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English coursework - Frankenstein

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Introduction

Frankenstein Coursework To what extent do you think Shelley intends us to respond to the creature as a 'monster'? There are a number of reasons that support the opinion that the creature is a monster; his atrocious appearance unquestionably resembles that of an inhuman being, his fiendish murders are outrageous and disgraceful, and his genesis was simply an experiment of Frankenstein's. However, as the reader continues through the novel they begin to realise that despite being cursed with a ghastly appearance, the creature has the personality of a human. He endures feelings of both utter compassion and uncontrollable fury. He can distinguish between good and evil. And his despicable acts can almost be excused as people's iniquitous behaviour filled him with complete indignation as they failed to even share pleasantries with him. Therefore the creature is human in every way except for his grotesque appearance. In fact if the creature was privileged with a normal exterior then he would be no different from an infant entering the world; he has a thirst for knowledge, he desires a loved one, and he is dramatically influenced by his surroundings. Therefore, Mary Shelley creates the question: What possesses the creature to behave in such a despicable way? I believe the answer is the abysmal way in which humans behave towards him. If people didn't behave in such a hostile manner then there is no question in my mind that the creature would have behaved no differently to a typical human being. Throughout the novel the creature is consistently burdened by his hideous appearance. At the creatures creation Frankenstein describes his exterior in detail: 'His yellow skin scarcely covered the work of muscles and arteries beneath; his hair was of a lustrous black, and flowing; his teeth of a pearly whiteness; but these luxuriances only formed a more horrid contrast with his watery eyes, that seemed almost of the same colour as the dun white sockets in which they were set, his shrivelled complexion and straight black lips.' ...read more.

Middle

the second they glimpse at him. This, understandably, fills him to the brim with fury and rage until it is no longer possible to contain it, and so he commits atrocious acts which he later regrets. After hearing both sides of the story it is left to the reader to decide whether the creature is a monster or a human. However, one of the factors that convinced me that the creature is a human is what preceded the narrative. The creature pleaded with Frankenstein to create a companion for him. The creature promised that if he did then they would travel to a remote part of the earth and live peacefully. This was an obvious human emotion to desire a companion. A monster can be a recluse and live a life in solitary; however a human craves company from a companion. The creature was displaying obvious human emotion which supports the view that the creature is not a monster. However if the creature is not a monster and therefore does not kill spontaneously for no reason, something/someone must have possessed him to do these things. I am convinced that it was people's iniquitous behaviour that drove him to do these evil acts. Except for his appearance, the creature began life no different from an infant. He was interested in life and desired someone to look after him; 'Spring advanced rapidly; the weather became fine, and the skies cloudless. It surprised me that what before was desert and gloomy should now bloom with the most beautiful flowers and verdure.' The quote explains that the creature began life with a calm and tranquil personality, and as any newborn child he is interested in everything that takes place in its surroundings. However as his creator fled the minute of his creation he had no-one to teach him the basic principles of life. Immediately the creature, which already had the disadvantage of his appearance, was now alone in the world with no-one to love and no-one who loved him. ...read more.

Conclusion

Ugly wretch! You wish to eat me, and tear me to pieces - You are an ogre - let me go, or I will tell my papa.' The creature had already explained that he had no intentions to hurt or harm the boy, but because the creature is different and alien, he is immediately associated with evil, and must be avoided. Mary Shelley creates a variety of interesting points throughout the novel; that we should except death and take solace in the fact that we will hopefully be reunited one day in heaven. Therefore we should not be saddened and try to control the natural process of life, but enjoy experience. Mary Shelley also warned the reader about the dangers of unknown science, and that even an experiment designed to help humanity can have disastrous consequences. However, the most inspiring point created was the connection between the French revolution and the novel. It opened the readers mind to the prejudice and discrimination that the human race evilly portray. Anything alien or different must be associated with evil, which is a fundamental flaw of society that is near impossible to eliminate. We are, as a race, extremely narrow minded. In the novel we failed to overlook the creature's repulsive appearance and treated him with complete contempt and disdain. This story illustrates the intolerant and callous society, and no matter how considerate and selfless a person is, we will still torment and ridicule them if they are in any way different to ourselves. Therefore, I disagree that the creature is a fiend as although he is cursed with a grotesque appearance that does not make him a monster, and although he committed several fiendish acts he is not accountable for this as it is merely a consequence of humans disgraceful behaviour, however as the creature endures feelings of both compassion and rage, as he can distinguish between good and evil, and as he desires more than the basic necessities of hunger, shelter and thirst, I believe that the creature must be described as essentially human. ?? ?? ?? ?? Nick O'Ferrall 1 ...read more.

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