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How does Mary Shelly manipulate the reader's response to the "monster" During the course of her novel Frankenstein?

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Introduction

How does Mary Shelly manipulate the reader's response to the "monster" During the course of her novel Frankenstein? Frankenstein is the story about extreme ambition bordering on obsession on the part of a scientist who wishes to create life from death. He feels good will come out of it but that doesn't happen. The "monster" becomes bad and is cast off from society. He seeks revenge on Frankenstein's family by killing them. Finally the monster dies along with Frankenstein. In the story we get points of view from both Frankenstein and the "monster". We first hear Frankenstein's and the reader forms the impression that the "monster" is bad. Later the "monster" tells his own story and the reader's perception changes. In the extract where Frankenstein brings the monster to life, Shelly creates an atmosphere of fear and horror; this makes the monster sound evil and aggressive and also makes the reader feel sorry for Frankenstein. ...read more.

Middle

Shelly's husbands ex wife drowned and doctors attempted to resuscitate her using smelling salts, vigorous shaking, electricity and artificial respiration. Shelly also dreamed that she brought her own daughter back to life. All this would seem possible in the early nineteenth century as Galen's experiments moved dead limbs with electricity. Also blood transfusions were taking place. This story also has relevance today as cloning is taking place. Later in the novel the monster is telling Frankenstein his story, thus the narrator changes. The monster describes daybreak where he remembers, "a stronger light pressed upon my nerves, so that I was obliged to shut my eyes. When he wakes he describes himself as "so desolate" and that he "was a poor, helpless miserable wretch". This makes us sorry for the monster and pity it. Shelly also makes the monster seem gentle and innocent by describing him like a baby. ...read more.

Conclusion

The monster, which horrified Frankenstein no longer, seems repulsive and aggressive. We now see that the monster is like a newborn in appearance. Babies have jaundiced skin and a "shrivelled complexion" as does the monster when Frankenstein describes it. It is also like a newborn in action. It has "one had stretched out" and its eyes were "fixed" on Frankenstein, we can now see this was the monster attempted action for an emotional bond. Throughout the course of the novel, Shelly has manipulated the reader's response to the "monster". She has done this firstly by making it seem evil and aggressive. Later on in the "monsters" story, Shelly reveals the monster was in fact born good and innocent. The reader's final perception to the "monster" is of sympathy. Frankenstein is now dead and the "monster" has one vast hand extended and his grieving his death. Walton's perception reflects the reader's own responses as he has a "mixture of curiosity and compassion". The "monster" dies hating himself when he finally jumps onto an ice raft and floats away. Chris Jones. ...read more.

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