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How far does Mary Shelley(TM)s presentation of the monster in Frankenstein lead you to sympathise with him?

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Introduction

How far does Mary Shelley's presentation of the monster in Frankenstein lead you to sympathise with him? Frankenstein is a gothic horror novel written in 1816 by Mary Shelley. The book originally originated as a ghost story when Mary Shelley and her husband Percy Bysshe Shelley visited Lord Byron in Geneva. She later expanded on this and wrote the book Frankenstein, also known as "the modern Prometheus", in just 9 months. The modern Prometheus links to Frankenstein as they are both cautionary tales; they both tell the story of how man is punished for stealing the powers of God. Frankenstein is guilty of using scientific developments to create life. This reflects Shelley's thoughts about the advances being made in science at the time the novel was written. One of the main themes of the book is the consequences of meddling in the affairs of God and the natural world. Another main theme in the book is childbirth. Shelley thinks that childbirth should be left only to women as the book clearly warns the reader about the effects of medial science. Shelley has also lost two children in her life and her mother due to childbirth. Death is a theme that crops up very often in the play; it has often appeared in Mary Shelley's life such as the death of her husband, children and mother. ...read more.

Middle

This engages in our sympathy with the monster since he didn't ask to be created. Although he learns that he is a mistake he is still grateful towards Frankenstein for giving him life. He still looks up to Frankenstein as his creator and loves him for giving him life but at the same time hates him for creating him because his life is so miserable. This draws compassion from the readers because the monster feels this way; they can sympathise with him for why he hates his creator because as most children will have had a nice loving childhood. Throughout the monsters story he constantly illustrates the fact that he was rejected and alone. This makes the reader feel sympathy for him as it introduces the concept of the monster being "abandoned" at birth by Frankenstein. Shelley also illustrates the monster in the light that he is a human being by giving him human instinct; "Instinctively... on a sensation of cold I had covered myself with some clothes". This shows the reader the monster has basic needs such as warmth, it also shows that at the beginning his actions were also very simple such as "to obtain food and shelter". The language used by the monster to describe his actions was also quite simple but also reflects on his intelligence. ...read more.

Conclusion

I think this is the effect that Mary Shelley wanted to have on readers because she chose the language used by the monster carefully to show that he is intelligent and capable of caring, as he helped the cottagers collect wood. This leads the reader to pity him as he is treated harshly for his looks, even by the people he helped. He is also considered a "beast" and a mistake by his own creator. The intended effect of telling the story from the monsters point of view was to create pity for him. Shelley does this brilliantly by also showing the readers that he is just like any other human being. He has instincts to eat, keep warm and look for food. So just like other human beings he needs company to keep him alive. This is an ordinary daily life aspect that people take for granted but the reader can sympathise with the monster because everyone in this world has a companion. This also highlights another theme in the story; I feel that it has some relevance to society and Mary Shelley's own life about how you treat people and what their behaviour will end up like. I think that isolation from Shelley's father may have contributed to this theme in the story and it has also given her a good insight on how to write in the monsters perspective because she is experiencing these pains. ...read more.

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