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How is the role of the family and domestic affection explored in Frankenstein

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Introduction

How is the role of the family and domestic affection explored in Frankenstein? In Shelley's novel Frankenstein, she explores many different themes which run throughout. She presents these themes through the characters and their actions, and many of them represent occurrences from her own life. Several of the themes present debateable issues and Shelley's thoughts on them. Three of the most important themes in the novel are birth and creation, Family and alienation and family and the domestic affections. One of the major themes discussed by Shelley in the novel is birth and creation. She does this through the main character, Victor Frankenstein, who succeeds in creating a 'human' life form. In doing this, Frankenstein has taken over the roles of women and God. Shelley discusses how Frankenstein has used his laboratory or 'workshop of filthy creation' as a kind of 'womb' as he has worked on his creation. He also refers to his task as his labour, suggesting that he has literally given birth to his creation. "After so much time spent in painful labour" and "the passing of time from when Victor first began his creation and finished it is also significant." ...read more.

Middle

The child's father shoots him, as the father probably fears that the creature will harm his child "when the man saw me draw near, he aimed a gun, which he carried, at my body, and fired." After experiencing all of these things, the monster longs for love and compassion more than ever, but realises that he will never be accepted by human life forms. Due to this, the monster retaliates with violence, stating "I am malicious because I am miserable" This means that he is only violent because he wants to escape the alienation he faces, but as being violent is how people act toward him, he will act the same way to people. The monster insists that Victor make him a female companion to end his misery, but Victor tears the female to pieces before it is finished. The monster retaliates by killing Elizabeth, who is Victor's female companion; in a two rights make a wrong kind of way. Shelley seems to be criticising the way in which people alienate others because of their looks. This is how the monster reflects the theme of alienation in the novel. The theme of family and the domestic affections is also demonstrated in Frankenstein. ...read more.

Conclusion

They have their own fixed pattern, and they do not let anybody interfere with this, or threaten it. When the creature arrives in their home, the DeLacey family does not give him a chance to speak about why he is there. Instead they drive him out immediately so that he will not interfere with their lives. "Overcome by pain and anguish, I quitted the cottage, and in the general tumult escaped unperceived to my hovel." This shows how hurt the creature was that the DeLacey's reacted so badly when he tried to speak to the blind father. He realises that no matter how good his language is, people will never get past his looks, and he will always be excluded from family life. It is because of this that the monster devotes himself to the destruction of the ideal family. This is how Shelley criticises the family and ideal domesticity in the novel. Mary Shelley discusses the themes of birth and creation; alienation; and family and the domestic affections, in Frankenstein. These themes represent incidents which occurred in her own life, in those around her, or debateable issues of the time. The themes discussed show Shelley's thoughts and feelings on these issues, and present the reader with interesting points to think about and reflect upon their own lives. ...read more.

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