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To what extent is Mary Shelley's Frankenstein a tale of a struggle between good and evil?

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Introduction

To what extent is Mary Shelley's Frankenstein a tale of a struggle between good and evil Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein can be conceived as an anomaly for many things with its many underlying themes but most predominantly it is a power struggle between good and evil. The main character named Frankenstein develops a lust for knowledge early on in the novel and although this has its circumstances it is seen as an evil obligation. Mary Shelley sees Frankenstein's great ambition to create this monster as evil. This creation runs amuck and causes evil in what Mary Shelley sees as a good world. Due to this the novel is a case of the clich�d good versus evil case. As the novel runs its course you become aware that Mary Shelley is warning the reader about playing God and attaining more knowledge then should be sought by mortal men. The reader realizes that Frankenstein is trying to do this near the beginning of the novel when he writes "More, far more, will I achieve: treading in the steps already marked, I will pioneer a new way, explore unknown powers, and unfold to the world the deepest mysteries of creation." What Mary Shelley sees as evil in the novel is the extremely excessive manor that Frankenstein develops in the willingness to do anything to achieve his goal. This is not a concept unique to Mary Shelley's novel. Frankenstein plays God at the beginning of the novel by creating the "wretch". ...read more.

Middle

This first person narrative allows the reader to empathize with each of the characters and when altering from one character to another we receive a different view point on the novel. "I beheld the accomplishment of my toils." The first person narrative Mary Shelley uses shows the reader exactly how Frankenstein feels. Frankenstein started out with a good intention and this makes the reader empathize with him that it didn't turn out as he would have liked it to. We can feel from the tone of the sentence the excruciating effort he put into making the Creature. Also from the word toil the reader can see that the creation of the monster was not an easy undertaking. This can be seen at the beginning of the novel when he neglects his own health. It is this empathy that allows us to see the good in some characters and in the Novel. The creature also acquires the reader's empathy in the novel. Although it is seen as primarily evil we are initially able to see the potential good in the monster when he is living next to the Delacey's. It is at this time when we first get a glimpse of the degenerate's feelings. "I discovered also another means through which I was enabled to assist their labors. I found that the youth spent a great part of each day in collecting wood for the family fire...brought home sufficient firing wood for consumption over several days" At the beginning the creature is naive to the world and thinks it a good place. ...read more.

Conclusion

This obviously causes him to commit the heinous deeds that he did. In Frankenstein his ambition and determination caused him to make the monster and without the creation none of the harrowing events would have occurred. The vengefulness in my opinion is what caused the tragedy that befell the characters in the book. This leaves the only possible outcome at the end of the novel to be the death of both Frankenstein and the creature. Their death has been expected by the readers because of the way they acted throughout. Up to a point the novel is a battle between good and evil. This can be contradicted though by the only way to kill an evil is to commit an evil. This irony means that it was more of a clash between evil and evil. If the reader brings away anything from the book it will be the message that Mary Shelley has been putting through all along. She emphasizes the fact that it is wrong to play God. This message stays with the reader after the novel. It can be an important message for us today in that it tells us not to do anything that God did not intend us to do. A relevant example of this today would be cloning of animals or G M crops. This in a way is going against what we should be allowed to do and like Frankenstein we are becoming too ambitious. The novel is an excellent reminder of the consequences of playing God. Tim Burton GCSE English Coursework 11X ...read more.

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