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Explore the function of monstrosity in Mary Shelley's

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Explore the function of monstrosity in Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" 'Frankenstein' is a piece of Gothic literature and was written in the Romantic era. It was published in the 19th Century and was written by Mary Shelley. 'Frankenstein' was considered to be one of the most evil horror stories of its time; it shocked and surprised its readership due the controversial issues that it addressed. It was inconceivable that an author could engage with the idea of creating a being from body parts and bringing it to life. This raised many issues such as, should we have the right to play God? In the novel Mary Shelley writes about tragedy, death and romance. It was thought that perhaps many of the events in her life may have influenced the events in the story as she suffered a number of tragedies in her life, two of which where the premature deaths of her mother and son. In relation to the novel I think that this is very significant. This is significant because the character of Elizabeth relates to Mary Shelley in numerous ways: the first being that Elizabeth's mother dies as did Mary's when both girls were still young. ...read more.


His 'agitation and anguish through the whole trial was extreme.' He sat and watched while Justine bravely faced the consequences of his actions; she was hanged. In my opinion, it is appalling that Victor was willing to let Justine bear the consequences of his actions, when she was completely innocent. This presents Frankenstein in an even more hideous light than his creation, as he could have saved her life by confessing, but chose not to. Justine died frightened and perplexed as she knew nothing of the monster and was completely unaware of how she had become involved in this situation. Even after the conclusion of the trial, Victor's family remained oblivious of their son's creation, yet he still decided to leave them in the dark even after the deaths of Justine and William; the results of his deceitfulness and secrecy. Frankenstein's decision not to proclaim Justine's innocence could be viewed as a far more serious transgression than the monster's insincerity. His confession would have been the means of clearing Justine of the fallacious accusations that were being made against her. Mary Shelly has used dramatic irony within the novel and Justine's trial exemplifies this. We are aware that Frankenstein has created a monster and that it is responsible for the death of William; Frankenstein also knows this, but the other characters are unaware. ...read more.


The reader can now visualize a gaunt and withered Frankenstein; now weak and frail in stark contrast to his appearance at the start of the novel. He has been consumed by his dream; the desire to create a being. Frankenstein is now the antithesis of his former self. Shelley has also used poems such as Coleridge's 'Ancient Mariner' to express feelings and thoughts on creation. She selected the following extract, "Like one, that on a lonesome road Doth walk in fear and dread, And having once turned round walks on, And turns no more his head; Because he knows, a frightful fiend Doth close behind him tread." In the poem the 'frightful fiend' is the albatross, whereas in the novel it is the monster. The sailors are terrified of encountering the albatross and this line illustrates this, 'Doth close behind him tread.' Frankenstein is also frightened as he knows that the monster is searching for him and that he is going to have to encounter him at some stage. Mary Shelley has utilized different aspects of monstrosity in the novel to substantiate the observation that monstrosity does not only relate to the appearance of an individual, but also to his actions. She has used monstrosity to highlight all the varied events within the novel, such as, Justine's trial and Frankenstein's creation of the monster. Ella Foncel 10W 1 ...read more.

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