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Frankenstein essay

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Introduction

Which character does the reader have the most sympathy for: Victor Frankenstein or his Creature? In this essay I aim to explore how the writer Mary Shelley uses literary techniques, language and tone to make the reader feel sympathy for both Victor Frankenstein and his creature. Frankenstein was written by Mary Shelley in 1818 during an early phase of the Industrial Revolution, at a time of dramatic advances in science and technology. The idea that creation rebels against its creator can be seen as a warning that the application of science can lead to unintended consequences. The novel Frankenstein explores the ability to be able to bring a lifeless being back to life. Victor Frankenstein discovers how this can be done and creates a creature, completely unaware of the consequences that follow. The story has a huge impact on modern society, and has opened up a huge debate on modern day cloning. Some scientists have said that unlocking the key to cloning will represent the greatest human achievement since the discovery of fire. Other people may disagree and think that cloning is bad purely because it does not involve the "sacred" union of a man and a woman, and because it leaves God out of the creation process. ...read more.

Middle

He genuinely believed that bringing life into an inanimate object would benefit humanity, and was disgusted and shocked when he realised what he had created, "the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart". The reader beforehand had been informed at how hard he had worked on this project, and how it was his lifelong dream to be able to bring something back to life, and the reader cannot help but feel sympathy for Frankenstein when the creature does not turn out as he had hoped. Frankenstein says "I felt the bitterness of disappointment; dreams that had been my food and pleasant rest for so long a space were now become a hell to me". At the end of the day Frankenstein's creation was a scientific experiment, it was not brought into the world to be loved or sympathised with. After he created the creature and realised that it was a big mistake. He demonstrates a sense of remorse for his actions and feels guilty about creating the monster. Even as the Creature gained life it was obvious to see that Frankenstein was drained from it, "I was lifeless, and did not recover my senses for a long time." ...read more.

Conclusion

The monster shows he is depressed with himself and his life. The fact that the Creature is not given a name by Frankenstein alienates the Creature further. Instead it is referred to by words such as 'monster', 'creature', 'daemon', 'fiend', and 'wretch'. When Frankenstein speaks with the Creature in chapter 10, he addresses him as 'devil', 'vile insect', 'abhorred monster', 'fiend', 'wretched devil' and 'abhorred devil'. Such language focuses the reader on how society as a whole knew him. These words have a greater impact as the speaker is the one person who should have found it possible to love the creature despite his failings. In conclusion I think the reader has the most sympathy for the Creature, Victor Frankenstein's creation. The creature is neglected by Frankenstein since its birth and has no-one to teach or love him. Mary Shelley also makes the reader feel sympathy for Victor Frankenstein with the action of the Creature causing the deaths of Frankenstein's loved ones and blackmailing Frankenstein into creating a female companion for the Creature. However the most amount of sympathy is felt for the Creature, I believe that bringing life into the world and then acting if it was never born is completely unforgivable. All throughout the novel the Creature is paying for Frankenstein's mistakes in playing 'God' and creating something completely unaware of the consequences. ...read more.

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