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To what extent can the reader sympathise with the creature in Frankenstein?

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Introduction

´╗┐To what extent can the reader sympathise with the creature in Frankenstein? The cruel and heartlessness of monsters are often used in Gothic fiction to create a feeling of horror and terror in the reader. In Frankenstein, Shelley takes the creature further than this by providing him with human qualities making him more abhuman. Sympathy is created for the creature by centring him as the victim of the novel as he is rejected by his creator and society making him relatable to the reader and provoking pity. However the creature?s monstrous turn in using violent behaviour, and initial bias already set up by Victor?s descriptions make it difficult for the reader to sympathise with him. Shelley directs sympathy to the creature by placing him as the victim of the novel. ...read more.

Middle

Despite the horrific language used to describe the creature, such as ?wretch? and ?miserable deformity?, the reader is able to look past the language as we do not visually see the creature giving the reader a chance to listen to the creature?s eloquence and pitiable story. However this further heightens our sympathies as the creature believes that his knowledge will help him to be accepted however nobody is able to look past his appearance. The frame narrative provides the reader with three points of view; by first hearing Frankenstein?s point of view the reader initially feels negatively towards the creature, however after hearing the creature?s own point of view it becomes obvious that Frankenstein is exaggerating and pity is created for the creature by hearing his story. Also by closing the narrative with the creature, it ends the novel with the reader?s sympathies at a climax for him. ...read more.

Conclusion

Victor gives a bias account of his story, giving the creature with horrific descriptions such as ?the filthy daemon? and ?the devil? which leads the reader to have already formed their opinion of him before hearing his story making us less likely to sympathise. To conclude I believe that ultimately the readers sympathies to lay with the creature. Although it is not his fault how he looks, he tries to make up for his physical appearance by learning the way of man and humanizing himself. All the characters in the novel are unwilling to try to understand or accept him which is more upsetting for the reader as we see he is capable of emotion but destined to exist on the outside of humanity. Although he does turn to malicious behaviour, it can to some extent be justified and understood by the reader, ultimately leaving out sympathies with the creature rather than Victor. ...read more.

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