, the reader is not forewarned of the impending scary nature of the scenes and what is going to transpire and, therefore, Mary averts preconceived judgments against her work. It is only after reading the work that we, readers, get to knowing the harrowing details of scientist’s creation of monster that executes the people he loves.
Mary’s childhood life was full of misery and poverty that restricted her search for emotional fulfillment. In her love life, she was not well lucky to maintain her husbands to her life to the end of age. As a result, Mary Shelley’s life would be characterized as one that had tasted misery and, sometimes, loneliness.
She had experienced desperation at one point of her life to the point of committing suicide only to be persuaded otherwise by her fellow friends who loved and cared for her (Grylls, p. 5- 25). As a result, therefore, when she presents Victor as one who is searching for happiness. It becomes clear that Mary has a personal background in the issue. Victor Frankenstein’s life could not have been different from Mary’s based on the facts mentioned above.
Is Frankenstein’s Monster Guilty?
However, this concern of this paper is the search for reasons to believe that the monster acted out of innocence. Frankenstein’s creation of the monster was a search for expression that should have found its forms in different contexts and activities.
By concentrating on him and forgetting on the rest of the world, his interests in alchemistry and philosophy led him to lose the reasoning needed to evaluate and analyze the consequences of his actions. Truly, Victor would have first rationalized his concepts before creating such a monster since philosophy is an illustration of applied critical reasoning. The fault, therefore, lies initially with Victor before even the creation of the monster.
The fact that Victor Frankenstein had seriously sought answers on questions concerning these studies from his tutors reveals that he had the capacity to profile information as well as actions. As result, therefore, Victor was in a position to prevent his actions from hurting others.
The creation of the character Victor by Mary points to one fact that Shelly wanted the reader to know, in that human actions, may be sometimes guided by foolishness despite such persons having achieved lofty ideals and positions in the society. In more replicas to her situations in life, she might have been castigating those instances in her life when actions illustrated such gullibility yet the owners had proved through other methods were capable of intellect and reason.
This was especially true for her marriage wows with Godwin who had influenced the 18th century society by his article Political Justice. Godwin left her for another woman with obvious depreciation of his initial intelligence and brightness. His behaviors must have demoralized Mary who already had experienced desertion from her previous love life.
By creating a monster, Mary sends a message to the reader about the occurrence of evil in the minds of people who might seem straight. Victor, in his childhood life as well as his teenage life, had not espoused any characteristics that would have associated him to evil. It is from this point of view that the monster should be understood, that humanity is flawed and its intentions can only be evaluated after an action.
In the critics of the works of monsters, Chris Baldick in Smiths (p. 439), observes that the monsters were used in an effort to showcase vice on the stage in order to vindicate virtue. By the sole statement, the reader can find its application in the creation of the monster in the novel Frankenstein. Mary’s concern was not about the monster but about Victor Frankenstein as a representation of humanity.
It is worth noting that the monster’s behavior in the novel emanates from not about his creation but rather as a result of the treatment he receives among his creator and the other humans who meet him. The monster feels unaccepted and lonely in the world that unfolds before him. His efforts to create warmth and rapport with humans resulted in hurt feelings and emotions. The humans let him feel and experience the vagaries of weather because of the fact that he did not look like them.
This means that humans valued the creature from its otherwise unpleasant looks rather than from what the creature felt about himself. At this juncture, Shelley’s work shed light on the human kind flaws yet they take the foremost fronts in the claim for love, warmth and freedom. By their actions, they sort to deny the creature freedom to express his feelings, hence, they may be seen as hypocrites.
Shelley creatively lets the readers discern the message by going through her novel step by step. By getting inspirations to other works that alluded monsters, philosophy, literature, history and religion, her work is a commentary about the concerns of human beings in their daily activities. She lets the reader powerfully observe that the human beings are evil that creature by thinking about him in terms that are contrary to what he thinks.
This, however, starts from Victor as the first degree of human who behaves in the most selfish manner. The ambitions that lead Victor to create the creature reveal a human who lacks the standards human action and judgment. He is in a symbolic manner similar to the creature in the fact that his thinking that leads to the use of stolen body parts and secretive chemicals mixed together.
After the creation of the creature, Victor demonstrates his monstrosity by the hate that he develops concerning the creature. This elevates to obsession of hate, hence, the creature experiences hate from its creator to the society (Dorn, p. 15).
This has the sole effect to reveal the flaws that humanity has. Victor’s shrouded secrecy in his actions of creating the creature as well as of destroying it reveal that the human intentions should not be first exercised before judging someone. Victor, therefore, stands condemned in the eyes of the reader when it becomes clear that he is the source of this evil.
Symbolically, therefore, the creature presents a double in the novel to refer back to him. The movement of the creature in search for knowledge and to understand humanity, the reader understands that Victor seeks to understand the society which is of higher creation from a higher scientific status than his (Shelley, p 68)
He, thus, finds that people are not humane at all and, therefore, evil is to human not to creatures or products of human knowledge application. Humanity comes out clearly as a system that believes and advocates for suppression of others as well as exclusion. The creature as a being that transcends any limits of the construction of humanity reminds the reader that it creates boundaries which are meant to only bring evil to the society (Smith and Shelley, p. 444).
The use of a monster by Shelley powerfully points to the fact that our selfish, thoughtless and restrictive society leads to evil things that eventually turn against us. These evils do not help but rather add to misery created and justified through high science and intellect.
This is evident on the fact that Victor runs away from his creation rather than training it to understand the humanity language as well as codes used in the society. The creature’s attempt to seek a relationship with its creator results in more anguish pain and death. Therefore, Frankenstein’s work is clear illustration of how the human society has created evil knowingly and later deserts from public limelight through secrecy and fear leading to the worst atrocities committed against humanity.
Victor’s knowledge of the real murderer of his friend Henry does not fulfill the reader’s expectation of his public acknowledgement of the situation. He, therefore, repeats the same mistake when his sister, Moritz, is accused of murder and he does nothing to protect her despite his knowledge.
It, therefore, becomes clear that Victor is the source of the evil nature of the monster. In any case, the creature starts to kill Victor’s persons of great love and interests in the effort to bring Victor down from his position of foolish pride and self attained divine nature (Bloom, p. 42).
The rejection that the creature receives from all sides of the society as a result of its ugliness results in hate and vengeance which violates more the human society standards of practice and beliefs. In this sense, therefore, the creature is one not to be blamed but its creator and, therefore, the evil nature as a result of human actions. Victor actually professes this when he observes that he may be the murderer of the persons that were killed by the creator (Glut, p. 69).
Shelley’s intentions of writing this novel, therefore, were founded early in her search for assistance from her father who was an innovative scientist in medicine. Shelley’s ideas meant that she would construct literary work that would help explain human suffering this time not as seen in her father’s treatment issues but the moral point of view.
She lets the reader figure out that Victor’s lack of sense of morality in human actions could find solutions in death of the various creations in human decayed society. She observes that lofty ambitions lead to immoral actions that lead to fallen states of human nature. The fallen states only lead to death and, therefore, Victor advises Walton to abandon his ambitions of travels to the icy North. This would have led to his death and also cause misery to the family of his fellow men counterparts (Shmoop, p.13).
