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Which character does the reader have more sympathy for: Frankenstein or his creation?

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Introduction

Which character does the reader have more sympathy for: Frankenstein or his creation? After a careful read of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein I have come to the conclusion that I feel sorrier for Frankenstein's creation than I do for Frankenstein himself. The main reason for this is how much choice the pair of them had. In my opinion the monster is in a worse situation as it was given life without being consulted. The monster may or may not have wanted life, but nevertheless it didn't have a choice. On the other hand Frankenstein had a great deal of choice in what he was doing and a very long time in which he could consider his actions (he was even advised against it). Due to these reasons I feel more sympathy towards the monster than I do towards Victor Frankenstein. ...read more.

Middle

Just like this Shelley often determines sympathy using a very clever choice of language. She allows us to think and feel exactly how she wants us to but also, amazingly, manages to make us think how she wants us to. This is the genius of how the story of Frankenstein is told. The story of Frankenstein is told in a rather unusual way for a novel, in first person narrative. This, whilst being unorthodox, is an extremely effective way of telling Frankenstein. The first person narrative really allows the reader to see things from the three different narrator's points of view. For example when the monster is at the De Lacey's house the story is being told from its point of view. If the story were simply being told in an orthodox manner we would feel differently. For example if it said: 'The monster was caught lurking near the house and, fearing for his family, the old man bravely protected his household by shooting at the vile creature.,' we would all immediately side with the De Laceys. ...read more.

Conclusion

The phrase 'fatal prejudice' explains exactly what people are doing to the monster and how it is just as bad as racism or anything like that. We make a judgment before we hear the monster's side of the story. Before we hear the monster's side we think of the monster in a very negative way. Frankenstein often uses nasty words to describe the monster and this forms the reader's opinion. Before we even hear the monster speak we make a negative judgment on it. This is very clever writing by Shelley as it is making us do exactly what the other characters in the book do to the monster. Once we hear the monster speak we change our opinions however whereas the other characters do not. Frankenstein and the creature both have very intriguing final speeches which further help us to make judgments on them both. ...read more.

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