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'Did I request thee, Maker, from my clay/ To mould thee man? Did I solicit thee/ From darkness to promote me?' Adam's words appear in 1818 edition of FR. What light do they cast on the Creature? Does Shelley present him as monster or victim?

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Introduction

'Did I request thee, Maker, from my clay/ To mould thee man? Did I solicit thee/ From darkness to promote me?' Adam's words appear in 1818 edition of FR. What light do they cast on the Creature? Does Shelley present him as monster or victim? By using the above quote from 'Paradise Lost' (printed in the epigraph on the title page of 'Frankenstein') Shelley has shown that she does see some parallels with God's creation of man and Frankenstein's creation. However through the novel Shelley expresses many opinions and criticisms of society which were influenced by her own family circumstances and her vast reading. She makes constant reference to family and the concept of alienation and by examining how the creature is treated we can form a better view on whether he is a monster or a victim. Shelley quickly gets the reader involved in the story by enabling us to read the letters Walton writes to his sister. This epistolary style gives a sense of realism to the whole story and thus prepares us to hear Frankenstein and the creature's accounts later on through Walton's journal, which forms a frame for their versions of the story. ...read more.

Middle

This is a description of a storm which is taking place and Shelley frequently uses the weather and 'sublime' scenery before the entry of the creature or when something unpleasant is about to take place. If we then start to look at the creature's narrative reported by Frankenstein to Walton (thus showing how Shelley has used a set of enclosing narratives - Walton's narrative being the framing narrative with Frankenstein's story enclosed in this and the creatures enclosed within that.) we see that his story is totally the opposite to Frankenstein. When we do see the entry of the creature we see that his first memories are the opposite to Frankenstein's, they are not of benevolence - he is rejected by his creator, followed by the repulsion and horror of the shepherd, followed by the villagers chasing him off and the DeLaceys and finally after saving the life of a young girl he is shot by a man. Accordingly, in his own words: 'I was benevolent and good; misery made me a fiend'. The idea of the unfallen state of innocence possessed before the creature's corruption, brought about from his contact with society, is something Shelley had come into contact with from her reading of Rousseau's books. ...read more.

Conclusion

Consequently, it is my opinion the creature was a victim and that this is the way that Shelley intended us to judge him. She wished the readers to see that society has a responsibility for everyone. We should not judge people by their appearance and we should take responsibility for the less fortunate people in our society. She was writing at the time of the industrial revolution and when many new scientific theories were being advanced and perhaps saw the danger of what could happen if people failed to take responsibility for their actions and perhaps even believed that it would one day be possible to create beings and wanted to ensure that scientists would see that they had a responsibility for anything that they did create. The creature had no loving family or friends and no one to guide him and therefore it is inevitable that he would turn into a monster - but a monster because of the way he had been treated and therefore a victim. Am I to be thought the only criminal, when all human kind sinned against me? ...read more.

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