• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley is a complex novel that was written during the age of Romanticism. It contains many typical themes of a common Romantic novel such as dark laboratories, the moon, and a monster; however, Frankenstein is anything but a common novel. Many lessons are embedded into this novel, including how society acts towards the different. The monster fell victim to the system commonly used to characterize a person by only his or her outer appearance. Whether people like it or not, society always summarizes a person's characteristics by his or her physical appearance. Society has set an unbreakable code individuals must follow to be accepted. Those who don't follow the "standard" are hated by the crowd and banned for the reason of being different. When the monster ventured into a town"...[monster] had hardly placed [his] foot within the door ...children shrieked, and ...women fainted" (101). From that moment on he realized that people did not like his appearance and hated him because of it. If villagers didn't run away at the sight of him, then they might have even enjoyed his personality. The monster tried to accomplish this when he encountered the De Lacey family. The monster hoped to gain friendship from the old man and eventually his children. He knew that it could have been possible because the old man was blind, he could not see the monster's repulsive characteristics. ...read more.

Middle

This particularly is seen in his interactions with the DeLacy family. He secretly aided them in their daily chores, to the point that they referred to him as a "good spirit" (969). Even more importantly, he shared their emotions. The Creature states: The gentle manners and beauty of the cottagers greatly endeared them to me: when they were unhappy, I felt depressed; when they rejoiced, I sympathized in their joys (968). It is here that the Creature distinguishes himself as the opposite of a monster, for he exhibits sympathy and compassion. Unfortunately, this condition did not last; and essential to the issue at hand is the reason for his transformation from sympathetic creature to heartless monster. It is clear that the catalyst to this change began with rejection by his creator, and ended with horrific isolation resulting from a broken promise from Victor. This isolation, in turn, drove the Creature to a murderous rampage. He admits that "impotent envy and bitter indignation filled me with an insatiable thirst for vengeance" (1032). It was indeed this desire for revenge that led the Creature to his monstrous behavior. Virtually all readers would readily recognize the transformation of the Creature from benevolent being to murderous monster. However, what is not so easily observed is the change in Victor Frankenstein from noble scientist to hardened monster. At the beginning of the story, Victor is an ambitious scholar with lofty goals. ...read more.

Conclusion

Furthermore, because he was the one with the moral obligation, his responsibility was greater. Yet not even on his deathbed would he acknowledge wrongdoing. It is this remorseless, unsympathetic lack of regard for a dependent that makes Victor the greater monster. In conclusion, when "monster" is defined as refusing to sympathize with the pains of another, it is clear that there are two monsters present in Frankenstein. The Creature evolved from a kind-hearted being to one who sought vengeance upon his maker. Likewise, Victor transformed from a noble, ambitious scientist into a heartless person who lacked moral responsibility. Of the two, Victor is the man who fits the definition of monster most closely. Not only did he continue his unsympathetic attitude toward his creation until his death, but he also had the greater moral obligation, which makes his lack of compassion all the more loathsome. This paper began with a quote that could have easily been attributed to either character. It will now end with another quote which, while meant for the Creature, is more appropriate for the unsympathetic, self-justifying Victor: It is well that you come her to whine over the desolation that you have made. You throw a torch into a pile of buildings, and when they are consumed you sit among the ruins, and lament the fall (1032). Victor is the ultimate monster because he withholds compassion and sympathy from the being he formed and--in the process--denies his moral obligation, all the while refusing to point an accusing finger at himself. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Mary Shelley section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Mary Shelley essays

  1. Compare and Contrast "Frankenstein" by Mary Shelley and "Flowers For Algernon" by Daniel Keyes, ...

    torn, misshaped and his body is out of scale, giving him the stereotypical image of an ogre, this description reflects the time of that the book was written, as it seems rather dated, but would have been the only kind of monster the reading audience would have been able to

  2. Explore Mary Shelley's attitude to Monstrosity in 'Frankenstein' through a comparison of the depiction ...

    The impressions that we get from Victor's narrative story are that the 'monster' is a bloodthirsty creation and a danger to society. We develop our final thoughts regarding the 'monster' when we understand what misery he has been put through and how he should have had Victor's acceptance - after all, Victor was the monster's creator.

  1. Examine the ways in which Mary Shelley engages the readers sympathies for the monster.

    Another human approached and presuming the Monster was the reasoning for the child's unconsciousness, he tore the girl from his arms and when the Monster drew near, aimed a gun and fired at the Creatures body. This shows that even though the Monster was still recovering from the effect of

  2. How does Mary Shelley influence the readers response towards Victor Frankenstein and the creature?

    The way he describes the fact that he spent two whole years of his life committed to the creation of the monster and he gets nothing but a 'wretch' from it makes the reader feel extreme sympathy for Victor and almost angers the reader at the monster for not being of Victors expectations.

  1. Frankenstein's Creature: Monster or Victim

    Walton gives the reader a first impression on Victor, whom he rescues from the harsh bitterly cold of the Artic. Walton description of Victor makes the reader sympathise with his appearance. Walton describes him as 'his limbs were nearly frozen, and his body dreadfully emaciated by fatigue and suffering' Mary

  2. Frankenstein - In What ways is Mary Shelley commenting on the human condition and ...

    He knows the destruction of the female monster could result in his own death but for once he is selfless and takes responsibility. Unlike his first venture, he is thinking of the greater-good rather than his own happiness. In the beginning of the novel we see the development of Victor's ambition from healthy to obsessive.

  1. Frankenstein was written by Mary Shelley when she was only eighteen years old after ...

    p.62 Towards the end of the novel, many changes, somewhat ironic, become apparent. Firstly is the transformation of Victor Frankenstein from a happy, innocent and bright little boy with a loving family and a contented childhood to a guilt-ridden man, obsessed by his work.

  2. Sympathy for the Devil? How does Mary Shelley persuade the reader to pity ...

    He develops a fondness for his adopted sister Elizabeth. "No word, no expression could body forth the kind of relation in which she stood to me - more than my sister, since till death she was to be mine only." This shows Frankenstein has strong feelings towards Elizabeth because he sees her as more than a sister and he wants her to only be his.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work