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Frankenstein doesn't have any heroes or villains, only victims. Do you agree with this statement?

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23rd February 2005 English Coursework: Frankenstein doesn't have any heroes or villains, only victims. Do you agree with this statement? Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley, started being written in 1814 and was finally completed in the summer of 1816, at a time when gothic genre was extremely popular. It was then released in 1818, but Shelley decided to release it anonymously. It is a gothic horror novel that concentrates on isolation and ambition. The idea for the novel was supposedly first invented when Shelley was at a friend's house when a competition was created as to whom could create the best "tale of terror" story. It is about a man, Victor Frankenstein, who tries to "play god" and creates a living "creature" that is then ostracised and consequently commits a series of murders throughout the novel. The characters involved can be viewed as heroes, or as villains, depending on the different perspectives of the reader. Frankenstein's creation of the creature can be viewed as heroic, as he is seen to push the boundaries of science further than ever before: "A new species would bless me as its creator and source; many happy and excellent natures would owe their beings to me." Frankenstein also sacrificed the safety of those he loved to prevent the risk of the creatures killing others when he destroyed the female creature, which angered the male creature. ...read more.


He abandons his moral responsibilities of looking after the creature and the moral responsibilities as a scientist. The creature's evil in the novel forms into a revenge-fuelled hate of his creator, as it seems Frankenstein was the instigator of the creatures evil, "Cursed, cursed creator! Why did I live?" This then turns the creature into a villainous character, especially after the slaughtering of the "saintly" Elizabeth, which perceives Frankenstein as a victim of his own creation. "The murderous mark of the fiends grasp was on her neck, and the breath had ceased to issue from her lips". The creature makes Frankenstein feel guilty of the deaths in his family. This may be the case because of Victor slaughtering the almost-made female creature. Although Frankenstein was a victim, he wasn't an innocent one as he indicated the creature's rage by abandoning him and sets an example for him of how to treat others. This makes the reader feel a certain degree of sorrow for the creature, even though he commits a large amount of evil sins. The creature states to Frankenstein: "I am malicious because I am miserable". Most of the victims in the novel were Frankenstein's family, William, Henry, Justine and Elizabeth. These people all suffered due to the creature's anger from Frankenstein's original neglect, which is what begun the hatred in the creature. It is not fair to view the creature as a human, as he was artificially created he has no human morals and has never been taught the difference between right and wrong, in the same sense that a court would never convict a baby. ...read more.


To conclude, I believe that there are heroes and villains, as well as victims in this novel. Most of the characters seem to change from villains, heroes and victims throughout the novel, especially the creature and Frankenstein. In my belief the creature was made to be the victim from the opening of the novel as he was neglected, uneducated and ostracised. I believe Frankenstein could have changed everything if he had befriended the creature in the first place. On the other hand Frankenstein was also an isolated individual, although his isolation from society was brought on himself. The novel shows the shallowness of people in society by showing what the monster had to endure because of his appearance, as well as the moral irresponsibility of Frankenstein as a scientist. Frankenstein was always the villain deep down as he attempted to play God, which I don't think should be attempted by any human being. He was obsessed with the fact that he could create life, but never once to considered if it was the right thing to do. I think Shelley is basing the whole novel on, not what Frankenstein actually did, but what he fails to do. The way the creature is portrayed in 3rd person narrative allows us to see the creature as a hero, villain and a victim. I believe that the creature viewed Frankenstein as a father figure and was mentally tortured when his own creator neglected him. He had nothing to live for, except revenge. ?? ?? ?? ?? Alex Hitchcock 11FC Final Draft ...read more.

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