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Examine the Concept of Monsters and the Monstrous in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

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Introduction

Examine the Concept of Monsters and the Monstrous in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Sohrab Khan 10S2 Miss Hutton "Frankenstein" has a variety of monsters and monstrous things/incidents within it, however I am jus going to focus on some main aspects of the monsters and monstrous. Shelley got the idea for "Frankenstein" whilst she was on holiday. AS well as being challenged by Lord Byron to produce a horror novel, she was also influenced death many times; she was abandoned and had a literacy upbringing. Shelley relates her story to fears which were carried by many humans at that time. As a lot of science was happening people thought God would get upset and not want humans to interfere with what he/she had created. In the late 18th century and early 19th centuries science was rapidly progressing. Experiments and techniques using dead animals and humans were also increasing e.g. galvanism bringing drowning victims "back to life". Ideas and fears of grave digging and experimenting with human bodies were also increasing. This was frightening as many people believed it may prevent resting in peace. On one hand, the scientific discoveries and experiment were exciting, but on the other it was terrifying. The key fear was that man was trying to "play God" and this was an action against God and could end in disaster. ...read more.

Middle

He is filled with bitter thoughts and is filled with sorrow about his repulsive appearance. He also thinks of Victor bitterly, "He had abandoned me, and in the bitterness of my heart I cursed him." His spirits are momentarily lifted when he 'introduces' himself to old man De Lacey. The creature approaches the old man because he is blind and can't judge him by his appearance as everyone else does. He finds comfort for the first time in months when the old man offers to help him and gives him the friendship he craves. He receives the contact with humans which he has desired for so long. However, when the old man's son Felix returns, he reacts in just the way the creature suspected he would and beats him and throws the creature out. The creature learns the vicious cruelty of man towards those not like themselves, "At once so powerful, so virtuous and magnificent, yet so vicious and base." He realises that he has no family and friends to turn to and with a deformed and detested appearance is the ultimate alien, "I saw and heard of none like me." This pitiful picture of a figure with not much hope in the world makes the reader sympathetic. ...read more.

Conclusion

She also makes Victor and the creature tell the tale; this is clever as it gives the reader different points of view and not just a 2D point of view all through the story. A moral which is relevant to this story is - "Man should not try to play God" Victor in the novel tries to take up the role of God by creating a human and there are obvious consequences to this action. "Don't judge a book by its cover" The creature was constantly judged by the way it looked; this action is prejudice and in some ways I can understand why the creature reacted in what it did. Frankenstein is still relevant to today. It's the same as the row over human cloning. People don't like to think that cloning can happen, they feel that it is unnatural and against God. They think that a population increase would mean we would need to make more products which we can't afford to. Several animals have already been cloned e.g. Dolly the sheep. Cloned foetuses are being used for experiments. It seems like it's a race for the first person to create a human clone. Genetic engineering can be good to prevent disease. However people fear that interfering with nature could have terrifying consequences. No diversity between humans could end human race. Sohrab Khan English 10S2 Miss Hutton ...read more.

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