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Frankenstein by Mary Shelley - Critique of Society for Causing the Creture's Actions

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Introduction

Year 11 English Literature Prose Fiction Assessment Frankenstein Frankenstein is a novel by Mary Shelley that was constructed in order to provide a critique of society through the characterisation of several key figures. Shelley is commenting on the effect that society has on the innocent and on the importance that is placed on appearance. Frankenstein offers a perspective that while in the novel, blame for the Monster's actions can be seen to fall on the shoulders of Victor, the Monster and several other characters, Shelley does this in order to criticise the society she lived in and its corruption and rejection of the innocent because of their materialistic ideals. This is achieved through the criticism of Victor Frankenstein, the Monster and the people the Monster encounters on its journey, who all represent aspects of society. Throughout Frankenstein, Mary Shelley suggests that every being is created as an innocent; however it is society's views that interfere with its purity. This is obvious when the Creature is denied kindness wherever it travels, demonstrating the flawed and shallow nature of mankind and our inability to accept those who we perceive as different. ...read more.

Middle

Such a start in life, combined with the rejection the Creature received everywhere it went would surely deteriorate the kind and compassionate nature of the Monster until all that would remain is the monster that the people he encountered claimed to see in him. A creator is responsible for teaching the creation morals, which is something Victor did not do, showing in him a careless disregard for the consequences of his obsession with creating life. During the novel, the Monster reads Paradise Lost and quotes 'Like Adam I was united to no other being in existence; but his state was far different to mine in every other respect. He had come forth from the hands of God, a happy prosperous creature, guarded by special care of his creator...'. Through this statement, Shelley is putting forward her views of how Victor is implicated as a 'god', who had a duty to his creation just as God had for Adam, however one which he in no way takes responsibility for. Through this, readers are able to identify with the Creation and understand that some of the blame falls on the hands of Victor, who in turn is simply a representation of certain aspects of Mary Shelley's society. ...read more.

Conclusion

This can be seen when the Creature is welcomed by the blind man, because he was unable to see the appearance of the creation and therefore found him to be civil and good company. However, once the Creature's appearance had been discovered by Felix, he was no longer a possible companion, but only a hideous monster. Shelley is again criticising that society has placed such an extent of importance on appearance that it would cancel out all other qualities of a being. This supports the notion of Shelley's construction of key characters in the novel to represent parts of society that need to be criticised. Frankenstein was constructed by Mary Shelley in order to convey her opinions of society. She places blame for the Monster's behavior on the Monster itself, but also on the treatment it received from Victor Frankenstein, its creator, and from the De Lacey family, who cruelly rejected the Monster before it had a chance to explain its true purpose. Shelley conveys her critique of society's effects on the Monster's later actions through her characterisation of Victor, the Monster and the De Lacey's, which all embody several different aspects of her own society. ?? ?? ?? ?? Natalie Hind Miss Perks ...read more.

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