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  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: English
  • Document length: 3906 words

How far do you sympathise with Victor Frankenstein’s creature?

Extracts from this essay...

Introduction

How far do you sympathise with Victor Frankenstein's creature? "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss gazes into you" When answering the set question, there are a number of determining factors that have to be taken into close consideration. In this essay I hope to address and evaluate each of the factors before putting forward a conclusion. Both Victor Frankenstein and the creature have serious personality defects, but there are extenuating circumstances that have to be considered before laying blame at the feet of either character. Virtue is found at the margins of society more often than at its centre. If this is so, Mary Shelley's Creation is a typical example. Her creature is an isolate of great sensitivity, kindness, and insight. We are firstly able to attribute these virtues to him in chapter eleven when the creature is born. "Soon a gentle light stole over the heavens, and gave me a sensation of pleasure. I stared up, and beheld a radiant rise from among the trees. I gazed with a kind of wonder.........innumerable sounds rung in my ears, and on all sides various scents saluted me: the only object I could distinguish was the bright moon, and I fixed my eyes on it with pleasure. From these lines we can see that the creature has a positive outlook on life and is extremely sensitive and articulate. We like the creature because he creates beautiful imagery with his gentle and descriptive language and describes what he sees perfectly creating clear images in our minds. At this point we are very sympathetic towards the creature because firstly we like the creature and because his talent for language allows us to understand and relate to him. Another important factor in this novel is the initial treatment of the creature by his creator Victor Frankenstein.

Middle

He therefore reasons that the mastery of the "godlike" science of words might break his lonely quarantine. It is tragic that the reader realises that the harnessing of language and communication will not alleviate his isolation and pity. Communication will intensify the creature's isolation by the realisation of his difference. The arrival of Safie, Felix De Lacey's Arabian fiancée, expedites the creature's goal. She has to learn French in order to fully participate in family life. From behind a chink in the rough wall, the creature takes part in a hidden tutorial, learning his lessons more eagerly than Safie. His eagerness to learn and to be normal gains the respect and pity of the reader. Volney's history, Ruins of Empires, narrated the plight of the exploited "savage" in North America. Hearing of their misery moves the creature to tears. He compares his rejection by humans with the racial bigotry of the colonists. Contrasting this history with the hospitality he observes in the cottage gives him hope. The De Laceys never turn a stranger from their door. The creature reasons that the family might welcome him. Goethe's Sorrows of Werther introduces the Monster to the sensitivity and agonies of romance. He weeps again, feeling kinship with the unrequited Werther. Felix and Safie's affection for one another increases the intensity of the creature´s loneliness. He becomes aware of his own need for never-to-be granted sexual satisfaction. Self-destruction proposes a decisive way out of pain and rejection. Living, however, seems to offer more to the creature since Werther's wretched life displayed a depth of devotion that went beyond mere escape. Sorrow might ennoble the creature, fitting him for respect if not love. This complex thought and reason on behalf of the creature intensifies the tragedy of his destiny. Despite his external faults, we see that the creature has more intelligence, sensitivity, and compassion than many humans. Again the reader respects and pity's the creature. Reading Milton's Paradise Lost, schools the creature concerning humanity's alienation from their Creator.

Conclusion

We can see that the creature is repenting for his sins and is sorry for what he has done. His final suicide consolidates his guilt and sorrow at the evil actions that he committed. I believe that his final speech was heartfelt and genuine to every word. It is criminal platform, which declares that upbringing, social pressure and heinous abuse lead to evil behaviour. Murder, theft and rape, according to this view, are inescapably the result of extraneous factors, not personal choice. Despite the creatures appalling crimes, we recognise his justification for his actions. We see that his inner pity and loneliness drive him to the edge. Frankenstein appears to be the antipathy of the creatures existence and its actions. The creature is not to blame - it is the creator. For this reason, we feel more pathos, compassion, and pity for the creature - not its creator. But we should not hate victor Frankenstein he was not an evil man, he paid a heavy price for his actions. He saw the death of his loved ones and finally his own bitter death. He was a scientist eager to break back the boundaries of science. Ever since the death of his mother he swore to put an end to death. His reasons for creating the creature are noble, but his character defects were his downfall, he was naive and irresponsible, which considering his young age I think is quite acceptable. He did not purposely set out to do harm, so I would not bestow all the blame on him. I think that both characters were caught up in a string of moral and ethical dilemmas for which they did not know the solutions, and it resulted in their deaths. In answer to the set question "how far do you sympathise with Victor Frankenstein's creature, I will say that I sympathise greatly. But I also sympathise with Victor Frankenstein who I think paid the greatest price of all. "In no beast so fierce, does not now some touch of pity" By Mathew Quinn 11 NM

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