Shelley further treats the idea of secrecy just like morality. According to this work, the need for the society to know and acknowledge the truth through recognized and measured standards leads to the release of burden and free of guilt. It is only after Victor lays bare his secrets to Walton that the whole situation becomes rested. Frankenstein discovers the eternal ideals that help him to realize that he is on the wrong through actions.
It is this confession that also leads the monster to confess and seek for the termination of its life after getting to know its creator’s mind. Shelley, therefore, pegs the importance of truth to life changing situations and revelations that are necessary and, hence, placing it as a center of right and wrong (Levine, p. 58).
If humans observed and allowed truth to prevail, then the ills of the society like the one caused by Victor would be no more (Literature Essays n.d.). In this position, Shelley places herself at a higher moral point than the reader and, hence, requires people to exercise truth in all of their lives.
The expectation of punishment is self meted in the case of Victor and justice for the creature is attained by the soul and body afflictions of his creator. As for Victor, he gets his rewards in kind and this is what he realizes at the end of his life. He recognizes that those were empty pursuits that should not be followed by any human being who values his life and sanity (Smith and Shelley, p. 450).
In the novel Wicked, this theme finds strength just in Shelley’s work. Maguire clearly depicts the consequences of living a life that too well is known to cause despair and death. In this novel, conspiracies created by Maguire creatively depict betrayals murders that occur in the witches land as a result of lies that bind. What becomes of these witches by the end of the day is death and pain the truth gets revealed by different parts and characters interested in setting things for own personal gains.
In this novel, the author Maguire presents the story of Elphaba as a no ordinary child destined for sorcery but born in a religious family. Elphaba’s relationship with the members of her life and friends is characterized of sorcery which emanates from her inheritance. She is, however, different in that she does not use her meaning to threaten and kill other people unless as it becomes necessary (Levine and Knoepflmacher, p. 46).
Her life is filled with strange instances that depict her evil nature a descent of the father’s inheritance as a witch. By the end of the novel, Elphaba’s actions are paid by her death when she gets poured a bucket of water. This confirms Maguire’s intentions of writing the novel in that he wants the audience to understand that the consequences of the actions that we do in our lives come to haunts and to some lead to our fall.
Upon examination of these two novels, therefore, Shelley and Maguire examine the issues of truth and its implication to the human as well as super human experience. It becomes clear that any attempts to withhold truth, at one point, lead to evil situations that are dangerous (Milner, p. 49).
This paper supports the proposition that the monster in Frankenstein text can be absolved from blame since the evil in its is a reflection of the human society characterized and embodied by Victor. At the same time, it is clear that Shelley used this monster in order to describe the inadequacies of human nature from limitless position in the society. Indeed the monster realizes the gender codes for real humans to be very confusing and unbelievable, hence, the translation that human society is full if flaws.
The fact that human’s rejection of the monster led to its evil nature Shelley observes that human nature is evil. To add salt to injury, humanity through stupidity leaves things to sort themselves out after serious triggering the occurrence of such scenarios. Maguire’s work reinforces the idea of the need for truth.
If truth is allowed to prevail in both novels then the situations that lead to such ugly scenes and loss of life will be averted leading to peaceful societies. The intention to the audience for these works can not be underemphasized since they deal with issues that are presented from the moral point of view, hence, reflecting some the demarcations of human life.
The question of morality in Shelley’s work takes center stage to convince the reader that each member in the society is responsible for his action. She clearly outlines the weaknesses of human kind through the reflections of mirror like monster and, hence, creates the need for self examination in the reader.
By representing Victor one who had gained enough intellectual light Shelley to some extent castigates high intellectuals. She seems to attack the very profession she has known all through her life and probably cautions the lack of self control in such pursuits. It is, thus, worth noting that in these works, the authors do not celebrate such deaths but rather their depiction is to set the stage for the audience to think about them deeply and seek to change issues and problems that may lead to such instances.
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“Frankenstein” vs. “Great Expectations”: Compare and Contrast Compare and Contrast Essay
Frankenstein is considered one of the pivotal books employed in modern literature for its compelling and rousing story that spawns myriad renditions. It is a fascinating science-fiction tale that was written by Mary Shelley in 1818 but was initially published anonymously.
It was much later that the author was identified, and she took that opportunity to revise the book, incorporating a number of changes in 1831. Frankenstein’s kernel reveals Robert Walton, an explorer who is traveling towards the Arctic Ocean after departing from the northern coast of Russia.
Walton keeps an account of his journey by writing letters to his sister, who lives in London. In his letters, he describes how one day, he saw a hideous form take flight across the ice only to rescue Victor Frankenstein, the creator of the monster, from hypothermia and starvation. Frankenstein chronicles his life to Walton, and that account forms the foundation of the book, as Walton relays them to his sister in epistolary form, where a story is told through letters.
The book seems to make use of previous writings like Paradise Lost– one of the books that the monster reads, Shakespeare and Don Quixote– for instance, the Arabian lover and the sequence of the monster’s adoption. The author uses the book to satirize the concept of modern science and to reveal the converse perspective of experimentation.
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens is a story of a young orphan named Pip, who is the protagonist, as well as the narrator of the story. The book accounts for Pip’s life since he was seven years old until he is in his mid-thirties. The book itemizes the focal points of Pip’s life and identifies the lessons he learns from every encounter.
Pip lives with his sister, who is married to the blacksmith Joe, and one day, while he’s at the graveyard engrossed in thought, he is confronted by an escaped convict who places demands on Pip and threatens to kill him if he does not follow the convict’s instructions. Pip, though fearful, treats the convict well by bringing him food and follows his instructions to the latter.
Pip is offered an opportunity to work for Miss Havisham, a spiteful woman who detests men since her bridegroom failed to show up on her wedding day. Miss Havisham has an adopted daughter named Estella, whom she raises to break men’s hearts and be spiteful of all men.
Pip is attracted to Estella, but the young girl treats Pip cruelly with encouragement from her mother. Pip yearns to be a gentleman in order to impress Estella, and his ambition materializes when an anonymous person wills Pip a fortune. Pip assumes Miss Havisham is the benefactor and moves to London, where he learns the art of rich living and becomes a gentleman.
Narration in Great Expectations & Frankenstein
Frankenstein has three types of narrators due to the fact that the author uses different types of narrations to provide the reader with a multifaceted perspective. The first narrator is Robert Walton, who acts as a dispassionate party in order to give the reader an objective point of view to the narration. The author uses epistolary form, a device which is applied when Walton conveys the prevalent occurrences through the series of letter that he writes to his sister (Marilyn, 1994).
The second narrator is Victor Frankenstein, who gives the reader a subjective view of his background. Victor narrates on his own childhood, upbringing, ventures, and the unfortunate proceedings which culminated in his auspicious conception of the monster.
The third narrator is the monster and is introduced when the creature breaks off Victor’s narration. The monster gives an account of his existence before victor once more resumes continuing to illustrating what emerged from the creation of the monster to the very end. The narrative is once again taken by Walton, who provides an ending to the tale.
Walton’s letters are present at the introduction, and the conclusion of the narrative reinforcing the theme of nurturing, and a framing device by the author relatively allows for a story to be told within a story. Walton, therefore, allows for a parallel view of both victor and the monster so as for readers to make their own moral observations and conclusions in reference to the monster and its creator.
