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Frankenstein. How does Mary Shelley present the creature created by Frankenstein? How does she show fears about early scientific progress?

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How does Mary Shelley present the creature created by Frankenstein? How does she show fears about early scientific progress? There are a number of messages in the novel 'Frankenstein' which Mary Shelley wants the reader to understand. One of the important messages which are made obvious by the author is the dangers of over ambition which leads to obsession. Shelley shows the dangers of scientific experiments that are not properly thought out or planned and not to take any shortcuts, therefore to take responsibility for are actions and to consider the consequences of our actions. Tackling the problem of prejudice in the novel 'Frankenstein', Shelley shows the reader how society judges the creature at their first glance, without getting to know him, and casting him out of society where he is not wanted, which, evidently, leads to his hatred of the human race. From the beginning of the novel the author highlights the issue of over ambition through Walten. Walten becomes so obsessed, he pushes his body to the extremes as he says himself; "I voluntarily endured cold, famine, thirst and want of sleep." Shelley also shows the reader that the expedition Walten has embarked on is extremely dangerous this is made clear when Walten writes back to his sister to reassure her, he is in no harm or danger. ...read more.


The reader's perspective of the creature change as he himself tells his own story so we feel sympathy for him and form a connection; a bond. The creature gets all his senses at the same time obviously overwhelming him "A strange multiplicity of sensations seized me, and I saw, felt, heard, and smelt, at the same time," so the reader begin to also see his human characteristics. The creature at first is unaware of the dangers and is abandoned by its creator in this case Frankenstein in which causes the creature to fend for himself as a wolf pup does if abandoned by its mother in the unknown wild. The creature begins to learn about human interaction and relationships through watching the De Lacey family and begins to show kindness when he realises that food he is stealing from them is affecting them badly and he soon realises they are poor. So by now the reader have a positive view of the creature and sympathy for him as he is shunned from society because of his appearance. The creature longs to have some sort of communication with the De Lacey as he says himself "I longed to join them, but dared not." ...read more.


The creature frames Justine for William's death. The impression given of the creature is somewhat confused and commits dreadful crimes. The creature himself is a victim and a villain; he is a victim of society, prejudice and his creator's rejection of him. The creature is isolated because of his appearance and the final blow is caused when he saves a girl from drowning and gets shot for rescuing her, because of his lack of friends and no name he is utterly isolated from society driving him to acts of violence and revenge but the reader understands his pain from starts to finish. The creature's appearance leads to his downfall. Shelley herself is not condoning any of the actions of the creature. The creature had caused violent and inexcusable harm but the reader can understand what drove the creature to commit such crimes, rejection, abandonment, isolation and no one to love him. The messages presented to the reader are very clear, don't get over ambitious, prejudice and know the boundaries you cannot pass while doing scientific experiments or the consequences will be punishing. Shelley has written a novel that still has relevant messages today to modern science such as the controversial cloning issue and anyone can learn something from a novel. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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Response to the question

This essay responds strongly to the task. I really liked this question as it offers the candidate the opportunity to analyse the text, and then respond to the contextual element of the question. The first part of this ...

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Response to the question

This essay responds strongly to the task. I really liked this question as it offers the candidate the opportunity to analyse the text, and then respond to the contextual element of the question. The first part of this question is discussed thoroughly here, but I felt there could be more focus on the science part of the question. I understand it's difficult to weave in an argument when you're just trying to analyse, but this is a skill that must be developed. For example the paragraph beginning "Frankenstein is portrayed as similar to Walton" could then be interpreted as Shelley showing that science has the power to create something as strong and humans, posing a warning.

Level of analysis

The analysis here is good. Not only is there a high level of quotations being used, but there is sustained exploration of how Shelley's techniques shape meanings. Phrases such as "causing the reader to have sympathy" and "this causes the reader to sense more danger" shows a clear focus on the reader response. With the question looking at Shelley warning about science, being able to analyse the effect her techniques have on the reader shows a clear focus on the question. What I like to see in this essay, which is absent from many GCSE essays, is the way this essay isolates a technique and then looks at its effect. Language is analysed, along with narrative perspective and structure. I do have a big query with the analysis here, however, and that is with the way the plot is addressed. I prefer to see an essay write about Shelley's constructions rather than state "The creature frames Justine for William’s death." The examiner knows what happens, so sentences such as this add nothing. Instead, I would be writing "Shelley has the create frame Justine for William's death to show his ability to manipulate humans, thus warning the reader of the possibilities of science". Note how I have incorporated the question whilst focusing on Shelley's use of techniques and plot.

Quality of writing

The structure here is good. This essay was one of very few which didn't introduce the essay by saying that Frankenstein was written in 1818, so it was pleasing to see an introduction which built up a coherent argument. Examiners want to see a candidate who can structure a coherent argument, and this is the first step into persuading them you are capable. I would note that Walton isn't spelt "Walten" as this really bugged me when reading! The conclusion isn't as clear, and tends to waffle about the messages given. This is the chance to make a final message about the significance of the novel to warning society of science, adding a new insight rather than summarising older ideas. Spelling, punctuation and grammar are fine. The style becomes a bit repetitive when sentences start "the creature" and it would be nice to have seen some more variety.

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Reviewed by groat 09/04/2012

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