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What is the importance of the Creatures Narrative to the Novel?

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Introduction

What is the importance of the Creatures Narrative to the Novel? The Creature's narrative, whilst being the structural center of the novel, is a key device used by Mary Shelley in order to give to the a reader, an alternative perspective on events in the novel as well as an outsiders perspective on human society and the human race as a whole. Previous to the creature's narrative, the reader is lead to identify with two other characters, Walton and Frankenstein, as during the forerunning chapters events are shown from the perspective of both Frankenstein and Walton. In the letters at the beginning of the novel we have described to us the background and then situation of Walton, the reader takes Walton perspective as the character Frankenstein makes his entrance at this point perceived as a mad and melancholy character, who then proceeds to narrate his own tale to Walton. From Chapter one onwards we then take the point of view of Frankenstein and therefore receive his account of events, occasionally reverting to Walton's point of view when Victor Frankenstein addresses him directly in order to remind us of the situation in which the narrative is being told: " But I forget that I am moralizing in the most interesting part of my tale, and your looks remind me to proceed" In the chapters preceding the creature's narrative there are a number of occasions where the creature is demonized by Frankenstein. As a reader one begins to identify with Frankenstein and take the same views, even at some points believing his pathetic self-excuses for his own shortcomings. ...read more.

Middle

As we know from his previous encounter with the villagers he is not used to seeing humans behaving in such a kind and loving manner, as he says: "This trait of kindness moved me sensibly" Maybe this reveals something of our own society, how to our own kind (race, colour or creed) we are able to be kind, loving and affectionate, but to anyone who is different (maybe a different race or religion) in this case personified by the creature who is different to all, all that we seem to be able to bestow is our unfounded and unrelenting hatred and anger. Again this demonstrates the importance of the creature's narrative in presenting this view. Upon observing the family, the creature also discovers that the De Lacey's suffer from great poverty: " They suffered that evil in a very distressing degree" He begins to cut their firewood for them, so that the young man, whose name is Felix, will no longer have to. " He found his store always replenished by an invisible hand" In this way, Shelley is showing the reader that the creature, if surrounded by benevolence and good will, will adopt theses traits for himself, it is in fact the exact opposite of misery making a fiend of him. I believe that this is a device by Shelley, used in the creature's narrative to portray a wider and somewhat biblical message. That if one were to do unto others what we would have done to us, then there world would be a much more friendly and generally better place, without misery to create the fiends of this world. ...read more.

Conclusion

By the end of the chapter, the reader is not certain which path the creature will take. As Felix is mercilessly beating him, the creature is unable to lift his hand against him: in this way, Shelley indicates the creature's innate humanity. If he later behaves as a monster, the reader cannot help but understand why: he has been terribly abused and reviled by those people whom he loved and trusted best. Despite his essential goodness, he is hated and so he can only hate mankind in return, this reiterates the point made earlier in the creatures narrative, that when one is greeted with nothing but hatred, one can do nothing but return that hatred, under this circumstance misery did make the creature a fiend, as the creature says: "For the first time the feelings of revenge and hatred filled my bosom, and I did not strive to control them" In conclusion, I believe that the creatures narrative is important as it gives an opposing perspective to that previously given in the book, of the creature as a victim of the unfounded hatred resulting from an untrusting and unfriendly human society, and the romantic image that the innocence of children (the creature is intellectually a child when he is created) is corrupted by the society and environment by which they are surrounded. The creature's narrative shows us that the misery which the creature was surrounded by did in fact making a fiend and that when one considers the situation morally he is the victim, not Frankenstein. ...read more.

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