Great Expectations conversely has only one narrator, the adult version of Pip, who is the first-person narrator (Marilyn, 1994). Pip recounts the events of his younger life from memory and gives his account in his own voice, which articulately identifies his emotions as a young boy. Pip recalls intimate details about the voice tones and parlances from his past, including the deaf Aged Parent’s loud repetitions, the predictability of Jagger’s speech, and the bucolic accent of Magwitch and Orlick.
Discussion: Frankenstein And Great Expectations
Through identifying and relating to the narrators in Frankenstein and Great Expectations, readers are able to objectively discern the key arguments in order to support or contradict the narrator’s perspective (Chesterton, 1988). One of the key arguments in Frankenstein is the unpredictability of experimental science, which led to the creation of the monster.
Victor Frankenstein, while at university, devised a way to create a human being only to inadvertently create the monster (Marilyn, 1994). Victor believes that the application of science can bring new life, but the current consequence is not laudable.
The third narrator, who is the monster, brings forth another dimension to the argument by conveying human emotions such as loneliness for lacking friend and destitution for being rejected and hated, which leads to the destructive behavior seen in him (Hodges, 1983). Unlike Great Expectations, the reader is presented with three viewpoints, two of which are contradictory; hence the reader is provided with an open-ended understanding as a basis to derive an opinion.
Great Expectations is a reflective book of Pip, the first-person narrator, who gives the reader an insight into his past that consequently builds up to his current stature (Dunn, 1978). The narrator gives an account of his compassion to a convicted criminal and the mistreatment he received from those close to him while still young. Contrary to Frankenstein, this book identifies with the rewards that come from good deeds and compassion together with perseverance (Dunn, 1978).
In both, tales there is the eminence of the narrators’ struggle against the monsters spawned out of carelessly human ambition. People create monsters to satisfy their gluttonous ambitions. Owing to the power they bestowed upon the monsters, they become irrelevant in controlling or subduing the monsters; hence the monsters haunt them and destroy both the creators and the created in the process (Chesterton, 1988).
Frankenstein strives to tame the monster born out of his imagination, the massive creature created out of his scientific connotation and human skeletons; his experimentation brings forth what would not have entered his mind previously, and this throws a challenge on the creator as he is awed by his creation (Behrendt, 1995). His creativity becomes his enemy, for it renders him helpless in the face of what his imagination has spawned (Brennan, 1989).
Pip, on the other hand, faces another monster which is Estella. Notably, Estella is the monsters created by Miss Havisham as a tool through which she would destroy men; as Herbert observes, “Estella had been created to wreak revenge on all male sex” (Dickens, 1946). The monsters created in both tales harm themselves and their creators by becoming despicably uncontrollable (Brennan, 1989).
In myriad ways, Frankenstein illuminates narrators who ape the ideas and events of the author in diverse ways (Hodges, 1983). The knowledge of the author and her life experiences creates a standpoint through which the tale can be reviewed. Frankenstein is a story written in relation to the major occurrences which mired the life of the author (Marilyn, 1994).
Mary Shelley lost her mother at a tender age, after which her father remarried, and his attention was diverted to the new wife. Like the monster created by Doctor Victor Frankenstein, the author experienced the agonizing melancholy of lacking parental love, her own father, just like Victor became distant when her mother died (Behrendt, 1995).
Even in the time when Mary was in dire need of money, during her first pregnancy, her father could not bail her out. He refused to have anything to do with her. This is seen clearly as illuminated in Frankenstein, where the monster appeals for love and attention from its maker to no avail (Hodges, 1983). Though the monster avenges for its creator’s misdeeds, Mary does not avenge for whatever her father did to her. She only chose a distinct course of life distant form her father (Brennan, 1989).
When the two antagonizing narrators meet in Frankenstein where the monster confronts its creator victor on an icy glacier, it pours out its heart to the creator and blames him for its isolation and abandonment (Marilyn, 1994). Ironically, Frankenstein does not see the monster as his responsibility. He did not devote his time and resources to love it and care for it just as the parents do.
Even though Victor was well attuned to how the parents should love and care for their children and as evidenced in Frankenstein where he states that his parents expressed “The deep consciousness of what they owed towards the being to which they had given life.” (Dunn, 1978).
Great Expectations, on the other hand, does not have two opposing narrators, rather it takes on a single-sided perspective. One advantage Frankenstein has over Great Expectations is the three-dimension point of view perpetuated by the narrators, which gives the reader a chance to make an unbiased opinion of the narrators based on their personality, expression, and argument (Behrendt, 1995).
Great Expectations and Frankenstein illumine the narrators’ basic requirements of life and the relationship between the creator and the created beings. Moreover, the tales delve into establishing the collective need for love, affection, and acceptance from their homes and their society.
While Pip in Great Expectations aspires to win the love of Estella, the monster in Frankenstein yearns for love and acceptance from the society and its creator. Both the creators have selfish motives and are not willing to face up the repercussions accruing to the monsters of their creations (Chesterton, 1988).
The two epic tales bear a familiar resemblance where the narrators find themselves tethered in their own made confinement created by the monsters they devised for their own delight only to be thwarted at the end (Graham 1982). Explored are similar themes of love and despair, loss, and depression; all those elements make human life real.
Nevertheless, the Frankenstein tale comes out as a gothic tale; work of creative imagination whilst in itself it tackles matter which affects real human life (Marilyn 1994). On the other hand, Great Expectations is more real, and people can identify with it because there is nothing bizarre about its plot and characterization, as seen in Frankenstein (Graham, 1982).
Another argument strongly expressed in both books is the conquest of fear by the narrators (Dunn, 1978). Robert Walton is confronted by a frightful being, a monster whose mere sight petrifies the narrator. Walton, however, musters enough courage to allow him to chronicle the recount conveyed by the monster about its life, thoughts, and experiences (Chesterton, 1988). The narrator Pip in Great Expectations is confronted by a similar kind of fear when he encounters an escaped convict in the graveyard at night.
The convict threatens the younger Pip with death if he reveals the convict’s alcove, and even under tremendous dread, the narrator proceeds to cater to the felon bringing him food and water (Dickens, 1945). In both cases, it is evident that the narrators, even under trepidation, went ahead to perform what they felt was right, which is indicative of courage, the subjugation of fright, and the confidence of the narrators in their actions.
Both tales provide a detailed perspective of the narrators’ thoughts, emotions, and beliefs, which provide the basis of their actions. Frankenstein presents a three dimensional view of the tale through the expressions of the three narrators. The narrator Walton gives readers an unbiased outlook of the circumstances surrounding the monster’s existence to allow readers to draw their own conclusions.
Great Expectations, on the other hand, has the narrator as Pip, who gives an account of his childhood experiences that eventually lead to his current position. The narrators in both books reveal deep emotional undertones in their voices, which helps the reader better understand and contemplate their surroundings and hence deeper understanding of the books.
Behrendt, S. (1995) Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, and the Woman Writer’s Fate. Hanover and London: University Press of New England.
Brennan, Matthew, C. (1989) The Landscape of Grief in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Studies in the Humanities, 13:1 Vol 23.
