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Frankenstein Essay

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Introduction

Frankenstein Essay In this essay, I am going to answer the question "Who or what, is the real monster in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein?" I will explain how most people perceive the creature from films and dramas, and how most people remember the name Frankenstein. I will talk about how the narrative of the book is structured and how this builds up our expectation of the creature. I will talk about how the creature begins his story, the impression we get of his early days and how these contracts with our expectations of the murderer. I will explain the methods Shelley uses to ensure we sympathise with the monster, and talk about how the monster starts to hate himself and his creator. I will also talk about how Shelley swings the sympathy away from the monster when he talks about killing William. I will conclude by answering the above question with my opinion. When most people hear the name Frankenstein, they automatically think of the creature. However, the name actually belongs to Victor Frankenstein, who is the creator. 'Frankenstein' has become a legend, as the creature is featured in many films and dramas. However, the creature is now known as Frankenstein, and in many of the films and dramas is made to be perceived as a cruel and heartless being. ...read more.

Middle

As Victor tells the readers of the horrific things the creature has done, we start to expect that the creature is a cruel, heartless monster. However, when the creature beings his story, we start to think that we may have been mistaken. When the monster begins his story, the impression Shelley gives us of his early days is that he was like a helpless, newborn child, new, innocent and neutral, neither good nor bad. We learn that through rejection, loneliness and people's hatred of him, he is driven to do bad things. This is a big contrast to what we have been led to believe, as we were expecting a heartless being, with no reasons for his terrible actions. Instead we get a sensitive and caring being, which has been driven to do terrible things. At this point, the readers can sympathise easily with the creature, and here Shelley uses a variety of methods to ensure that we do sympathise with him. One of these methods is through his kindness to the De Lacey family, which goes unacknowledged, and when the family sees him they immediately attack him, and cast him out. Making him feel even more alone and rejected. In chapter 15 the creature begins to hate himself, for being so different, and also begins to hate his creator for making him so different, and for rejecting him and not caring for him. ...read more.

Conclusion

The creature discovers that his name is William Frankenstein, and in revenge, the creature strangles William. This makes the reader feel, that the creature is a monster because he has killed a child, and that is seen as a monstrous thing to do. The creature then frames Justine for William's murder, and shows no sorrow for his actions. This also makes the reader feel that he is monstrous and heartless. However because we know of his story, we can still sympathise with him. Shelley presents an argument of nature versus nurture in this story. The argument is that everyone is born innocent, yet circumstance can occur to change a person's perspective on the world. This shows us that it is not entirely the monsters fault that he has become a murderer, as he too must have been born innocent. I feel that at the end of this novel, no one is innocent and every character can be named a monster because of their actions. The creature, Frankenstein, circumstance and society are all monsters in this novel. The creature for his actions, Frankenstein for not looking after his creation and teaching him right from wrong, society for rejecting the creature and not helping Frankenstein to see the consequences of his actions, and for not showing him how he could help. I believe that there is no real monster in Frankenstein. The circumstances made the characters do these terrible and monstrous things. ...read more.

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