• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Frankenstein: How and Why Does Mary Shelley Create Sympathy For The Monster?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How and Why Does Mary Shelley Create Sympathy for the Monster? Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" is a gothic novel set at the turn of the nineteenth century. It tells the story of natural philosopher, Victor Frankenstein, who discovers the secret of giving life to inanimate bodies. Armed with this knowledge, he infuses life into his own creation of a man. But, horrified by the awful appearance of what he has created, Victor immediately comes to detest and fear the "monster", and cruelly rejects him from the moment of his "birth". In some sections of the novel it is hard to feel sympathetic towards the monster as he wreaks his bitter revenge on mankind. However, as we learn more about him, we discover that he is a being that we can easily feel compassionate towards. The way that Shelley portrays the monster, through her use of language and structure within this novel, greatly furthers our sympathetic feelings towards him; in this essay I will explore how and why Shelley creates such sympathy for the monster. The way she structures her novel helps the reader to feel sympathy towards the monster in various ways. For example, she includes a narrative from his perspective. Up until this point in the novel, our only impressions of the monster are based on Frankenstein's opinion, whose strong feelings of hate towards him mean that his narrative describes the monster in a very negative way. ...read more.

Middle

This discovery of the monsters intelligence helps us to relate to him as he suddenly seems much more human. While Frankenstein greets his creation with hate filled insults such as "abhorred monster" and "wretched devil", as well as threats to "extinguish the spark which [he] so negligently bestowed"; the monster responds calmly, articulately and intelligently, showing wisdom far beyond what we had anticipated: "I expected this reaction... All men hate the wretched." Although life has been cruel to the monster he is still capable of being "mild and docile" to the very man that rejected him from birth. This raises the question within the reader as to who the real monster is. When the monster recounts the early memories of his life, he explains: "it was a long time before I could distinguish between the operations of my various senses." This helps us to sympathise with him as we view him similarly to a helpless new born child. By Shelley providing this knowledge of his innocence, it acts as evidence that he is not an evil creature, and started his life with no malicious intentions, which helps us to identify his motives which occur later in his narrative and drive him to commit his crimes. In his narrative the monster also tells us of the "friendship" he formed with the cottagers during his observation of them from his "hovel." ...read more.

Conclusion

He is immediately filled with remorse for his crimes and begs for Frankenstein's forgiveness: "Oh Frankenstein! Generous and self-devoted being! What does it avail that I now ask thee to pardon me?" The fact that the monster mourns his creator's death, after Frankenstein had shown him nothing but rejection and hatred, shows that the monster is a very compassionate creature. This helps us to feel that we can still sympathise with monster, despite his crimes, as it reassures us that it was the cruelty that life had dealt him which drove him to commit these murders. I think Shelley wanted us to realise that Frankenstein was not born evil; it was the brutal treatment he received by mankind that turned him to be bitter and resentful. Perhaps Shelley's intended to convey that society could have this same effect on anyone, and urge readers to think of the consequences that their actions could have on the lives of others. Or perhaps Shelley is simply urging us not to "judge a book by its cover", as the monster is judged solely on his appearance throughout the novel. More specifically, this could be aimed at scientists, like Frankenstein, warning them to think of the potential consequences of their work. Although Shelley's motive for this novel is unclear, evidently she intended for her novel to teach readers a lesson, and I feel the sympathy she creates for the monster helps us to appreciate the value of these lessons. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Mary Shelley section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Mary Shelley essays

  1. How does Mary Shelley create sympathy for the monster in "Frankenstein"?

    dark and 'one in the morning', and the weather was 'dreary' and the rain 'pattered' on the panes. The setting is used to create a dark mood, and to symbolise the sinister nature of Victor's experiment. Darkness is a prevailing motif for the monster throughout the novel - he is always out in cold and wet, 'rain and storm'.

  2. 'Frankenstein Essay' - With reference to chapters 11-16, trace the development and change in ...

    The monster suffers from the cold without a shelter. ('and all within me turned into gall and bitterness') His current emotions are shown here and he describes his feelings of revenge always growing deeper when he finds himself nearer to Victor's habitation.

  1. In your view how do you think Mary Shelley wanted her readers to respond ...

    While Frankenstein tries to forget the monster, it finds itself on the outskirt of society. Everyone he meets is scared of him. Now knowing that he does not fit in, the monster takes refuge in a hovel to what he feels was an 'agreeable asylum.'

  2. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley - With reference to chapters 11-16, describe the development and ...

    "Presently I found, by the frequent recurrence of some sound which the stranger repeated after them, she was endeavouring to learn their language; and the idea instantly occurred to me that I should make use of the same instructions to the same end."

  1. Frankenstein - Explain how the character of the monster develops throughout the novel. How ...

    Shelley deliberately makes the description unbalanced so that the bad points overlook the good. She does this to try and make the monster look hideous and because she does it makes the reader feel disgusted and fearful of the monster.

  2. Sympathy for the Devil? How does Mary Shelley persuade the reader to pity ...

    "...the murder I have committed because I am forever robbed of all that she shall give me, she shall atone. The crime has its source in her; be hers the punishment!" The creature puts the blame on an innocent person even though he acknowledges that he is the murderer.

  1. Who, in your opinion, is the real monster of Mary Shelleys Frankenstein. Is it ...

    Saying that the world is 'dark' implies that the world was created wrongly in the first place, showing how he believes he could do a better job than God. He claims that he deserves the gratitude of his 'child' more than any father and also alludes to pregnancy when he claims to have become "emaciated with confinement."

  2. How does Mary Shelley present the character of the monster so as to gain ...

    This idea already makes the reader feel for the monster because even though he is not yet alive you feel empathetic towards the situation that this 'person' will be in once he is shocked into life. When the 'monster' is created you are presented with a very dramatic scene, where

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work