It was a dreary night of November
Shelley created this negative image of Frankenstein in our minds, possibly, because she is intimating that excessive emotion is wrong. It is shown through his exclamations (“Oh! ) and talk of “breathless horror and disgust”. Her father Godwin believed it inappropriate too – perhaps she was coming into agreement with him as opposed to the philosopher Rousseau, who stated that humans should be ruled by emotion rather than reason. She did elope with Percy Shelley to her father’s antipathy however, which suggests an alteration of her views during this time.
Certainly, Victor is not portrayed as a hero.
He clearly perceives the human characteristics within the monster the better, and finds the unusually “shrivelled complexion” and “black lips” repulsive. He is discriminating against difference. The dream deals with the idea of death. It appears that this was an important concept for Shelley, as the paragraph is considerably longer than the others in the passage. It runs into the monster’s watching over Frankenstein, which suggests that the nightmare had morphed into reality.
The dream itself features the two most important women in Victor’s life: his mother and Elizabeth.
Women are natural life givers, and yet Victor attempted to change nature itself. In the nightmare, he becomes a death giver, as he inadvertently became as a result of the monster’s creation. Because of his marriage to Elizabeth, her lips indeed “became livid with the hue of death”, as she had therefore become a victim of the creation. Due to her death, his mother’s wish of their union never truly ensued. By escaping from the monster repeatedly, Frankenstein demonstrates that he does not live up to gender stereotypes. He does not attempt to attack the monster, as Felix does, but escapes like Safie.
Even through escape, he could not seek comfort though. Shelley shows his suffering through her words: “horror… hell… black and comfortless”. The verse from Coleridge’s Ancient Mariner sums up this terrible inability to escape. It implies that he has lost his family, as the road is “lonely” – because of his experiment he shut out the people he loves, and now that he needs them most, they cannot help him. He is panicking and stricken with paranoia, as he “turn’d round”, only to find that the monster is actually “close behind him”.
It is a possibility that guilt and regret are also following him, as well as the creature, as he must carry a dread of people’s reactions to him. He has this same dread later in the novel, when he assumes that if he creates the monster a partner, “future ages might curse [him] as their pest”. The verse allows Frankenstein to stand as the victim. The passage is geared towards Frankenstein’s standpoint and so it is possible that the reader will not realise his cruelty against the defenceless monster until he gives his interpretation of events.
This is possibly for Shelley to allow the reader to understand both motivations without bias. There is a great contrast in opinion of Frankenstein with hindsight of the monster’s narrative; through the subsequent reading we see the immorality of the creator’s use of derogatory terms for his ‘child’. WORD COUNT: 1010 cwk Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Mary Shelley section.
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