Chesterton, G. K. (1988) Appreciations and criticisms of the works of Charles. University of Toronto: London.
Dickens, C. (1946) Great Expectations.1861. Ed. Margaret Cardwell. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Dunn, Albert A. (1978) The Altered Endings of Great Expectations: Dickens Studies Newsletter 6:2
Graham, S. (1982) The Letters of Charles Dickens: The Pilgrim Edition. Oxford: Clarendon.
Hodges, D. (1983) Frankenstein and the Feminine Subversion of the Novel. Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature, 14(23).
Marilyn Butler. (1994) Frankenstein 1818, ed. Oxford University Press
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein: 1994 Movie Analysis Essay
Frankenstein (also referred to as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein) is a horror film directed by Kenneth Branagh in 1994 and adopted from a book by Mary Shelly bearing a similar title. In the movie, a young doctor named Victor Frankenstein (Kenneth Branagh) departs from his native land of Geneva to be admitted to a medical school (IMDB, para. 2).
At the college, he studies and becomes knowledgeable in human anatomy and in chemistry. The young student has always been fascinated with death, and this leads him to initiate a project to create life. Victor designs a creature with the body parts of convicts and with the brain of a bright scientist. The ‘monster’ (Robert De Niro) comes to life and is thrown into society.
The monster then grasps that society will never accept him and seeks revenge on all persons that Victor loves. As the movie ends, Victor is all by himself as all his family members have been killed. Victor then creates a partner for the creature to love; however, due to the pain he is feeling, he opts to use Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter) and resurrects her for his benefit. Eventually, Elizabeth kills herself because Victor and the monster are fighting over her.
As the film comes to an end, Victor dies on a ship while the monster he created is found crying over his dead body. Victor’s funeral ceremony is interrupted when the ice surrounding the ship starts to crack. The creature takes a burning torch and sets himself and his dead creator, alight.
Critical Analysis of the Film
Despite having a fine start, Frankenstein fails to quite come off and does not make a good film for a variety of reasons. First is the films’ duration. In slightly more than two hours, the movie feels a little extended. It is wordy, and the speed drops in some scenes. Part of the problem stems from the film’s familiarity. Preparations for Frankenstein’s journey to Vienna, his encounter with Clerval, his disobedience to the medical staff at the school, and his initial experimentations have all been undertaken before.
The audience knows where Victor is headed to, and Branagh offers no compelling spins to the storyline. This familiarity stems from the fact that several editions of the movie have been produced before. However, the film becomes more interesting in the second half. Here, Branagh uses elements from the book that have not been included in previous versions of the movie.
For instance, the Arctic scenery, the subtle fact that the creature can converse in the human voice and is smart and able to experience pain, the series of events related to William’s death and the creature’s set-up of Justine are all exclusive to the movie, making for an exciting watch. However, for someone who has not watched previous versions of the film nor read Shelley’s book, the movie makes for an interesting watch as a whole.
Another unfortunate aspect of the movie is the rapid succession of scenes, considering that the film runs for more than two hours. Just fifteen minutes into the movie, three years have already elapsed. An audience may find it hard to keep up with the story and might lose concentration midway to the end. Again, the author needs to recognize that tragedy in the film is most effective when it is allowed to develop slowly.
The scenes in Branagh’s version of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein move so fast that some of the subtleties disappear along the way. This gives the movie an exciting and occasionally chaotic (particularly in the first half-hour) piece of work that, while irrefutably entertaining, is short of the depth that a work of this magnitude requires.
However, the movie can be praised in several aspects, especially that of the gorgeous scenery, superior acting of some characters, especially Elizabeth and Robert de Niro, and creativity. From one scene to another, the producer does nice finishing touches and fascinating variations that are easily noticeable.
It is exciting, for instance, to watch Frankenstein play Ben Franklin and hold hands with his family members while lying down! And in another scene, when Dr. Frankenstein pays a midwife to collect amniotic fluid and fill what resembles a cylinder, our interest is held as much as possible.
There are also some important scenes, such as the one where the doctor slips into the court to cut down a hanged man to use him as ‘raw material.’ As Frankenstein cuts the rope and the lifeless body falls to the ground, there is a swift cut to a table in the inn where a wine bottle is banged on to the table. A clever finishing touches the points that make a huge difference.
The producer also does some quality work in actor selection. Although Branagh’s performance as Dr. Frankenstein is nothing to write home about, De Niro and Elizabeth do an amazing job of making for inadequacies elsewhere (Ebert, 2). The scene where the creature becomes friends with a family and supplies them with food while watching and learning through a crack on the wall is fabulously moving and is probably the best scene in the movie.
Although his role was the most challenging, De Niro acts it out with finesse and melodrama and significantly improves the rating of the film. Similarly, Helena gives a thoroughly captivating performance. She becomes much more than Frankenstein’s secret lover and also plays a vital role in exposing the bad and good sides of Frankenstein and the creature.
Camera techniques are essential to the development of scenes, and Branagh does not fail at this. Often, the camera swerves to Victor’s laboratory, where he is upset as he faces a choice between devoting all his time to science and marrying his adopted sister, Elizabeth. The camera is also valuable in showing the audience a panoramic view of Geneva and the Swiss Alps. And as the creature lays on the snow, the camera reveals the rage, anger, and bitterness in its eyes. He will have revenge for his creation by Victor.
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is a very intriguing movie to watch. While the film has its weaknesses, it also has several strengths that result in a fascinating watch. Aspects that make Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein a bad film include wordiness and speed drops in some scenes, audience familiarity with the storyline, and rapid succession of scenes. However, Branagh makes up for these insufficiencies by using gorgeous sceneries, excellent acting skills by the actors, and the use of camera techniques to develop scenes.
Ebert, Roger. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. The Sun Times, November 4, 1994. Web. <https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/mary-shelleys-frankenstein-1994>
IMDB. Frankenstein (1994). 1994. Web. <https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0109836/>
“Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley Essay
A summary of Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein”
“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 life he is however terrified and disgusted of 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 the 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 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 boys nanny was tried and found guilty fro 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 spend 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 monsters revenge.
Frankenstein 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 form illness and the monster mourns for Frankenstein justifying its revenge and expressing remorse. Afterwards, the monster travels further towards the pole to destroy itself so that nobody never finds out of it existence.
Comparing Shelley’s portrayal of the natural sciences in “Frankenstein” to her portrayal of other types of knowledge in that novel
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 if gigantic and it horrifies him to look at. He sees it as an eyesore, a disgrace and the creature escape into the society leaving it at the mercy of humanity. The point at which the creature escapes brings in the humanity aspect in the novel (55-56).
However, after escaping into the 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 of to kill itself as it 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 of 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 centre 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 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 fro 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 on 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 one Victor Frankenstein’s obsession and ambition to create life. Life is scared 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 of 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 to 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 very other human who sets eyes on him and when he observes a family from a distance learns how to speak and develops 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 for 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 the 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 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 trough observation and experience kindness from a blind man and while saving a young girl form 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 the society as a whole and reduce human misery. The fact that humanity pushed Frankenstein to look for scientific ways to eliminate death from the society after his other loved ones died shows that these two concepts are correlated and work 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 in 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 human kind. 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 intro 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.
