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In what ways does Mary Shelley challenge the readers perception of The Monster; in the novel Frankenstein? Refer closely to the text; commenting on the readers changing sympathies.

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Introduction

In what ways does Mary Shelley challenge the reader's perception of The Monster; in the novel Frankenstein? Refer closely to the text; commenting on the reader's changing sympathies. Throughout the novel Frankenstein, Mary Shelley challenges the reader's perception of The Monster. The book is narrated by three different people; Frankenstein, The Monster and Robert Walton. Different narrative voices are used by Shelley to convey the complex way in which the reader views The Monster. When Frankenstein or Robert Walton are narrating they talk about The Monster in a biased way. They both do not like The Monster because of what he looks like. The most accurate view of The Monster we get is when The Monster is narrating. It shows us what The Monster is like and how he feels. We also are told why The Monster changes throughout the book. Frankenstein had a real love for science. He believed that another being could be created by joining other body parts. He spent years researching and creating this being known in the novel as The Monster. ...read more.

Middle

The reader again agrees with Frankenstein "avenge the death of William and Justine" From that day Frankenstein swore revenge upon The Monster for what he had done. Later in the book The Monster confesses to having murdered William and framed Justine by putting the locket into a pocket of her dressing gown. "Can you wonder that such thoughts transported me with rage? I only wonder that at that moment, instead of venting my sensations in exclamations and agony, I did not rush among mankind, and perish in the attempt to destroy them." The readers view of The Monster changes slightly and we do not think that The Monster is as bad as he was first described by Frankenstein. Frankenstein next saw The Monster in the mountains near where his family lived. At this point the narration in the book changes from Frankenstein to The Monster as he begins his story. When The Monster is talking about himself he always refers to himself as "a creature"; this shows that The Monster has noticed that he is different from other people, he knows that the reason that no-one likes him is because he is different. ...read more.

Conclusion

"I will be with you on your wedding night" When Frankenstein hears this he thinks that The Monster is threatening to kill him. The Monster kills Henry Clerval and like Justine Frankenstein is framed. The day after Elizabeth and Frankenstein's wedding, Elizabeth is murdered by The Monster. He does this for revenge upon Frankenstein for denying him a female companion. Frankenstein's burning desire for revenge eventually leads him to death. On his death bed he realises the mistakes he made: abandoning The Monster which shows bad parenting towards him. When The Monster sees that Frankenstein has died he also realises the mistakes he made: killing the people Frankenstein loved, he thought that by doing this he would get what he wanted but it didn't work. When The Monster was killing the people Frankenstein loved he was the way Frankenstein had described him at the beginning of the novel which is why Frankenstein abandoned him. However, The Monster was not originally bitter, he only changed because he was constantly abandoned and hated by humans and then was denied a female companion of his own. Mary Shelley constantly throughout the novel changed the way The Monster was shown to show this. ...read more.

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Response to the question

From the introduction, it would seem that this essay engages strongly to the question. Shelley's technique of using multiple narrators is key to this task, and this essay identifies this as the main discussion point. There is an awareness of ...

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Response to the question

From the introduction, it would seem that this essay engages strongly to the question. Shelley's technique of using multiple narrators is key to this task, and this essay identifies this as the main discussion point. There is an awareness of bias and looks changing the reader's perception in the introduction, and this sets the essay up for looking at the different narrator's language and description of the monster. However, the rest of this essay seems to just narrate the plot, not linking back to the question or the introduction where techniques are referenced.

Level of analysis

The analysis here is basic. As mentioned above, the introduction set the essay up for analysis of the different narrative positions and their respective styles that Shelley constructs, but there is nothing more than retelling the plot here. For example "Frankenstein agrees but later abandons the project when he sees The Monster" adds nothing to the essay or argument, only telling the examiner you know what happens. I would've liked to have seen some close analysis of how the different narrators define the monster, as the question prompts you to look at Shelley challenging the reader's perceptions. Unfortunately there is very little focus on the reader here. It is a common misinterpretation at GCSE to think that examiners are testing you for knowledge of the novel, whereas you must be building your argument around analysis. I was surprised to see so little analysis here, especially when the introduction was promising. Further to moving away from simply retelling the story, I would advise you reference the novel as Shelley's constructions. For example, say "Shelley has Frankenstein flee when he sees the monster to show his fear of him, making it clear to the reader how inhuman the monster is in image". By looking at how Shelley manipulates plot, and by doing that with techniques such as language, imagery, form and structure, you will be able to evaluate how this shapes meanings. This essay is very flat in the way it has no argument or no analysis.

Quality of writing

The essay has an okay structure. The introduction is punchy and introduces an argument, but the conclusion is way off the track and has little relevance to the question. Paragraphs are not well signposted, although this is partly due to the paragraphs not being focused on the question. Spelling, punctuation and grammar are fine. The essay flows well, and the style is okay, but there is no ability to craft an argument evident here and this needs to be worked upon.


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Reviewed by groat 10/04/2012

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