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Over the first half of the term we have been studying Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" and Graham Greene's "The Destructors". The object of this coursework is to compare the two stories

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ENGLISH WIDER READING COURSEWORK FEBRUARY 2002 Over the first half of the term we have been studying Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" and Graham Greene's "The Destructors". The object of this coursework is to compare the two stories: what their perception of the nature of evil is and the ways they turn them into fiction. The main contrast between the texts concerning "where evil comes from?" is that Mary Shelley's reason for the fiend becoming evil is that several times during his life, he was mistreated: Victor Frankenstein in the early days neglected and abandoned him when he was tying to be friendly. This caused the fiend to be lonely and sad because he had no one. After this, the creature tried to be sociable to a family living in a cottage; he helped with their chores and looked up to them. When he confronted them however they didn't want to know and violently turned him away. The creature now becomes evil and hates all humans. Mary Shelley believes that humans are not born evil but it is how they are brought up and what they experience that causes them to be evil. This is shown by the fact that the fiend was mistreated and therefore turned evil. Graham Greene on the other hand sees evil in another way: "T" the leader is also evil but in the story, we are given several reasons to why he is evil. ...read more.


Also we found out, after that he murdered Victor's sister which makes us think he is even more evil. However we are told that he in fact started out life as a kind and caring person but because of Victor and other peoples' actions turned against humanity. Mary Shelley did this to make us think that all beings start out good but may become bad if ill-treated and not to look at things at face value. In "The Destructors" the main character "T" who instigates the demolition of "Old Misery's" house has no principal motives. However we are given hints of certain motives to why he longs to do this. These are that on Page 168, it says, "His father, a former architect and present clerk, had "come down in the world"". This suggests that he is gaining revenge on the occupation of Architecture because his father was sacked from it; he wants to destruct the house because it is a quite expensive, luxurious and a "credit" to architecture. He may also be unhappy and down beat with the current situation of the world and is bored so he needs to do something. He may simply just be jealous of "Old Misery" because he doesn't have as much wealth. We are also given some hints that "T" has as an appetite for destruction and has a talent for it, when on Page 177 it says "Destruction is after all a form of creation". ...read more.


John Locke who said, "the mind of a newborn child is completely blank and the personality is "imprinted" by the child's education and experience" was well known. Also Jean-Jaques Rousseau who wrote the novel "Emile" backed up Locke's idea by voicing the opinion that children would grow up good if allowed to develop naturally and freed from poverty and oppression. These two people would have considerably influenced Mary Shelley. "The Destructors" written in the 1950's would also have been greatly affected by the things that were going on at that time but the ideas would have differed. The main thing that surrounded that period was the end of the Second World War and the aftermath; the war is also mentioned quite a few times during the story for example Page 169-"The site of the last bomb of the first blitz". The teenagers would have been greatly affected then, there would have been ruins of buildings hit by bombs, rationing due to food shortages caused by the sinking of merchant ships. People would have realized the extent of killing and become aware of the death camps. Even though the war would have just finished America and Russia, the superpowers were looking to re-arm and begin another war. To the teenagers they couldn't see the point; many people had been killed but the superpowers wanted to start another war. ...read more.

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