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How does Mary Shelly present the themes of rejection and alienation in the novel 'Frankenstein'?

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Introduction

How does Mary Shelly present the themes of rejection and alienation in the novel 'Frankenstein'? Mary Shelly uses various ways to present the themes of rejection and alienation in the novel 'Frankenstein'. Rejection and alienation are important themes in Frankenstein because they are things that a lot of characters experience. For example The line "Yet you my creator, detest and spurn me" suggests that the Monster is being rejected by the person who brought him into this world. This is effective because the Monster is being rejected by the person who supposed to love him the most. This makes us sympathise with the Monster because it is like being rejected by his father. At the start of the novel we see that Walton is alienated. This is shown when Walton writes to Margaret saying "But I have one want which I never yet been able to satisfy; and the absence of the object of which I now feel as a most severe evil. I have no friend, Margaret: when I am glowing with enthusiasm of success, there will be none to participate my joy; if I am assailed by disappointment, no one will endeavour to sustain me in dejection. ...read more.

Middle

This shows that he is rejecting his creation because the beauty of the dream had vanished and now revulsion and rejection filled his heart. Similarly, when Frankenstein meets the monster in chapter 10 he rejects him by saying, "Be gone vile insect". By using the word, 'vile' this shows that he thinks the monster is extremely unpleasant and wicked. The monster tries to explain how he feels about the rejection with the quote "I ought to be thy Adam but I am rather the fallen angel, whom thou drivest from joy no misdeed." I think that Shelley tries to make the reader feel sorry for him because he think he ought to be treat as a miracle and looked after and loved like Frankenstein's son. Shelly is using the bible to show how the monster feels about being rejected. This shows that the monster sees Frankenstein as his father and feels that his rejection was unjustified and he should be loved as a son. By saying "no misdeed," the monster shows that he didn't do anything wrong to deserve rejection. By comparing himself to Adam he shows that he should have been a lot more important to Frankenstein as a first creation. When the monster tells his story we see a lot of examples of alienation and rejection. ...read more.

Conclusion

Also in the introduction it says that her mother died after her birth and that she had a difficult relationship with her stepmother. This alienated her from her father. This was shown when she ran away to get married at the age of 16. Alienation and rejection are important themes to read about because we all may experience these feelings sometime and so will identify with them and it may help to read how others dealt with it. I think that the readers when the novel was first published would have reacted differently to modern readers because the idea of Frankenstein playing God would have seemed shocking to readers in 1818 because they where very religious where as today religion doesn't play an important part in many peoples life. Also back in 1818 people thought that this could be a reality, but nowadays we know that such things aren't possible because science is more advanced. I think that the ideas in the novel are still relevant today because people still reject those that are different to themselves and fear the unfamiliar. Also appearance still plays an important role in acceptance in society. Also the way that victor wanted to achieve glory and recognition for his creation at the expense of his family and his role of playing 'God' are moral issues today. By James Mankel ...read more.

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Response to the question

The essay responds to the task at an average level. Yes, there is exploration of how rejection and alienation shape the plot, but the crux of this question lies in "how does Shelley present the themes". There is little analysis ...

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Response to the question

The essay responds to the task at an average level. Yes, there is exploration of how rejection and alienation shape the plot, but the crux of this question lies in "how does Shelley present the themes". There is little analysis here beyond saying what happens in the novel, and no appreciation of the techniques Shelley manipulates. Examiners will not give credit for an extensive knowledge of the novel, unless this is intertwined with analysis of Shelley's techniques. I don't think there's enough focus on the reader response, either. Although it is not explicitly asked, you should always discuss why Shelley has used the above themes, and explore how her techniques directly affect the way her novel is received and interpreted.

Level of analysis

The analysis here is basic. As mentioned above, it's not good enough at GCSE to have an extensive knowledge of the plot. This essay's core is simply retelling what happens. For example "He says that he can share his thoughts and feelings on paper put it is no compromise for a real friend" doesn't analyse techniques at all. There needs to be focus on the language, imagery, form and structure used. These are the sections that examiners are wanting to be analysed, so if you can try and write a paragraph for each in relevance to the question you'll be doing well. This essay shows potential in the way it discusses how "Shelly makes us feel sorry for Walton because he is longing for a true friend." but this needs to be taken further and look at literature beyond the plot. There is some perceptive debate, looking at how alienation and rejection are effective "because we all may experience these feelings sometime and so will identify with them" but I just feel with analysis these comments would feel less unfounded.

Quality of writing

This essay has an okay structure. For once the introduction doesn't include unnecessary contextual information about Shelley as a writer, but looks specifically at the question. This will please the examiner, as at GCSE level most introductions don't address the question and engage with the arguments. However, there seems to be three conclusions here. Paragraphs starting "I think" aren't strong as it shows a personal-based viewpoint, rather than being driven by analysis and evidence. These last three paragraphs and their ideas are okay, but I'd recommend either putting them in one conclusion, or dispersing the ideas throughout the analysis so it doesn't seem you are making a lot of comments at the end. Spelling, punctuation and grammar are fine.


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Reviewed by groat 10/04/2012

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