• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Creature or monster? How does Shelley's presentation of the creature (and Frankenstein) create sympathy or horror at different stages of the novel?

Extracts from this document...


Creature or monster? How does Shelley's presentation of the creature (and Frankenstein) create sympathy or horror at different stages of the novel? The classic novel 'Frankenstein' was published in 1818 and was written by Mary Shelley. When the book was written in the 18th Century there great supernatural beliefs which Shelley used to influence the mood, tone and characters of the story. Shelley had the idea to write about a monstrous creation that was gentle and tender hearted, but was physically ugly and inspired fear into those who met him. Shelley wrote the story to challenge society and question their views of morality. The stereotypical idea that a monster is a hideous, deformed creature that appears in horror films and nightmares is only thought of as the creature generally acts and behaves monstrously, doing harmful actions with no consideration or feelings. It is often only the behaviour of the creature that defines it as a monster rather than its physical appearance. The idea of a student of natural philosophy creating a living being would be as well received today as it was back in the 18th Century. In the 18th Century people feared God and believed that life and death was best left to a higher force to control. Shelley shows this in Frankenstein's realisation of his mistake, when he has finished assembling the creature out of dead criminals. ...read more.


I felt what the duties of a creator towards his creature were and that I ought to tender him happy before I complained of his wickedness." The creature explains his current situation to Frankenstein and tells him that he only wants to feel loved and wanted by someone who can understand his predicament and also be in the same situation as he is. He says to Frankenstein that the way to remedy the situation is to give him a companion that looks feels and acts exactly like him, as he states, "Our lives will not be happy but they will be harmless, and free from the misery I feel now. Oh! My creator make me happy; let me feel gratitude towards you for one benefit! Let me see that I excited the sympathy of some existing thing; do not deny me of my request!" The creature also makes the promise that if his requests are not met he will be with them on their wedding night as an unwanted and uninvited guest. Once again Frankenstein sets out to create another creature as a mate for the original creation. Consequently this time his conscience kicks in and he stops creating as he realises that the creatures could now quite possibly do twice the damage. In doing this he denies his responsibility to his creature, breaks a promise and in fact, when he overhears someone labelling him as a bad conscience, he ...read more.


If Frankenstein had of taken this advice then many of the problems that arise could've easily been avoided. Also in the novel is that character of Frankenstein's unnamed creation which is included to convey another form of loneliness to help understand the character further. The creature's loneliness causes him to perform horrible deeds because it too desires a companion. In order to obtain a companion the creature kills whoever it meets until it finds Victor, so that it can demand another creation. Although the creature seems to be a victim of its own ignorance, it does express human emotion and feels its troubles will be over when it finds a mate. Although the creature does things which are horrifying he is much less monstrous than Frankenstein- who is the ultimate monster. Victor acts with indifference to society and hatred towards his creation. While the creature cannot be to blame for the deaths of Frankenstein's family, as it was not taught right from wrong, it was Victor who brought it about through his monstrous treatment of the creature. It is actions that reveal if a person is truly a monster (rather than physical appearance) and Victor's selfishness and lack of compassion definitely place him as the true monster of the novel. Victor also withholds sympathy form the being he formed and in the process denies his moral obligation, all the while refusing to point an accusing finger at himself, making Victor more of a monster than the creature could ever be. ...read more.

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.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Mary Shelley essays

  1. Peer reviewed

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

    3 star(s)

    They both make each other's bad events and their ways of mind stand out, making the reader feel more compassionate towards whoever is narrating. Victor shows hatred towards the creation and the creation feels likewise towards Victor. This novel is very much an up to date reflection of the story of Creation in the Bible.

  2. How does Mary Shelley create sympathy for the monster in "Frankenstein"?

    The reader's feelings of empathy and compassion are stirred. We have all felt lonely at some time. His innocence is seen in the simplicity of his language and actions, his description of the birds as 'little winged animals' has a child-like quality.

  1. For Whom Does the Reader Feel More Sympathy: Victor Frankenstein or The Creature?

    Throughout the novel Mary Shelley uses a lot of connotations of dramatic/horror words such as: 'dull yellow eye'. This at first means that the creatures eyes were dull and yellow but it also means that there is something evil in the way he looks.

  2. How does Shelley create sympathy for the Monster, as well as for Victor Frankenstein, ...

    He says, "How can I describe emotions of this catastrophe", and, "Breathless horror and disgust filled my heart." This shows he is so disgusted with his years of work it is impossible to describe how he feels. Words like, "breathless horror", really make use of the gothic scenery tying in

  1. Who do you feel more sympathy for- Frankenstein or the monster?

    Her lover was the infamous Percy Shelley; Mary was pregnant with his baby. After that, her father did not talk to her for 2 years. Mary Shelley gave birth to her daughter Clara two weeks premature. Clara died a couple of weeks later.

  2. How Does Mary Shelly Create Sympathy For The Creature In Frankenstein

    Frankenstein has become more enraged with anger at the sight of the creature and is yelling hollow threats.

  1. How does Mary Shelley make the Reader feel Sympathy for the Creature Frankenstein?

    Victor Frankenstein's creature senses beauty and enjoys it. He particularly likes birds and calls them "little winged animals". He especially enjoys their singing. "I was delighted when I when I first discovered that a pleasant sound, which often saluted my ears, proceed from the throats of the little winged animals."

  2. How is the creature presented in chapters 11-16 of Frankenstein?

    It shows he is attracted to women because he quoted a line in which he proves he likes women because it made him fell tempted. Moreover, further confirmation of the monster being fascinated towards the womenfolk, is when he describes Safie in chapter 13.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work