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How far does the Monster Deserve this Label in Frankenstein?

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Introduction

How far does the Monster Deserve this Label in Frankenstein? The novel, Frankenstein, was written by Mary Shelley in 1817. The novel is of a gothic genre as it includes the themes of monsters, death and oppressive nature. Her father raised her, after her mother's death ten days after Mary was born. Her father, William Godwin, was a radical philosopher, who encouraged Mary to read a lot. Mary met a young, married poet when she was sixteen; they fell in love and eloped together in 1814. Mary's life became full of sadness as three of her children died and her half-sister committed suicide. The couple became free to marry when Percy Shelley's wife drowned herself, yet their fathers never forgave them for being together. One highlight in Mary's life was giving birth to a son, Percy, yet this happiness was short-lived as Mary's husband drowned at sea three years after his son's birth. While Mary Shelley was writing Frankenstein, she was reading "Emile" by Jean-Jacque Rousseau who believed that to exist happily man had to have freedom, equality and fraternity. Rousseau says that men become evil by the way they are treated by society, and this relates to the monster in Frankenstein, who is rejected by humans. He isn't allowed his basic human rights that Rousseau talks about Prometheus, in the Greek version of the myth was a rebel who stole fire from Zeus. He becomes a friend to mankind but is punished by Zeus. The Latin Prometheus is where a monster is created from clay and water. So, Victor Frankenstein is considered a modern Prometheus because he creates a life form and is punished. This is also relative, as "A Modern Prometheus" is an alternative title for the novel. Dr. Faustus is a link to the novel as he sells his soul to Satan in exchange for all the secrets of the universe. ...read more.

Middle

This shows the monster believing that he, himself is becoming more evil. This is due to his circumstances, in my opinion, and his character is changing. The monster had been alive a year when he decided to introduce himself to the Delacey family, who he has been learning from. The brute chooses to talk to the old man, who is blind, in hope that he may accept the beast for the person he is inside. He does this because he needs friendship; he is lonely and needs association with human beings. This relates to Rousseau's beliefs about fraternity and everyone needing human interaction to live peacefully. The old blind man listens to the beast and decides to accept him. Unfortunately, the old mans family return and they see the beast as his "outside" self and force him out of the house. When leaving, the monster feels anguished and doesn't like the family because he had almost been accepted as an equal and a friend to the old man. I think that he isn't a monster here but the pain of being rejected is opening up a world of hatred and destruction for the beast. At the beginning of this chapter, the brute is portrayed as a monster because of his rage. He says," I could, with pleasure, have destroyed the cottage and its inhabitants", this shows the beast warming to the idea of death and misery. He feels obliged to take revenge on the cottager's because they didn't accept him. He does a monstrous act and sets fire to their empty cottage. I think he is reacting to this knowledge monster-like although I suspect that most people might react like this if they feel unaccepted and inadequate to society. At this point, the beast despises of Victor because he created the brute without making a partner for him to interact with. The monster leaves the cottage area and heads for the woods. ...read more.

Conclusion

He killed William and the cottagers so here he acted like a monster and I don't think that his ill treatment can be an excuse for murder. The murders of Justine and Elizabeth were uncalled for, as they hadn't met the monster. He killed them because of their association with Victor Frankenstein. The monster's threat to Victor on his wedding night also signifies that he's a monster because he doesn't kill Victor, he kills one of the most important things to Victor, his wife. Victor ignores his responsibility to the monster, as he has done since his creation. When he denies the monster a female companion, the monster hates Victor; his one last chance at happiness is squashed by Victor's quest for his own happiness. In conclusion, I do not think that the creature deserves the label of monster in the novel, because the majority of his actions while evil do have decent reasons behind them. The murder of Elizabeth would never have happened if Victor had made the monster happy and created a companion for him. I believe that Walton's reaction to seeing the creature upset about Victors death was a true reaction which showed what the creature really was like. Walton said that "his voice seemed suffocated and my first impulses were suspended by a mixture of curiosity and compassion." Walton realised that the creature was truly saddened by the death of his creator who in human terms would be thought of as his father. The creature is upset that he was unable to say goodbye to his father and so takes Victors body with him on an iceberg to wait to die so that he can be with Victor again. This shows that he has developed a human understanding on life and human emotions which suggest while to look at he may be a monster, but on the inside he is a human, maybe even a better one than Victor. Samantha Tresler 11JF ...read more.

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