Which Character does the Reader have the most Sympathy for: Frankenstein, or his Creation?
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Which Character does the Reader have the most Sympathy for: Frankenstein, or his Creation? Frankenstein is a gothic novel written by Mary Shelley in a writing competition between friends. Mary Shelley's life may have greatly influenced what happened in the text and which character the sympathies of the reader were aimed at. Her mother died because of complications with the birth of Mary, and at 16 Mary eloped with the writer/poet Percy Shelley, together they had four children but three of them died. After the first child died Mary had a dream in which she had brought the child back to life by warming it near the fire. These events in Mary Shelley's life may have influenced her writing, for example the dream about giving life to the dead child links to Victor Frankenstein's ambition to create life. The story of Frankenstein is told through three narratives, Robert Walton, Victor Frankenstein and the Creature.
Its understandable that his creation was a scientific experiment, it was not brought into the world to be loved or sympathised with. Frankenstein believed that bringing life into an inanimate object would benefit humanity it was not his fault that it went wrong. After he created the creature and realised that it was a big mistake he demonstrates a sense of remorse for his actions and feels guilty about creating the monster. Even as the monster gained life it obvious to see that Frankenstein was drained of it, "I was lifeless, and did not recover my senses for a long time." This shows that Frankenstein could not possibly have cared or taught the creature as he was ill for a long time yet when a woman gives birth she may feel lifeless and be ill but she still cares for and loves her child. Frankenstein could not have been responsible for the monsters actions as it had its own freewill, and as a result of this Frankenstein suffered many losses, not only family but friends, health and peace of mind.
As well as receiving no formal teaching he suffered prejudice and rejection of society due to the repulsive appearance and grotesque image that's his creator, Victor Frankenstein, had given him. The Creature was full of friendliness and sensitivity yet this was destroyed by the unfairness and rational behaviour of both Frankenstein and every other person he came across. The murders he committed could be justified by the lack of understanding of the world and society. After leading a life of unhappiness he destroyed himself. We can see from these two sides of the story that although the Creature was a murderer his reasons for murder could be justified. Victor Frankenstein's reasons for abandonment and egocentricity however were not. There may be many points of sympathy for Victor Frankenstein but each point is countered by a reason that's unsympathetic. However the creatures sympathy points were not countered by unsympathetic points, thus this leads to believe that the sympathies of the reader were aimed at the Creature and the wasteful, unloved for life it led.
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