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How is the Monster portrayed in chapters 11-16 of the novel 'Frankenstein'?

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Introduction

How is the Monster portrayed in chapters 11-16 of the novel 'Frankenstein'? The story 'Frankenstein' takes the reader through the daunting re-animation of a creature so beyond comprehension. This newborn-creation, degraded from birth yet mighty in spirit, plays out his painful life in search for what is known as true 'humanity' but is shown to ultimately fall to vengeance. Mary Shelley, the author of this novel, had lived days of misery and a life of a misfortunate nature. The figure of death had been a constant companion to her. Many members of her family including her mother and several children had all lost their lives to the deep sleep. Her fantasies delved deeper into the world of restoration and resurrection until she actually found a way to channel all these thoughts. And so was the birth of 'Frankenstein'. The chapters mentioned in the title (11-16) are significant when the subject of matter is focused on the creature. Details of the creature's behaviour, thoughts, feelings and actions are all concentrated upon here and so it is relevant to point to these chapters when referring to the creature. These are also the chapters in which the creature itself gives its own personal views of his miserable existence. From reading the former chapters, the reader's outlook of the creature is in great contrast to what is seen by the end of the story. Dr. Frankenstein begins with his immediate and long-term ambitions. His professionalism in natural philosophy and chemistry urges the reader to be almost encouraging in the creation of the monster. ...read more.

Middle

The creature was in fact of good temperament. Just as a child, he is free from all feelings of anger and hatred and is brought into the world with only love, happiness and joy in mind. Though the creature was attacked by the townspeople, he showed kindness to the cottagers. He saw the unique beauty and love that the cottagers shared and above all hoped he could be a part of it. His acts of kindness are seen many times over in these chapters. The first and maybe not so clearly seen is his refraining from the food of the cottagers. The creature took a considerable period of time before he 'discovered one of the causes of the uneasiness of this amiable family was poverty; and they suffered that evil in a very distressing degree.' This shows that the creature did feel such emotions as sympathy and pity. From then onwards, he satisfied his hunger with nuts and berries from the neighbouring wood instead of stealing food from the dwellers of the cottage. The creature also shows his 'goodness' when he examines the behaviours of the cottagers. The fact that often Felix and Agatha left themselves hungry in order to feed the old man was seen as very moving for the creature. It shows the kindness-loving nature already present in the creature's heart. His sympathy for these people caused him to aid them in their labours by utilizing Felix's tools to bring a store of wood worth of several days. He was delighted to see that his efforts actually assisted the cottagers. ...read more.

Conclusion

Mary Shelley seems to believe that man is born good. It can be understood as to her reasons for opposing religion. Her only real encounter with religion was no doubt Christianity, which teaches the concept of 'Original Sin'. This is in opposition to common logic. One cannot possibly be expected to point at a new-born child and call it evil deserving of punishment (death and hell). In the very same way, the creature in the story was free from all evil and should not have been rejected and disregarded. Again, Judaism & Islam reject 'original sin' and believe man is born evil and sin-free. It is the society and environment in which one is brought up, that creates who he becomes. Society is extremely important. Man tries to cling on to his society and 'belong' somewhere. Isolation is not preferred by most. People opt for 'walking with the herd'. It is only a natural desire but a corrupt society full of evil, injustice or misunderstandings does evidently change a person away from his 'natural' behaviour. I do not feel as though Mary Shelley gave much expression of fear of science. From her biographies and life-accounts, it can be seen that such things were not a 'scary' topic for her. She wanted to restore her children if she could and she believed science was the only possible answer. I think the general people at large felt a certain degree of fear at science. Yet as she disregarded religion and opposed it much as her parents had done so, she would not have seen science as a problem. However, she may have employed the people's fear of science to make her story more appealing. ?? ?? ?? ?? Md. Housain Ahmed Adil (5225) English Coursework 10Q 'Frankenstein' 08/03/2004 Mr. Thadchanamoorthy 1 ...read more.

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