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.
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