Shelley, Marry. Frankenstein. New York: Norton, 1996. Print.
Doctor Frankenstein: Hero, Villain or Something in Between? Essay
Heroism generally has been associated with qualities such as courage, determination, self-sacrifice, and risks taking. Heroes are known to have qualities beyond human capabilities; hence are seen as superhuman: someone between God and human always referred to as a demigod.
Moreover, a hero is most of the time seen as reflecting the ideals of the community or a country and as a person who has performed a thing that other people have not achieved, but they wish they had. Mostly, heroes are known to engage in extraordinary and unique actions.
Heroes may be noticed while still alive or long after they have passed away. The way they conduct themselves is always perceived as a source of moral teachings or even institutional legends. However, it is recognized that heroism lies in the eyes of the beholder, meaning that one person may view someone as a hero, yet in the eyes of another, that person may not be a hero.
On the other hand, a villain is usually a character in a novel, film, or in real life who is usually devoted to causing wickedness and heinous crimes in a novel, film, or in the society. Some villains may have powers beyond human comprehension, but they use them to cause havoc in the society; hence very few, if any, would wish to emulate their wicked tendencies.
Thus even though they may engage in extraordinary and unique actions, the only thing that villains can inspire in the people in society is to rise up and defeat such characters. Villains are like heroes, they may be alive or dead, but their deeds are still noticed and institutionalized.
Frankenstein’s Ambiguous Personality
Due to the thin line that separates a hero and a villain, many characters in the society and even in films or novels may be considered something in between. This is because their actions do not qualify as heroic or heinous. In Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley, Doctor Victor Frankenstein stands out as neither a hero nor a villain; he is something in between.
Some actions of Doctor Victor Frankenstein are heroic, while some of his deeds are heinous. Even though he sets out to find and destroy the monster that he created, he knows that the challenge he is facing is much great. This is because the beast he created murdered his own brother William.
It calls for the courage that is only seen in heroes for a man like him to face such a creature so huge and that he confesses frightful (Mary, 180 – 190). However, all this rage, confusion, and fear of the monster would not have occurred if he had not abandoned the beast he created.
The heroic courage that Doctor Frankenstein shows in his futile attempt to destroy the monster in greatly driven to exert revenge for the death of his brother. The courage that epitomizes heroes is not driven by feelings but is inborn. This is why heroes are born courageous if not, the courage builds in them not from the urge to exert revenge but from the urge to defend the society from the evil, which makes them villains.
The heroic determination, self-sacrifice, and risk-taking of the doctor can be quite inspiring to many. Still, understanding the reasons behind such a show of heroism, one would conclude that Frankenstein is no hero but just a man out to correct the mistakes he made in his quest to form something unique.
He studied and achieved his childhood dream while at the university. This is where he achieved his childhood dream of making a natural wonder by developing a secret technique to fill lifeless bodies with life. When he finally achieved this, the resulting creature became his worst enemy killing people close to him like his brother William, his wife Elizabeth Clerval, his brother’s nanny, Justine, and his father.
After all the grief that his creation gives him, he vows to pursue the monster until one of them finishes the other. He is determined and risks his own life by facing a monster that the first time they met for a duel defeated his hands down. He even decides to stay outside and wait for the monster while his wife Elizabeth sleeps remains safe in the house. This shows how determined he was to kill the monster (Mary, 145 – 200).
However, all show of heroism is driven by the urge to correct his mistakes earlier. Heroes’ determination, self-sacrifice, and risk-taking tendencies are not driven by the urge to correct their mistakes but to protect society. Hence, he is just trying heroically to defend himself and the society at large from his monster.
All in all, Doctor Frankenstein may pass as a hero or a villain for that matter, depending on the observer since the definition of a hero is ambiguous. It depends on each and every critic of the life and times of the doctor. Indeed the manner in which he tried correcting his mistakes was heroic; he showed superhuman courage, determination, and self-sacrifice character that ought to be emulated by many.
However, the motive behind his actions was not born of a hero, but of a man being remorseful for the mistakes he made by first creating a monster and then abandoning it. Moreover, the fact that he could fathom the idea of making a phantom, an extraordinary creature for no apparent reason, makes him a villain.
Mary, Shelley. Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus: The 1818 Text (Oxford World’s Classics). New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.
Victor Frankenstein vs. the Creature: Compare & Contrast Research Paper
The introduction: the fundamentals of Shelley’s novel
While comparing and contrasting Victor Frankenstein and his creature, I would like to disclose some fundamentals of a popular novel. First of all, I would like to point out that Mary Shelley’s novel was first published in 1817. This novel is recognized to be one of the earliest productions of science fiction genre. Generally, the novel combines the features of the Gothic novel and Romanticism.
It is related to science knowledge and reflects some elements of classical myth. The main characters of the novel are Victor Frankenstein, the Monster, Robert Walton, Elizabeth Lavenza, Henry Clerval, and the DeLacey family.
In my opinion, the most common themes the novel represents are horror and terror, social responsibility, parental neglect, obsessive behavior, revenge, injustice, physical deformity, parental love and responsibility. Of course, all the themes are vividly reflected in Mary Shelley’s work, but I suppose that the key theme is still considered to be good vs. evil.
Another important point I would like to highlight is the history of the novel. To my mind, the most interesting fact is that the story was not created by chance. On the contrary, it appeared on the basis of competition. Mary Shelley and other writers decided to create the best ghost story.
In other words, “the novel was the result of a dream she had after a challenge that she, Lord Byron, Percy Shelley, and a doctor friend of theirs each write a ghost story” (“Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, 1797 – 1851 – LSC-Kingwood” par. 2). So, I suppose that the novel Frankenstein written by Shelley, won.
The thesis statement
Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein represents numerous interesting themes. The novel discloses people’s attitudes towards superficial issues as well as really important ones. A science fiction genre reflects public mood and inhumanity of the contemporary world.
The body: Victor Frankenstein vs. his creature: some similarities and differences between the main characters
While discussing the main characters, one is to keep in mind that the creator of the monster Victor Frankenstein and his creature are the principal figures of the novel.
According to Shelley’s work Victor was fond of chemistry and science. He received his education at the University of Ingolstadt. The main aim of the investigations made by Victor was to disclose the secret of life. However, the main character’s researches led to the creature appearance. In my opinion, Victor’s interest in science is closely related to the knowledge of the Renaissance period and Middle Ages.
I suppose that the most obvious distinctive feature between the creator and his creature is the state of mind of both characters. While analyzing the characters’ behavior, one is to make a conclusion that Victor’s mind seems to be unstable; while the monster he created is more balanced.
To my mind, Victor’s nature is mostly associated with a psychological disease, namely obsessive-compulsive disorder; while his creature becomes cruel because of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Thus, the creature says: “Believe me, Frankenstein: I was benevolent; my soul glowed with love and humanity: but am I not alone, miserably alone?” (Shelley 85).
I think this quotation confirms an affirmation that originally, the creature created by Victor wasn’t a monster. On the contrary, the creature wanted to be accepted by people; however, it is appearance, which is considered to be much more important than a person’s inner world. Of course, the monster realizes his lameness and can’t stand people’s mockery anymore.
