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How Does Shelley Create both Horror and Sympathy for the Creature in her Novel Frankenstein?

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Introduction

How Does Shelley Create both Horror and Sympathy for the Creature in her Novel Frankenstein? Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley. Everyone has heard or it, but so many can say what it is about, and what its message is, mainly because it is so hard to know exactly. This is party because it so interestingly ahead of its time. Creating life using genetic engineering was almost unheard of, and this new revelation was so alien to the first readers of Frankenstein, making it one of the most popular horror stories of its time. But the message of Frankenstein is unclear, mainly because of the two very different, major emotions that are conjured up whilst reading this classic novel; Sympathy and Horror. The 19th century, when the book was written and published was a massive turning point for Britain, as many new ideas where being introduced. Frankenstein was one of the few Gothic horror stories of its time, which meant that people weren't entirely sure how to receive it; because it raised astonishing issues of morality, science and human nature. ...read more.

Middle

Years later we find out exactly what the creature has been doing for all this time, and his story is astounding and heart wrenching. The creature begins to take the lives of people close to Frankenstein, because he wants a companion for himself. Eventually everything goes inevitably goes wrong and the creature is left to sail off into the distance with terrible guilt and nothing achieved. Shelley uses many interesting and effective narrative techniques, like the story begins as an epistolary novel- through the letters of Robert Walton, a seemingly unimportant character. It is through Walton t hat victor Frankenstein, the long time ruined man tells his story. This technique was very new and original at the time Shelley wrote Frankenstein, and therefore intrigued people further. The novel is a dark and tragic one and was probably inspired by Shelley's unfortunate and difficult life. Her husband drowned at sea in 1822, her sister killed herself, her mother died when she was very young and her died loathing her. ...read more.

Conclusion

Then, alarmingly, as soon as the creature opens his eyes, the reality of what he is doing sets in. Frankenstein has a warped image that the creature would be beautiful, because appearances are so important to him. He has grown up around beautiful people and the significance of beauty is obvious at the start of the novel. His immediate reaction is 'How can I describe my emotions at this catastrophe, or how delineate the wretch whom with such infinite pains and care I had endeavoured to form?' The way that Frankenstein describes his emotions as a catastrophe informs us that he wasn't prepared for what was coming. This sentence is also the first time the creature is described as a 'wretch' which is also surprising because this is judged entirely on the way he looks. He then continues to describe the creature's features as hideous and disgusting. Of course, it is made of decomposing body parts stitched together. Frankenstein's graphic description of the horrific creature makes you feel utter disgust towards it. ...read more.

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