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The creature in Mary Shelly's novel Frankenstein is portrayed as a monster

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Introduction

Ben Gilkes The creature in Mary Shelly's novel Frankenstein is portrayed as a monster. Consider the presentation of the creature in the novel and the origin of the monstrous behaviour conveyed in the novel. Frankenstein's monster is by instinct good but through watching the behaviour of humans he learns from their violent rejection of him, what it is to be human. He learns about the emotions of hate, anger, revenge and does not see the advantages of happiness and love. The message of Shelly's novel is that through upbringing and socialisation, humans become monstrous and full of prejudice toward others different to themselves. Shelly's trip to the Alps gave her the idea of "the sublime" and granted her inspiration through huge and beautiful surroundings. The competition proposed by Byron spurred Shelly on and the reading of Gothic genre stories gave her a repertoire and inspiration to help her write her novel Frankenstein. The book Frankenstein was influenced by the myth of Prometheus in which Prometheus "played God" and faced the punishments resulting from this act, Similarly Frankenstein played God by bringing the monster to life. The book Frankenstein was a breakthrough being the first science fiction novel ever published in English, it was greatly inspired by the developments during the "enlightenment" and the new philosophical ideas from Rousseau and Edmund Burke. ...read more.

Middle

All these factors would make the room have many long shadows from all the instruments in Frankenstein's possession. There is an example of pathetic fallacy as the rain patters against the panes, which conveys a bad and dismal atmosphere. The darkness shows Frankenstein is not being able to see ahead to what travesty will happen. The candle burning out also shows hope slowly draining away and the darkness, representing despair, enveloping all good in the room. Shelly presents the monster as being repulsive by using words such as "wretch" and "shrivelled." These build up an image of a human shaped thing, that just does not look human. In her description of the matter, Shelly includes some positive features to show the monster has a good side but is being forged by how he appears to the human eye. Frankenstein his creator can not see through this. I believe that the treatment of the monster was unjust because the creature is only searching for a parent as a child would. The creature does not understand that Frankenstein is scared of him and is unaware of his senses like a new born baby. This links to Rousseau's idea of man being naturally good. The creature is only looking for help as he must be in extreme pain, but he is already being created to dislike humans by Frankenstein's negative reaction to his own creation. ...read more.

Conclusion

The novel "Frankenstein" is written in Chinese box narrative form; this is when a group of narratives fit into each other much like a Russian doll. The effect of this is that we get a different perspective of the creature from each narrator, so our view changes through the novel. Shelly structured the novel so that we see the creature as being a monster from Frankenstein's perspective, but when the narrative passes to the creature, we see him as being like a frightened child. The way in which Frankenstein betrays the creature in the Alps make the creature become evil and so the narrative switches again. My sympathies lie with the creature because he has endured so much hatred which gradually destroys the good side of his nature. Human kind have caused this damage. The underlying message is that having too much ambition like Frankenstein and Walton can consume your reasonable sense, pull you away from friends and family and if you are intending on immoral tasks will lead to your eternal punishment, one way or another. The ending of the novel is one of hopelessness as Frankenstein kills himself whilst trying to find the creature that he has created and revenge his loved ones' murders. The creature is oblivious to this emotion and does not understand so, as his parent dies trying to kill him, he is eventually overcome with emotion and will die a hopeless and loveless death. ...read more.

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