The creature Frankenstein tried to find friends; however, later he realized that there were no human beings who could love him or accept his horrible appearance. So, he says: “Unfeeling, heartless creator! You had endowed me with perceptions and passions and then cast me abroad an object for the scorn and horror of mankind” (Shelley 118). Taking into account the quotation, one can state that the creature experienced enough pain, before it was transformed into a real monster and started to kill people.
On the other hand, I think there is also a need to tell a few words about the creator of the monster. It is evident, that Victor understands what causes his experiments lead to. For instance, he says: “I was seized by remorse and the sense of guilt, which hurried me away to a hell of intense tortures, such as no language can describe” (Shelley 76).
The creature, in its turn, realizes that there is no its fault that people can’t accept it. While experiencing joy, Frankenstein (the creature) can’t share the feeling with others. On the contrary, the main character is recognized to be a social outcast.
In my opinion, there are not so many common features, which both characters possess. This seems to be really strange, as the monster Frankenstein was created by a scientist; so, both characters had to have numerous common traits. To my mind, the only thing both characters have in common is coherence of reasoning. In other words, Victor Frankenstein and his creature express rational thoughts; however, relying on the first impression, it seems that the affirmation is to be wrong.
By the way, I have to point out that my suggestion about Victor’s unstable mind is not at variance with the present conclusion. I mean that the statement about rational thoughts both characters possess and the creator’s unstable mind are to be regarded differently. I suppose that Victor’s unstable mind is mostly related to his desire to study alchemy and discover the secret of life. So, rational thoughts do not contradict previous conclusion.
In my opinion, the author depicts the main character from the negative side mostly. Mary discovers his selfishness. On the other hand, “Victor Frankenstein was, in some ways, reflective of the consistently growing and changing field of medicine in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries” (“A Cultural History of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein” par. 9).
I suppose this position explains Victor’s interest in death. Moreover, the creator wanted to resolve various contradictions concerning medicine. However, his experiments were not successful, unfortunately.
The conclusion: it is through no fault of the creature…
So, what general conclusion concerning the similarities and certain differences between two characters can be made? I think the so-called interdependence between the characters can be neglected. In spite of the fact, that both figures had to possess the same traits of character as well as viewpoints, people’s attitude towards moral issues and their dependence on the external things changes the situation and leads to catastrophic consequences.
Finally, in my opinion, it is not the monster’s fault that it kills people. On the contrary, people’s cruelty and indifference cause the tragic events. “Soft tears again bedewed my cheeks, and I even raised my humid eyes with thankfulness towards the blessed sun, which bestowed such joy upon me” (Shelley 119).
“A Cultural History of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.” Mount Holyoke College. Web. <https://www.mtholyoke.edu/courses/rschwart/hist257s02/students/Stacy/Frankenstein.htm>.
“Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, 1797 – 1851 – LSC-Kingwood.” Lone Star College System. Web. <http://www.lonestar.edu/index.htm>.
Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft. Frankenstein Or, the Modern Prometheus. New York: Collier Books, 1961. Questia. Web.
Frankenstein: Monster’s Appearance & Visual Interpretations Essay
Frankenstein: Essential Features
First of all, I would like to point out that Frankenstein is considered to be a novel. The author who wrote the story about a monster was an English novelist and dramatist, Mary Shelley. Generally, Frankenstein was a character who was transformed into an ugly creature because of a scientific experiment.
The story of Frankenstein’s appearance is quite interesting. Thus, the novel appeared because four writers decided to write a horror story. It was the so-called competition. So, Mary Shelley took part in the competition and created the character mentioned above.
The novel represents not only the science fiction genre but also combines the Gothic horror genre and the Romantic era. Frankenstein is recognized to be the first true story.
In her novel, the author reflects two sides of the character. On the one hand, it seems that Frankenstein is a real monster as he has killed many people; however, his primary aim was not to kill other characters, he just wanted to get some support and companionship. On the other hand, the character seems to be a human being, whose ill-considered actions led to a catastrophe.
Taking into account the psychological point of view, one can make a conclusion that Victor Frankenstein had some personality disorders. The monster Victor created didn’t want to be cruel; he just wanted to be accepted by others. “The monster needed a friend. Someone he could talk to, someone to love him, and someone to love back” (“Frankenstein: Man or Monster” 3).
The main character wanted to find a friend, but his desire to drift towards civilization became fatal. The most interesting point I would like to highlight is that most of the people are more interested in a person’s appearance than his or her inner world. Unfortunately, the monster experienced the so-called unfair law of life.
Visual Interpretations of the Monster
In my opinion, the monster’s appearance can tell numerous things about the circumstances the main character experienced; however, while judging, people do not draw their attention to the factors, which may cause ugliness.
I suppose that the most impressive appearance of Frankenstein is represented in an American horror film, The Bride of Frankenstein. The film appeared in the mid of the thirties. Boris Karloff was an actor who played a part in Frankenstein. Although the main character of the film really causes the feeling of fear, the picture and descriptions in Mary Shelley’s novel do not coincide.
Thus, according to the novel, the creature was raised from the pieces of human beings’ bodies, while in the film, it is said that Frankenstein was sewed from the bodies of human beings. However, to my mind, the difference in the contexts of the novel and famous film can be neglected as the monster’s appearance is repulsive enough.
According to the novel the monster “is created from various different body parts, he has yellow skin which scarcely covered the work of muscles and arteries beneath, he has lustrous, flowing black hair and white teeth, he has a shriveled complexion and straight black lips” (“Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein” par. 24). The description is rather vivid, as well as the appearance of the monster in The Bride of Frankenstein.
I suppose that the director of an American horror film was focused on the visual interpretation of the main character. However, nobody can deny the fact that Frankenstein is a human being, even when he is depicted as a monster. In my opinion, his appearance reflects pain and suffering.
Unfortunately, people do not take compassion on the ugly creature. In other words, the only reason for Frankenstein’s unhappiness and dramatic events which occur in his life is his appearance. The monster wanted to make contact with people; however, people’s fear prevented the monster’s desire to make some friends. I suppose that the monster’s facial features can tell about his inner state and emotions.
Thus, Karloff’s in Bride of Frankenstein expresses tiredness and hopelessness. The monster is tired of being exiled. The monster’s sharp features tell about his strong mind and willpower. As far as I know people with a pointed chin are rather purposeful, but vindictive. They remember offences for a long time. So, Boris Karloff, who had exactly the same appearance, reflected the inward nature of Mary Shelley’s main character.
Finally, I would like to disclose Frankenstein’s mental state. Thus, in my opinion, nobody can say that he was mentally unstable. I would like to provide you with a quotation to confirm my suggestion or idea. “I also remembered the nervous fever with which I had been seized just at the time that I dated my creation, and which would give an air of delirium to a tale otherwise so utterly improbable” (“Frankenstein: Man or Monster” 3). The quotation confirms that the main character couldn’t be mentally unstable, as he could feel fever. On the other hand, I would like to point out that facial expressions usually reflect mental disorders.
“Frankenstein: Man or Monster,” n.d., Wikimedia.org, Web.
“Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein,” n.d., English-e-corner.com, Web.
