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"Mary Shelly portrays the monster as a complex character for when we should feel both sympathy and hatred" - Discuss

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Introduction

Prose Study - Frankenstein "Mary Shelly portrays the monster as a complex character for when we should feel both sympathy and hatred" "Frankenstein" is a gothic horror novel which was written by Mary Shelly in 1818. It was inspired by a biological scientist named "Luigi Galvani". He had experimented with electricity and deceased frogs, and discovered that a charge passing through a inanimate frog's body will generate muscle spasms throughout its body. Frankenstein is about a man on a pursuit to create a perfect being, an "angel" however his experiment fails and his creation becomes an atrocity compared to an "angel". The creature is created using Luigi Galvani experiments of electricity and dead corpses of criminals, stitched together to form this creature. The novel continues as Victor Frankenstein, the creator and the main leading cast of the novel, is forever haunted by his creation. The plot consists of a series of murders and unjust acts which leave the readers to ponder who is in the wrong and who deserves sympathy. In this essay I will be examining the complex portrayal of the creature, and thus deciding whether he is to be hated or sympathized for. The first glimpse of life we see from the creature begins in chapter 5. We begin to learn from Victor Frankenstein point of view that the creature is a hideous being, not to be animate in this world. Though Victor has hand picked the correct proportional size body parts for the creature and given it luxury's such as "pearly white teeth" and "lustrous black hair" these only formed a more horrid contrast as Victor says. The creature had "yellow skin" which scarcely covered its muscles and arteries. We are led to believe that the creature is too horrid to look at, which puts fear into our minds. This fear is to be thought of whenever we thing of this "wretch" being. ...read more.

Middle

The creature creates an example of himself, saying how he should be like Adam but is rather the fallen angel (the devil), cast out from joy for no reason whatsoever. Readers have already felt sorry for Victor's loss; however they cannot misjudge the creature as he has lost everything and has nothing. "But am I not alone? Miserably alone?" This question is already answered throughout the story, and is a rhetorical question. "They spurn and hate me" The creature comments on how even the dull dark skies are more pleasant to him than human beings. Victor still replies to the creature in his hateful tone. Victor is yet to show any bit sympathy for the creature while hey have talked, yet the creature has showed mercy and patience to his creator making to different contrasts in characters. Shouldn't the human be more merciful and patient with his creation compared to the creation itself? The readers have witnessed Victor's behaviour and are surprised that he shows not an ounce of sorrow for the creature. The creature convinces Victor begins to hear his tale, though Victor is reluctant he is intrigued by what the creature has to say. Victor begins to finally accepts his responsibility as a creator and that "I ought to render him happy before I complained of his wickedness" The creature may be a murderer however the scars of the events he endured are quite severe. He may still be hated for his actions but people can still sympathize with someone they hate. Throughout the next five chapters in the novel the creature begins to tell his tale of hardship and misery. In chapter 11 he explains how he left Victor's apartment feeling lonely and miserable. He had covered himself with cloths but just barely enough to protect him from the dew of the night. " I was poor, helpless, miserable wretch, I knew and could distinguish nothing; but feeling pain invade me on all sides I sat down and wept" We can understand his suffering and pain. ...read more.

Conclusion

Frankenstein's views maybe wrong, but his acts were just. The creature sees victor's deceased body and even now he can show remorse for his creator. He is sincere and sorry for what he has done. Captain Walton tells him that the creature's repentance is a little too late. The creation begins to speak of his actions; he talks about how he felt so guilty and stricken with misery for doing such an act that he travelled to the ice lands of Sweden as a punishment. The creature continues and says that he had pitied Frankenstein, even after murdering Cleveral he was heart broken and overcome. The readers though despise him for his actions can feel sympathy for him as he does feel guilty and heartbroken. The creature wishes to repent for his actions and the readers understand this. Some may even sympathize for the creature more than Frankenstein as the creature even pity's Frankenstein. He still holds his respect to his creator. The creature says that the devil himself, enemy of god and man has friends and associates in his desolation, yet the creature, who also has been portrayed as a devil, does not have friends or associates. The creature's final act, in respect for his creator he decides to make a funeral pyre for his creator. The creator, his final victim, has passed away. The creator decides to find rest in his own death as there is nothing left for him in this world. There is a wide contrast between the creature and Victor Frankenstein. Victor who has murdered no one, but created the creature, only feels hatred and disgust for him. The creature who has been abused since he has brought into existence has murdered friends and family of Victor and made others fall into great despair. But feels pity and remorse for victor and suffers for the actions he has done. We expected to see Victor to show some responsibility for his creation, however he had never forgiven him, and this makes it easier to actually accept the creature in this late part of the story. ...read more.

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