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In what ways does Mary Shelley make the reader sympathise with the monster in 'Frankenstein'?

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Introduction

English Coursework: In what ways does Mary Shelley make the reader sympathise with the monster in 'Frankenstein'? In the novel 'Frankenstein', the writer Mary Shelley presents a character in the form of a monster who causes great destruction. He is directly responsible for the deaths of William, Clerval and Elizabeth, as well as contributing to the deaths of Justine and Victor Frankenstein. Despite these acts of violence, Mary Shelley makes the reader sympathise with the Monster. She is able to do this through the narrative technique that shifts from character to character and by looking very critically at Victor Frankenstein. Frankenstein's aim is to make the elixir of life in order to create life. He tries to play God and his motives are purely selfish. His main motive is self-glory and he has no regard or had any forethought into the consequences that might arise. Victor Frankenstein's monster is rejected by his creator as soon as it is created and is referred to as 'it' throughout the novel, making it more of an object or an animal than a human being. Despite the monster not doing anything wrong himself, he is blamed for many things. This is one of the key elements that lead him to do wrong unto others and the reader sympathises with the monster because of this. ...read more.

Middle

He falls ill for an unknown length of time in which his monster flees. During this time, the monster is forgotten and the sympathy of the readers is shifted onto Frankenstein. The letters from Elizabeth in the following chapters seem irrelevant at the time, and are unusual for letters, telling Frankenstein what he already knows in a lot of detail. This information becomes relevant later in the novel however when William is found dead. When William is found murdered, Victor knows it was the monster but he doesn't speak out against it. The monster is shown to be devious and cunning by planting William's belonging on Justine. Justine is wrongly hung and the readers feel sympathy towards her, while bitterness is shown toward the monster. In chapter 10, Mary Shelley shifts the narrative onto the monster that allows him to tell his story. This story spans several chapters and being at the centre of the novel, it is a main focal point. The monster is very polite and uses very good vocabulary. Frankenstein is the opposite and they seem to switch roles; Frankenstein becomes more of a monster than the monster. The monster tells his tale and the readers sympathise with this due to his unnecessary suffering. ...read more.

Conclusion

Once the monster realises their food shortages and lack of money, he stops taking their food and reverts back to eating berries and nuts (p120) 'I satisfied myself with berries and nuts' this shows it is unselfish. The monster helps the family out as much as he can by collecting firewood. It is unconditionally helping the Delacy family, in return for all this he is cast away by them. The monster feels more rejected than ever, after learning their language from books he found he thought they could be friends. This coupled with the monster seeing its own reflection makes it hate itself. The monster got on well with the old man who was blind, but it was only when the rest of the DeLacy family saw him that he was cast out, people still made assumptions on his looks. When the story reverts back to Walton Frankenstein asks Walton to promise him he will stop Frankenstein. Once the monster finds the Frankenstein is dead he proclaims that he never wanted to hurt him and that he just wanted him to feel his pain. The readers feel sympathy for both Frankenstein and his monster at the end as the monster casts itself into the sea. The monster was misunderstood throughout the novel and if people had just accepted him and given him a chance, it would have saved everyone from suffering. ...read more.

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