Roles of Education & Family in Frankenstein Essay
Literature has been used as a tool by different authors to analyze human actions in many societies. From fiction to nonfiction books, writers use literature to explain various activities that involve human beings.
Literature offers an individual the opportunity to reflect on society in a way that is not confrontational. Although novels are always categorized as fiction, authors of these stories always draw their examples from society. Such books are always based on what transpired in the lives of authors. Conversely, novels are always recollections of people’s experiences in life.
Frankenstein is a piece of literature that brings out different societies in different countries. Narrated in the first person, the book provides readers with a picture of a normal family set up. The adoption of children is common in various societies in Europe.
The author has successfully managed to bring out world realities through a piece of literature. This story is based on the societal set up of Geneva, Swaziland. Although the author briefly introduces us to other countries in Europe, such as France and Italy, the attention shifts to the city of Geneva.
This article discusses the role of the family and education in society. It narrows down to evaluate how education and the family affect the life of Frankenstein. It is noted that the two aspects are the major socializing agents. The family is the primary socializing agent while the school is the secondary socializing agent. In modern society, the family is losing its primary role of socialization to education. This is clearly brought out in the life of Frankenstein.
Role of Family in Frankenstein
In the story, the family serves as one of the major socializing agents in society. The writer shows that a child acquires societal norms and values through family members. Societal norms and principles are significant since they allow a child to interact freely with other members of society.
The writer demonstrates that through the family, normative components of culture are transferred from the older members of society to the young ones. The child and other members of the family are able to develop capacities that would generate creative thoughts. These thoughts would permit the child and members of the family to respond appropriately to various situations and events in life.
Through the family, children are able to learn how to relate with parents, their future partners, other members of society, as well as their youngsters. The writer shows that the family is the basic socializing agent in society. Frankenstein confirms that children are capable of relating to society through the family. In case a child fails to interact with society, the community would face challenges associated with formlessness.
The role of love in the family is an additional theme that can be depicted in the story. The author observes that the family is charged with the responsibility of uniting society. The society should acknowledge, accept, and appreciate each individual in society. Frankenstein illustrates that family love is fundamental in human life.
The writer argues that marital love means a lot as opposed to feelings and sexual expressions. The author illustrates that family love is a gift that is characterized by harmony and faithfulness. In the story, the family plays a big role in regulating sexual activity. It is frequently expected that sex relationships occur in some sort of marriage association. Such relationships are regularized through some social rules.
Therefore, a family has some significant responsibilities regarding sexual relations. Sex should take place within a standardized setting. Just like in any other society, the family in Frankenstein’s story exists to provide financial support to other members of the family. In the story, this takes a different form. The family gives each member some form of support to empower him/her economically.
Finally, the family exists to satisfy emotional needs regarding love and safety. In the story, most individuals depend on their families for emotional support. In the story, relatives loath children, but they do not stop loving them. The feelings of such children are dreadfully perplexed by the treatment they get meaning that the family is the major caregiver in society.
Role of Education in the Story
Education is vital to an individual’s success in society. This is according to the writer. School offers individuals an opportunity to sharpen their skills, which would further prepare them physically, emotionally, and socially for the world of work in mature commitments.
Through education, society can maintain a strong community that can actually produce health care experts, knowledgeable healthcare clients, and maintains a healthy populace. The author claims that without an educated population, society cannot develop either socio-culturally or politically.
It can be observed that education plays an important role in regards to storage and transmission of knowledge. This would mean that school is responsible for keeping knowledge safely and dispensing it to those who need it. Through published books and journals, learners can access what others have invented in various fields. In the story, the writer observes that scientists publish an article regarding their findings.
Such publications are vital in distributing ideas in society. Scientists are always supposed to publish their works for others to review. However, in the field of technology, findings are not made public because such findings are utilized in developing valuable goods. Scientific findings are made public because they aim at educating the population while a technological finding is kept secret because it is a resource. It is not surprising that individuals seek patents immediately. They come up with certain technologies.
In Frankenstein’s story, education plays a role as regards status ascendancy. Education is one of the few legitimate means that beneficiaries may utilize to improve their status rankings in society. Schooling facilitates mobility within occupational or political rankings.
Education offers an individual with an opportunity to shift from one social status to another. The writer tries to express that education diversifies an individual’s chances in life. The writer of the story underscores the fact that education is the solution to various problems afflicting society. Through education, good traditions, principles, and awareness against inhumane practices such as violence, dishonesty, and infections are enhanced.
Through analyzing the story, it can be observed that education is an important aspect of human life. It transforms an individual to enjoy advanced life in collective well-being. It equips people with desired attributes that are essential in leading decent lives. In the story, it can be reported that education molds an individual’s behavior. Individual personality benefits from the positive transformation that facilitates interactive fluency and social appeal. In the story, educated persons do not pose threats to others.
Instead, individuals act as social magnates and social glue, which means that they attract others. Earning a professional award in education prepares an individual to participate and contribute to organizations, corporations, and associations. In the story, therefore, education offers individuals with the power to move on and do things constructively. Education provides an individual with various perspectives. A learned person will always have alternative plans in life.
The Effects of Education and Family
Frankenstein was keen to acquire knowledge from his teachers in school. He was convinced that it was only through education that one would understand the world. In this case, the writer believed that education increased an individual’s orientation to the world. From what the author says, it was his interest to ensure that knowledge offered in class remained in his memories.
He says: “I took their word for all that they averred, and I became their disciple” (Wilke and Hurt 21). The author also notes with regrets that the father was not a scientist and, therefore, he could not be in a position to help him interpret scientific subjects. His determination to acquire formal education saw him secure admission to the University of Ingolstadt.
The parents inspired him through encouragement. Indeed, the presence of Elizabeth was comforting. However, as Frankenstein was about to join the University of Ingolstadt, Elizabeth fell sick. His mother had to take care of her. Unfortunately, the mother contracted a similar complication that would later kill her.
This was very devastating. She had been a driving force to his ambitions in life. The reality that he would live without her was itself a monster. He was to go to the school that was some miles away from home. It would be much better if the mother was still alive. He would have some hope of seeing her when he would visit during recess. However, he was sure that the mother was no more.
He decided to go for a pure science course at the university. He had developed a special interest in chemistry. He believed that chemistry was the best subject. While in school, memories of his family at home preoccupied his mind. He could imagine Elizabeth and other family members sharing meals. However, the oppression caused by her mother’s death left him with injuries to the extent that he could not live peacefully.
He loved the mother and could not believe that she was gone. Such memories would affect his studies and socialization. Sometimes, he could not avoid them, especially when he faced hardships in school. The mother was his source of strength during such hardships. Her absence was a reality that Frankenstein had to take time to accept. The family he left had been the only consolation. He felt that the world was empty without his close relatives. Therefore, one may say that the family has a strong influence on an individual’s life.
It is evident that the family ties strongly affected the life of Frankenstein throughout his life in school. Although he was keen to gain knowledge from this university, he could not avoid a nostalgic mood when his memories flashed back to his family at home. From the story, it is true that, though Frankenstein appreciated education, family ties affected his concentration. Therefore, education and family ties are two things that are closely related. An individual can only perform well in school when he/she has a settled mind.
Wilke, Brian and Hurt, James. Literature of the Western World Volume II. 5th ed. New York: prentice Hall, 2000. Print.
