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Explore Shelley's presentation of the impact of the Creature in the light of this comment

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Introduction

The Creature is described as ' a fiend of unparalleled barbarity', yet many modern readers may sympathise with him. Explore Shelley's presentation of the impact of the Creature in the light of this comment. It is my view, that the Creature may be seen from two main perspectives, on the one hand he may be seen as a "Monster", "a fiend of unparalleled barbarity" and on the other he may be seen as a victim with whom the reader may sympathise. Out of the three narratives in the book, the one which occupies that major part of the book I that of Victor Frankenstein. It is from his perspective that we are imparted most of the evidence which may lead us to consider the Creature as a 'Fiend of unparalleled barbarity.' Throughout Frankenstein's framed narrative, he refer to the Creature as "daemon", "devil" or "wretch and perhaps (one may consider) with good reason considering the creature's actions after his creation. Firstly, the Creature murdered Victor's youngest brother William, an innocent child. However, the Creature's true intentions when committing the murder remain unclear, as the Creature says, "I grasped throat to silence him, and in a moment he lay dead at my feet." ...read more.

Middle

The creature continues to portray himself as a being of great evil as he moves to incriminate, and as a result indirectly cause the death of, Justine. And finally he murders the innocent Elizabeth. The Creature also reveals numerous endearing qualities within the play which may lead any reader to feel at least some degree of sympathy for the Creature. The major reason being the Rousseauan idea of the 'noble savage.' The idea being man in primitive society is more noble than modern urban man corrupted by civilization. The Creature as we see in the novel is intrinsically a benevolent and good Creature, born with the benevolent intention of a rational sentient human being. We see this through his acts of kindness such as saving a drowning child and replenishing the wood store of the De Lacey's. One may also consider his self-educated eloquence as something to be admired, like the people of Baile Beag in Brian Friel's Translations the Creature "expend[s] on [his] vocabulary and syntax acquisitive energy energies and ostentations entirely lacking in [his] material life". On the other hand, the Creature, despite his eloquence, may also be shown to be evil through his own admissions, as his horrific threats would, without a shadow of a doubt, "curdle the blood" of Frankenstein. ...read more.

Conclusion

Perhaps this is felt more so by the modern reader, as we now live in a multicultural society and are used to accepting outsider. As a result of this, coupled with an increased understanding of different cultures we now generally find the idea of racial prejudice appalling. Not so perhaps for the reader of 1831, who would have regarded racism against Islam, and particularly the Turks as something which was socially acceptable, this prohibiting from any form of empathy with the Creature. In conclusion, despite the Creature's clearly appalling actions throughout the novel, I assert that these perhaps may be a result of the environment into which the Creature is created, just like a child born into an unstable and abusive household may often grow into an unstable and abusive person the Creature "born" into an abhorrent, un-accepting, unforgiving and violent world becomes abhorrent and violent himself, acting only the way others have acted towards him, with the utmost hate and unjustifiable violence, and it is because (I believe) the Creature is only a result of the environment into which he is created, a product of nurture as opposed to nature, that many modern readers sympathise with him. ...read more.

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