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Explore the way Mary Shelley presents the character of the Monster in Frankenstein

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Frankenstein Essay Explore the way Mary Shelley presents the character of the Monster in 'Frankenstein' The gothic novel 'Frankenstein' written by Mary Shelley in 1818 shows two complex protagonists, Victor Frankenstein and the Monster. Today the Monster is one of the most memorable gothic horror characters of all time; being named the Monster people would automatically presume it would be a negative and grotesque character. However in this novel the Monster can be perceived in two different ways, an evil murdering creature or a victim of a selfish experiment. The truth is the Monster is a mixture of the two perceptions and this is what Shelley shows throughout the novel. The novel 'Frankenstein' can be seen as a typical Gothic novel. A gothic novel is a genre of literature that combines both horror and romance; these elements are both evident in 'Frankenstein', from the gruesome murders to the relationship and marriage of Victor and Elizabeth Frankenstein. However this novel slightly differs from other murder and dark sexuality influenced gothic novels as this gothic novel was influenced by the power of science. The Monster is the result of Victor's obsessive and compulsive view of science, and of life; literally sewn together from old body parts Victor Frankenstein created a life, defying all laws and morals, the story unfolds from a science experiment. The novel deals with physics, biology and the future rather than ghosts and supernatural events of the past which traditional gothic novels do. Before the Monster has even taken his first breath Shelley prepares the reader for the Monster, to give them a rough idea of what she is about to present: I collected bones from charnel houses; and disturbed, with profane fingers, the tremendous secrets of the human frame Victor Frankenstein went to hospitals, graves and morgues stealing body parts of the deceased to create the Monster. He was so determined to complete it that he was willing to break the law to gain his resources. ...read more.


Frankenstein ruined the Monsters one chance to be happy by not going through with the making of the female companion. Revenge was sweet to the Monster and the feeling of accomplishment is shown in his actions. The readers would have been very sympathetic towards Elizabeth's death, as in the novel we get told that, 'Everyone adored Elizabeth' and like all the Monsters victims she was also innocent. Shelley chose the Monster's victims to be innocent as the Monster himself was once innocent before he himself was subjected to a loss, a loss of a father figure, a part of him was killed; Shelley is just showing the Monster doing what was done onto him. As the Monster becomes more powerful he becomes more dangerous; gaining adrenaline from watching Victor suffer : Slave, I before reasoned with you...I am your master-obey! The Monster starts to feel he is superior to others, he has realised the extent of his strength and bullying and he is using it to his full capacity. 'Master' and 'obey' these words show the Monster taking the role of a master where he now feels he must be bowed down to and respected. 'Slave' is used very strongly here as it signifies the Monster's lack of respect towards people; he now feels no sympathy for anything or anyone and treats all humans the same. Shelley is portraying the Monster to be a devil, due to the monstrosities of his actions the readers cannot reason, or side with the Monster as he is now able to know right from wrong but he is choosing to do wrong. On the other hand throughout this novel Shelley uses many ways for the reader to create sympathy for the Monster in which making it hard to make a correct perception of him. The Monster spends his first few days of life being repeatedly rejected. First of all the Monster is rejected by his creator Victor Frankenstein, upon trying to interact and seek attention from his father, Victor runs away leaving the Monster to fend for himself in the world. ...read more.


Any successful novel will feature complex characters as these characters insert reader interaction. Mary Shelley can be seen as a Romantic writer. The Romantics were a group of writers/ novelists and poets in the 19th century. They were writing at a time of tremendous change in Europe. A romantic novel such as Frankenstein contains a romantic hero- this is a main character who goes through great suffering on his journey. Victor is this novel's romantic hero; he attempts to do something amazing but pays the ultimate price; Victors' creation of the Monster also ties in with the French Revolution. In 1789 a revolution occurred in France. The King Louis XVI and his Queen, Marie Antoinette were overthrown and executed. Thousands died in the following years as a new republic was formed. This revolution was based on strong idealistic and rational ideas and motives but it just ended in a lot of suffering and bloodshed. This links to Victor and his actions; he tried to do something fantastic and new but the results were disastrous. Shelley thought very hard about how she wanted to present the Monster. Society is the biggest monster in this novel, and it has left us to think about our own actions: I ought to be thy Adam, but I am rather the fallen angel... The Monster was created just like Adam in the bible but then cast out of his kingdom/home just like Satan. He was not asked to be made but then was treated like a scam. The Monster is sickened and revolted by all that he has done. This shows that the Monster is not as evil as he is perceived, as evil people are not able to feel guilt or have a sort of forgiving conscience. The Monster is saddened by the death of Victor even though Victor treated him horribly. Even after all he has been through he is able to forgive. The Monster then leaves and kills himself in a far-off forest. ?? ?? ?? ?? Chiago Tabansi 1 | Page ...read more.

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Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

3 star(s)

This essay has the potential to be excellent. It is well written and well structured and remains focused on the question. It offers alternative interpretations and discusses the main themes and ideas in the novel intelligently.
BUT in discussing these themes and ideas the essay becomes merely descriptive and in places whole paragraphs are dedicated to narration of the story line. There is very little language analysis of the quotes used and therefore no chance to gain points for accurately using literary terminology.

Marked by teacher Katie Dixon 29/05/2012

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