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How does Shelley convey the concept of monstrosity?

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Introduction

´╗┐How does Shelley convey the concept of monstrosity? Compare this to your partner text. Mary Shelley conveys the idea of monstrosity through the creature and Frankenstein. She does this emotionally, psychically and mentally. Monstrosity does not just mean a physical appearance it is also how you act behaviour wise. This is why Frankenstein and the creature come across as monstrous characters as they behave in an monstrous way; there actions also affect other people. Frankenstein shows he is monstrous by acting in a selfish manner throughout the novel. Whereas the creature has monstrous features but he also has a monstrous personality within him which is slowly unfolded as the novel progresses. The idea of monstrosity also plays a huge part in Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. This is because like Frankenstein Dr Jekyll?s actions have an effect on other people. In Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde, Jekyll was merely experimenting on potions in his private laboratory and decided to drink the potion whereas in Frankenstein wanted to experiment on humans to create a new race for his own gain. This idea is used by Shelley to explore how Frankenstein wants to create a new species of his own, that will worship him. This is the first clue we are given by Shelley to recognise that Frankenstein wants to be god-like, so by creating a new race he will be able to be god to them. ...read more.

Middle

Dr Jekyll also has a selfish attitude when it comes to making the potion. ?such as has made the happiness of many? my imperious desire to carry my head high, and wear a more commonly grave countenance before the public?. This shows that Jekyll did not think about anyone else or any consequences of making this potion, his intentions were to create it so that he could become famous in the public and be recognised for something. Whilst Frankenstein is in this turmoil he has suicidal thoughts, this shows how desperate he is to get out of this darkness. ?Often, I say, I was tempted to plunge into the silent lake, that the waters might lose over me and my calamities forever?. Frankenstein self-pity?s himself; he thinks he is the innocent one in all of this. This is a monstrous act because he isn?t thinking about what will happen to his family, he wants to free himself from the monster and the pain it is causing him. There is a sufficient link to Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde under then theme of suicide. However Frankenstein only has suicidal thoughts and does not have the willpower to go ahead with it whereas in Jekyll and Hyde they actually commit to suicide. ...read more.

Conclusion

Self-isolation is a huge theme in both novels as: it becomes a dangerous habit for Frankenstein, Walton, the creature and Dr Jekyll. Frankenstein?s overall attitude to life and dealing with the consequences of his action are monstrous. He decides that he is not going to tell Elizabeth about his horrific creation until they are married. ?I will confide this tale of misery and terror to you the day after our marriage? there must be perfect confidence between us?I know you will comply?. Frankenstein has made this decision because once they are married she is bound to him. It is monstrous of him to afflict his lifestyle on a female. However during the 1800?s this was seen to be normal whereas the modern generation will see this as outrageous and immoral. I conclude that Mary Shelley has conveyed the idea of monstrosity very clearly throughout Frankenstein, the language and structure has played a key part in this. Frankenstein?s mental evilness helps us to visualise the way in which Shelley wants to portray him as a character, and show that the way he thinks and reacts to situations that he is no more in control of is being evil, and going against everything he believes in. The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde helps to understand the idea of monstrosity and how it can be related in different characters ...read more.

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