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Is the creature in 'Frankenstein' avillain or victim, and what is the message of the story?

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Is the creature in 'Frankenstein' a villain or victim, and what is the message of the story? The opening of the novel is a letter from Walton to his sister. He writes about his dream expedition to discover 'a passage near the pole to those countries to reach which at present so many months are requisite'. He wants to be the first to step foot open ground no other man has stepped on, and 'discover the wondrous power which attracts the needle'. Walton says ' I preferred glory to every enticement that wealth placed in my path' this shows Walton is a hungrier for fame and admiration rather than money. He 'voluntarily endured cold, famine, thirst, and want of sleep' this makes the reader think he is over obsessed. This is parallel to Frankenstein's obsession to recreate life. Walton's character is similar to Frankenstein's; they are both over ambitious, knowledgeable and unaware of the dangers in consequence to their actions. The point Shelley is trying to make throughout the story is that these qualities in a person, if out of control, could cause problems. ...read more.


The creature uses a good range of vocabulary such as: 'obliged' and 'distinguished'. This means that the creature is starting to think and learn without any support or guidance. The creature says ' a strange multiplicity of sensations seized me, and I saw, felt, heard and smelt,' showing that it is maturing and can feel physical sensations. It noticed the different reactions to temperature and light and begins to adapt to its surroundings. We feel admiration for the creature, who even though left abandoned, has not lost hope and is still trying to understand life and fit in. Furthermore, we soon realise that the creature actually has feelings when it was delighted at the warmth from a fire left by wandering beggars that it naively thrust its hand into the live embers but quickly drew it out again with a cry of pain. This shows it is curious and willing to learn from its mistakes to become smart. This makes us feel sympathy for the creature knowing it is just as sensitive as any human. We feel even more sympathy for the creature when on his travels he enters a village to be welcomed by shrieking children, and attacks to end up 'bruised by stones and many other missile weapons.' ...read more.


Frankenstein and Walton both learnt that confidence and ambition are good to a certain extent, its healthy until it leads onto obsession. You should also think before you do something as actions lead to consequences. 'Frankenstein' may have been written to make us think about issues such as the French Revolution, the gift of knowledge, science and human nature. Shelley was only nineteen years old when she wrote 'Frankenstein', some people say she was inspired by a baby that died. Around the time she was writing the book science was poorly understood and a new subject all together, scientists were trying to use electricity for reanimation. The French Revolution was considered to be a reign of terror and consequently named a 'god less monster'. This is mirrored by the creation of the creature and his outrageous monstrosities. The French revolution was out of control just like the creature in the story. Burke describes it as 'a species of political monster, which has always ended by devouring those who have produced it.' Shelley might want us to see how Frankenstein abused God and so does science. The story makes us wonder if knowledge is bad? Knowledge provides us with good inventions but can also lead to bad consequences if misused. ...read more.

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