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Shelley's representation of Victor and the Monster in Frankenstein

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Introduction

Year 11 Autumn Term Assessment - Pre-1914 Prose Study Mary Shelley's 'Frankenstein' "Discuss Shelley's presentation of Victor and the Monster in Frankenstein. What effect does the presentation have on your understanding of and sympathy towards each character?" The novel 'Frankenstein' explores a wide variety of themes; many of which were germane during the early 19th Century and are to this day significant in our day-to-day life. 'Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley' was responsible for the creation of a book which paved the future steps for science fiction-horror genre based novels and films. Furthermore, Mary Shelley's exploration of religious versus rationalist views and gothic themes spurned both controversy and admiration. Two centuries later, we are able to appreciate the intentions of the story, not to forget the female novelist's effort to emerge in the male dominated society of the early 19th century. In the premature years of the 19th century, Mary Shelley was a budding youth in conflict with her troubled childhood. Tragically, her mother had died shortly after Shelley's birth due to a puerperal fever in 1797. William Godwin, her father, remarried only to give birth to the rage-inflicted childhood that Shelley endured until 1814, when Mary Shelley eloped to France. The latest Mrs Godwin's strict manner repelled that of Mary Shelley's - a growing youth with a rebellious nature. ...read more.

Middle

Later, we are notified about the taking of Victor Frankenstein aboard. It is then that a shift of time occurs where Frankenstein tells the story that has placed him in his current predicament. Significantly, the use of time shifting is used on a frequent basis right throughout the novel; some say Mary Shelley used it to tell the tale without adapting it to the conventional timeline where the most historic of events in the story would be the introduction/prologue. As the story develops, we learn that the Creator acquired the necessary information concerning death and decay so as to create a living organism himself. In horror of his creation, Victor Frankenstein flees the scene and fall ill, contemplating the possible consequences through envisages and dreams. Foreseeing is a major theme of this novel as it ties in with superstition and religion. The terror worsens as Frankenstein is notified of his brother's death and thereafter a series of deaths take place including Justine Moritz (adopted sister) who is tried for her brother's murder. The story unfolds, as Frankenstein is made aware that the death of his family members is a result of the Creation, and at their acquaintance the Creation makes it clear that if an equally grotesque partner is made for him, there will be further trouble for Victor Frankenstein. ...read more.

Conclusion

Drawing the arguments to a conclusion, I was most convinced that Frankenstein's creation had a far more justifiable cause for his action, in comparison to himself. In my opinion, I would probably be a rationalist; therefore I would not consider the religious aspects that affected Victor, although the consequences of him playing 'God' were certainly a result of his own. Truly, Victor should have brought and nurtured the creation into the world quite like a mother does to her baby. Perhaps the Creation would have been loved and admired far more, and Victor Frankenstein may well have been famed for his discovery; it may not have been affected whether it was controversial or not. I have been deeply saddened by the Creations situation, so I would imagine that Mary Shelley fulfilled her desired effect of empathy towards the Creation. Today this story can be easily linked. Contemporary opinions about abortion and adoption bring about the theme of Victor's abdication of the Creation. In addition, the argument between religion and science is rife, even though it may be confined to a greater extent in countries such as Vatican City and Malaysia etc. Overall, this novel has hugely affected our lives today, and should therefore be admired. ...read more.

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