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How Mary Shelley influences the readers reaction to the creature

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Introduction

When Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein in 1816, it was the birth of a new genre - the creation of a being, sci-fi at its earliest. Frankenstein's creature, the concept way ahead of its time but a terrifying thought to its first audiences. In the following pages I will be discussing how Mary Shelley influences the readers reaction to the creature, I will be viewing the context of her writing, the way she portrays her view of what it means to be human, the anticipation of the creature's coming to life, and the language Walton and Frankenstein use to describe the creature. In Walton's first letter, after he sees the creature, he describes it as 'the shape of a man... but of apparently gigantic stature' At first Walton doesn't know what he saw but thinks the creature is a local and the crew is intrigued that there, out in the ice deserts, man has strayed. Through Waltons enquiring nature, Shelley encourages curiosity in the reader, and Waltons encounter with the creature 'excites our unqualified wonder'. When Frankenstein first describes the creature, he describes it not as a mother would her newborn baby, but with horror and disgust, he describes its waking moments and its appearance, with and abhorrent attitude, and as soon as the creature awoke, Frankenstein, with a mixture of fright and disgust ran to his bedroom. ...read more.

Middle

The behaviour of the creature is in stark contrast to Shelley's portrayal of the creature as 'horrible'. This reasonable behaviour could cause the reader to look at the creature with a different perception. When the creature describes its life, it describes its subconscious feeling of its prior life, and it's realisation of its senses and what it discovers. It takes Frankenstein through its discoveries, like discovering that pains in the stomach can be relieved by eating and being cold can be cured by starting a fire, the creature is like a huge baby, excited at new things, it is a creature of simple tastes although it knows nothing of these sensations, possibly it might recollect them from its previous life and it had no other humans to share it's discoveries with. It is human instinct to feel loneliness, hunger, tiredness and pain, and as such the reader may begin to consider the creature as human. The creature observes the Delacy family, it learns their language, and when it finally confronts the old, blind grandfather it seeks his protection when the rest of the family return from the woods, "Now is the time! ...read more.

Conclusion

The words Shelley uses in this quote could suggest that the creature is superior to humans i.e. Superhuman. Shelley's inspiration for this book could have derived from the political turmoil of her time. Scenes of death and destruction would undoubtedly have influenced Shelley writing in the French revolution, this could possibly be huge influence on the book, and by her witnessing these goings on, she has portrayed them, although in a different form, in her book. It is also possible that Shelley may have witnessed injustice and judgements on other people. It is also reported that Shelley suffered with nightmares and that Frankenstein was borne of one of these dreams. The fact that Shelley suffered with nightmares demonstrates her mental instability, this could possibly be huge influence on the book, and by her witnessing these goings on, she has portrayed them, although in a different form, in her book The conclusions that I have drawn from this book are: It was the beginning of the sci-fi genre, it was a story far before its time, And not to judge people by their appearance, (She must have had a seriously messed up mind) ...read more.

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