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'Frankenstein Essay' - With reference to chapters 11-16, trace the development and change in character that the monster undergoes.

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Introduction

G.C.S.E Assignment 'Frankenstein Essay' With reference to chapters 11-16, trace the development and change in character that the monster undergoes. The structure of Frankenstein begins as an epistolary, narrative story by Robert Walton to his sister (Mrs Saville) in England. Walton's letters tell us that he is exploring, searching for what lies beyond the North Pole and that he longs for fame and glory. Walton and Frankenstein connect in this novel as they both seek and have a thirst for knowledge. For Walton it is his exploration, for Frankenstein it is to discover the secret of life. Walton's letters announce the discovery and rescue of a stranger - Victor Frankenstein. This is another connection between these two characters because when Victor is found he tells Robert Walton his story (this is after the monster has told his story to Frankenstein) and of course Walton passes on his version to his sister. This shows an elaborate series of frames because Victor's story is embedded within Walton's. However the innermost embedded narrative in this novel is the story the monster tells to Frankenstein as this is in the central part. Shelley has been very clever writing this novel because within it there are several stories and several points of view within the telling of these stories. Walton, Victor and the monster each tell their own stories. From the start of the monster's narrative (Chapter 11) he is, from birth constantly developing at a rapid pace. He is similar to a human being in a way that he cannot remember his first moments of life. However his differences are alarming because he can vaguely remember his discovery of sensations and his awareness of senses. Also, the short time it takes for the monster to distinguish between these senses is quite remarkable. The first sensation in the monster's memory is when light hits his eyes when he awakes, but how it becomes dark when he shuts his eyes. ...read more.

Middle

'Plutarch's Lives' has a very different effect on the monster than 'Sorrows of Werter', he learns 'high-thoughts. He becomes raised beyond the misery of his own condition by stories of heroes of the past. Like Werter, he feels great empathy for the characters in 'Plutarch's Lives.' The third book and possibly the most important for tracing the monster's development is 'Paradise Lost'. It is an epic poem by John Milton (published in 1674) based on the story of the creation as told in Genesis. The structure of the poem is in Iambic pentameter and it does not rhyme. 'Paradise Lost' explains why the monster had earlier referred to hell when describing the old shepherd's hut. Awareness of 'Paradise Lost' is crucial to understanding the monsters psyche as this is what motivates him to demand a female companion from Victor. The importance of 'Paradise Lost' when tracing the change and development of the monster is immense because during his narrative he is constantly linking himself with Adam although he knows he is different. Adam was perfect and loved by God; he was left abandoned by Victor without an 'Eve' to comfort him. He sees himself as 'wretched, helpless and alone', this making him think that he could possibly be connected with Satan, (another idea from 'Paradise Lost') this making him envious of mankind. While he links himself with Adam, he also connects Victor with God. He truly believes the Genesis story. The reading of this story also controls the way the monster speaks. ('Pandaemonium appeared to the daemons of hell') Another circumstantial discovery changed the monster dramatically when he found some papers in the pocket of a dress, which he took from the laboratory when he was born. He previously neglected them but now that he could read English he managed to understand them and realised that it was his creator's journal, written during the four months he was being made. ...read more.

Conclusion

After the death the monster felt he had succeeded a great triumph and celebrated by clapping his hands. He now knew that he could hurt Victor by killing those that he loved and he increasingly wants him to feel the same misery he does. The monster seems to be constantly becoming more satanic. He gazes at William Frankenstein's body and notices a glittering necklace; inside it contained a portrait of Victor's mother Caroline. For a few moments the picture attracts him until his rage returns, remembering he has been deprived of the delights that such a woman could give because of his ugliness he changes his view of the portrait to one of disgust. He takes the necklace and retreats the area to find a secluded shelter. He enters a barn and found a woman lying asleep on a bed of straw. He approached her and tried to wake her, she stirred and he suddenly realised that if she awakened he might be blamed for the murder. The monster decided to make the woman (Justine) suffer for what he has done. Thanks to the injustice he has seen in the world (e.g., Felix's exile, the wrongful shooting of the monster) he was able to cause mischief by placing the portrait in a fold of Justine's dress. We finally find out here what happened to Justine and that Victor's family was right to claim that she would never harm William. The monster's narrative ends with him describing how he sometimes 'haunted' the place of William's death just for a chance to see Victor or to think about ending his own life. His last few sentences are in direct conversation to Victor when he offers a deal. He insists on having a companion as deformed as he is so that she would not deny herself to him. He tells Victor that this companion must be of the same species and have the same defects. Throughout his embedded story one of the only things which have remained the same about the monster's character is the need for a companion. He desperately needs an Eve. 11 1 ...read more.

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