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In Mary Shelley's Novel, Frankenstein, Who Is More Monstrous, Frankenstein or His Creation?

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In Mary Shelley's Novel, Frankenstein, Who Is More Monstrous, Frankenstein or His Creation? Introduction Mary Shelly was born in 1797 and died in 1851; she was the second wife of Percy Bysshe Shelley, the famous English poet. Her novel "Frankenstein" was written when she was only 19 years of age and she wrote it as a response to a challenge that Lord Byron set her. Frankenstein is considered by some to be a modern Prometheus, an ancient Greek myth about the creation of man. Section 1 Frankenstein wanted to be able to create life and defeat death: Frankenstein -"I might in the process of time...renew life where death had apparently devoted the body to corruption." Frankenstein dreams of a world where death is not an object and he hopes that one day death would only mean having to be brought back to life. At this point Frankenstein does not seem at all monstrous. Although in the beginning Frankenstein's intentions are good but, the way he goes about realising his dream is not: Frankenstein - "I dabbled among the unhallowed damps of the grave." Mary Shelly uses the word "dabbled" to describe the way Frankenstein looks for body parts in graves. These could have been from people who had families or other loved ones, but Frankenstein treats them as pieces of meat, materials for his experiment, and this makes the reader disgusted at Frankenstein. This is the first sign that Frankenstein is immoral. ...read more.


At this point Frankenstein defiantly seems the more monstrous; he has taken the body parts of people from the graves, made a creation with them and then left the monster without hope in the world. Section 4 In chapter 15, the monster decides to talk to the blind man from the De Lacy family: Old man De Lacy -"the hearts of men, when unprejudiced...are full of brotherly love." The monster knows that Old Man De Lacy cannot be prejudiced because of the way the monster looks, but when the rest of the De Lacys come back, they see the monster and when Felix sees the monster clutching Old Man De Lacy, he attacks and beats the monster with a stick: Monster-"he dashed me to the ground and struck me violently with a stick." So far in the book, the monster has expressed only kind-hearted human qualities and is the victim of prejudice and attack. Therefore,, the audience will be feeling great sympathy for him up. Chapter 16 is when the monster is again a victim of discrimination, but this time he was doing mankind a favour: Monster-"she continued her course along the precipitous sides of the river, when suddenly her foot slipped, and she fell into the rapid stream...I was suddenly interrupted by the approach of a rustic...he aimed gun, which he carried, at my body and fired" This is the point at which the monster decides he has had enough and vows revenge on mankind and when he starts to become "evil". ...read more.


Even then he was given a chance to make amends and create another monster as the original monster's companion in return for the monster's promise to leave mankind alone but chose not to and not only did he choose not to but he also lied and said that he would. The monster however, started his life with good intentions but was driven to evil by the prejudice he faced from humans. Despite this, the monster is not blame-free and is still monstrous because he takes his revenge by killing innocent people. I think that Mary Shelly was trying to get across two points when she wrote the novel. The first and more obvious is that when she was writing Frankenstein, there were radical scientific developments going on at the time. Scientists were starting to think that they could bring dead organisms back to life. Mary Shelly thought this was wrong as more people were starting to believe in science rather than go. I think Mary Shelly's tale of woe is a warning to people. This is what can happen when you rebel against god. The second point is that like her mother, Mary is a feminist. When the novel was written, men would have made all the vital decisions at the time; Mary didn't agree with this. In Frankenstein it is men (Frankenstein and the monster) who make all the vital decisions and consequently it is, bar Frankenstein's friend Clerval, all women and children who die. Franklin Barr Page 1 10/05/2007 ...read more.

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