Dr Frankenstein & His Monster: Compare & Contrast Research Paper
The monster is Frankenstein’s double. Not only do the two beings resemble in terms of their reactions to their circumstances, but their desires and personalities are also quite similar.
Comparison of the Characters
Frankenstein and the monster had comparable personalities; they were both lonesome and sympathetic beings. The monster grew apart from his creator, so he had no person with whom to relate. When the creature tried to forge friendships with other people, he only ended up repelling them by his appearance.
The monster was frustrated by the feelings of disgust and fear that he elicited from all human beings. Society seemed to liken his appearance to his character, and presume that he was an evil being. Therefore, the creature is condemned to isolation and loneliness by factors beyond him.
Things did not start that way in the beginning. The monster loved everything around him; he even compared his feelings about people to a stolen light from the heavens (Stelley 88). However, he found that no one wanted to return his love, so he turned against society.
Conversely, Frankenstein is lonely out of choice. He is overly obsessed with his work to the point of forgetting the goings-on around him.
The doubles also have a thirst and appreciation of education and knowledge. Frankenstein’s passion began as far back as his childhood. He was so eager to learn that he was willing to abandon child-like activities (Shelley 33). Victor came across Cornelius Agrippa’s book and found that an exciting world of chemistry and science existed.
This caused him to master mathematics, chemistry, as well as philosophy (Shelley 43). Frankenstein’s love for education dominated his life and eventually defined him. In certain instances, the night would turn into the day when Victor was still working on his experiments in the lab (Shelley 35).
Similarly, the monster loved knowledge, although his interest was not restricted to the sciences. The creature wanted to know everything it could about human beings. At one point, it overheard Safie’s instructions from Agatha and Felix and decided to use the same instructions to improve its life.
It is quite laudable that a creature that had never interacted with a man was able to learn about man’s languages, habits, history, and ethics. His fascination drove him to accomplish what others in his position would not. The pursuit of knowledge also defined the monster’s character because his worldview reflected ideas from Paradise Lost or some of the other books that he liked to read. Too much of anything is poisonous; both characters let their pursuit of knowledge control them, and this eventually destroyed them (Bennett 200).
The doubles experienced a fate that emanated from their excesses. Victor’s passion could have been used for good had he exercised it in moderation. However, he went too far and thus made a repelling creature. At the beginning of his experiments, all Frankenstein wanted to do was succeed.
He disregarded ethics and the limits of science to complete his project. Nevertheless, after finishing it, he was filled with regret and realized that his sweet dream had become a nightmare. Similarly, the monster should have applied the knowledge it positively acquired about human beings.
However, its excesses drove it to exact vengeance upon innocent victims (Rauch 230).
Hatred and revenge consume Frankenstein and his monster. The monster wanted to exact vengeance upon its creator for failing to give him a counterpart. It swore that it would wait upon Victor until it found an opportune moment to make him pay for his actions (Shelley 129).
This declaration is fulfilled when the monster kills Victor’s friend – Henry, and his cousin Elizabeth. The monster’s life was consumed with feelings of hatred and revenge against other people. When Felix removed him from the cottage, the monster vowed to eliminate all the residents of the establishment. He even asserted that it would give him a pleasure to hear their shrieks of misery (Shelley 121).
Likewise, Frankenstein was also obsessed with the feeling of hatred and revenge. He wanted to exert revenge upon the monster for killing Henry and Elizabeth. Victor endured a lot of hostile external conditions to meet this goal.
The protagonist felt that he would be making it too easy for the monster if he died and left his adversary alive (Shelley 128). Vengeance often turns victims into afflicters, as was the case with the two characters (Behrendt 95). Their life revolved around the pursuit of their offenders who were not even aware that they had caused such strong hateful reactions.
Victor and the monster appear to thrive in nature as they often found solace in natural habitations. In one instance, Frankenstein had just suffered the unfair execution of Justine. He found relief in the mountains and forgot about these predicaments (Shelley 87). Additionally, when Victor was frustrated by the need to create a monster, nature calmed him down. He appreciated the look of the clear blue sky as well as the serenity surrounding the Rhine River (Shelley 138).
Likewise, the monster also found tranquility in nature. When Felix and his colleagues rejected the creature, he retreated into nature. Not only was the sunshine a welcome part of his day, but he also enjoyed the purity of the air around him. The monster’s constant isolation from men likely made him appreciate nature.
Subtle things such as the scent of flowers or the radiance of the woods were quite pleasurable to the monster. It is also likely that this love for nature emanated from the environment’s inability to judge him (Gigante 571). All he had ever known was sorrow and disgust, so it was necessary to have any aspect of life that did not relate to these circumstances.
The two characters’ failed in their respective roles as a nurturer and protégé, respectively. Frankenstein has experienced a relatively happy childhood. His parents had given him everything he needed as a child, so he knew what parenthood was all about. The love and support that Victor got from his parents should have set him up to become someone that other individuals could revere.
Therefore, he was in a perfect place to create a monster and teach it how to live harmoniously with others. Instead, Victor was hateful towards the creature, and thus sowed those seeds into it. Later on, the creature became a reflection of its nurturer because Victor had initially shaped all the things he understood about humanity.
It should be noted that one may even give the monster some leeway because it was not human, so it was not natural for it to have human characteristics. The creator had humanity’s fragments, so it was likely that its character would also be partly human and partly wild.
Nonetheless, Frankenstein’s failures do not excuse the monster from taking responsibility for its actions. Since the creature was quite knowledgeable about life, then it should have known about the consequences of vengeance, hate, and other immoral acts.
It understood that human beings were not perfect, so it was not expected to get any special treatment from them. The creature should have used the knowledge it acquired to exercise discipline and refrain from hurting people who did not know any better. Therefore, the monster failed as Frankenstein’s protégé.
The desire for a family also drives the two beings. They feel that it is necessary to have people around them that love them unconditionally. One can read through Victor’s need for a family when he admired Elizabeth’s beauty. His need to exert vengeance for the death of Elizabeth and Henry proves that he had a desire for a family but chose not to work on it (Mellor 19).
Similarly, the monster wanted a family as evidenced when he requested for a companion. He also thought he could find familial love from his patron, but was disillusioned when he realized that this would not be possible.
Several parallels exist between the protagonist and the monster. First, the two individuals are lonely and isolated. They both have a thirst for knowledge, which became their source of demise.
Frankenstein and his creature were heavily consumed with hatred and revenge, and this eventually led to their downfall. They also found peace and solace in nature and wanted to have families. Lastly, they were poor nurturers and protégés, respectively.
Behrendt, Stephen. Approaches to teaching Shelley’s Frankenstein. NY: MLA, 1990. Print.
Bennett, Betty. Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley: An Introduction. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998. Print.
Gigante, Denise. “Facing the Ugly: The Case of Frankenstein”. European Literature History 67.2 (2000): 565–87. Print.
Mellor, Anne. Mary Shelley: Her Life, Her Fiction, Her Monsters. New York: Methuen, 1988. Print.
Rauch, Alan. “The monstrous body of knowledge in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.” Studies in Romanticism 34.2(1995): 227-253. Print.
Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein. London: Bantam Classics, 1984. Print.