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For Whom Does the Reader Feel More Sympathy: Victor Frankenstein or The Creature?

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Introduction

Hannah Green GCSE Prose study For Whom Does the Reader Feel More Sympathy: Victor Frankenstein or The Creature? Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus was written by Mary Shelley and was published in 1818. The creation of the book started when Mary Shelley and her controversial partner Percy Shelley were staying in Geneva with her step sister and Lord Byron. Mary was listening to a discussion about whether scientist could create human life. That night she had a nightmare about the creation of life, and this is what triggered her to write Frankenstein. The book is about ethics and challenges the reader to think about what they believe is right and wrong, such as, whether Victor creating the creature was right or wrong. Inspiration for the novel came from a Greek mythology tale about Prometheus who is accused of stealing fire from the god Zeus, to give to the mortals he had created. This relates to Victor creating the creature. This is shown in the title Frankenstein; or, The modern Prometheus. Showing that Mary Shelley knew about the literacy heritage. Mary Shelley was born in 1797 into a world of scientific and artistic revolution. She was the daughter of Mary Wollstonecraft a writer and one of the first feminist figures of the time wanting equality between the sexes and William Godwin a philosopher and novelist who had some revolutionary ideas such as ' everyone should act for the good of mankind; otherwise, selfishness would lead to a breakdown in society'. ...read more.

Middle

When he looked into the 'dull yellow eyes' of the creature for the first time he realises the enormity of what he has done and his heart is filled with 'breathless horror and disgust'. Victor ends up creating his own hell: 'it became a thing such as even, Dante could not have conceived' Mary Shelley allows the reader to explore a deeper and darker psychological side to Victor's character. She does this using a dream or nightmare that uses typical gothic characteristics. Dreams normally allow deeper feelings to surface these could be socially unacceptable desires such as the Oedipus complex which is wanting to sleep with your mother. This is reflected in the dream: 'I embraced her, but as I imprinted the first kiss on her lips, they became livid with the hue of death;....I thought I held the corpse of my dead mother in my arms' When Victor goes to kiss his fianc´┐Ż and adopted sister Elizabeth she turns into the corpse of his dead mother. This hints that Victor associates sex with death, because he saw his mother die horrifically by childbirth, which is connected to sex. This could be linked with his and Elizabeth's relationship. They grow up together having a pre-sexual relationship, Victor may feel that if he marries Elizabeth there relationship will stay pre-sexual whereas if he marries someone else outside of the family he might have to have sex. ...read more.

Conclusion

This sentence has two effects on the reader, it allows me as the reader to see how the creature is feeling also the language technique of breaking the sentence up into small sections of two to three words that Mary Shelley uses makes me as the reader feel uncomfortable and uneasy as it does not flow well. This also relates to how society feels when they first meet the creature. Thus creating more sympathy for the creature. In conclusion I feel that Mary Shelley did not intend to create more sympathy for either character, but what she did do was create a deep and thought provoking novel that allowed the reader to come to there own conclusion. The use of language enabled Mary Shelley to make the novel interesting for the reader with the different techniques that she uses, which allows the reader to see the deeper psychological thoughts of each characters enabling the reader to see the different sides to both Victor and the creature meaning that they can come to there own decision on who deserves the most sympathy. This is why in my opinion the creature deserves the sympathy because he did not chose to be created, he did not chose to be evil but was pushed to it because he was abandoned and didn't know right from wrong due to not having the father figure in his life. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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