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Who, in your opinion, is the real monster of Mary Shelleys Frankenstein. Is it the destructive, unnamed fiend or his creator, Victor Frankenstein?

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Introduction

Who, in your opinion, is the real monster of Mary Shelley's 'Frankenstein'. Is it the destructive, unnamed fiend or his creator, Victor Frankenstein? In order to explore the novel and reach a decision about this question, it makes sense first to look at the roots and some influences of the story, to investigate what the allusions to the real world in 'Frankenstein' may mean. The world that Mary Shelley inhabited was, at the time, host to many newfound and innovative machines created as part of the Industrial Revolution. Fueled largely by the invention of the steam engine, the revolution was a great impact on the economy of Britain, and led to great expansion in many areas of industry, allowing many people's manual and difficult jobs to be replaced by faster and cheaper machinery. Even at the time, this was considered to be an enormous step towards the future of modernization around the world. However not everybody experienced the benefits of these changes and it did not stop the exploitation of ordinary working people. As well as the people who lost their jobs, there was also immense toil placed upon those who had to maintain the working machinery. There were very few safety regulations in factories, and infamously there were even children forced into labour for long days, sometimes mutilated under inhumane conditions amongst the hazardous new machines. Mary Shelley's father, William Godwin, warned her that along with being amazed with these latest technologies, she should also reserve some fear for them, which is in-keeping with themes that manifested themselves in 'Frankenstein'. Comparisons can be made between Victor Frankenstein's creation and James Watt's steam engine in that both were released into the world, with both creators unknowing how they may have caused the devastation of people's lives. The Industrial Revolution is an example of how innocent people could be overlooked and eventually suffer in the name of progress. ...read more.

Middle

that he was only doing this as a sign of friendliness and the need for a companion. It is because his appearance is so gruesome that even his creator is prejudiced against him. Victor assumes that as the 'fiend' appears grotesque; he must have monstrous intentions, when this isn't necessarily the case. His horror at how playing God has backfired is exemplified more by associating his creation with Dante and hell, whilst also referring to him as a 'demoniacal corpse', showing tremendous contrast from his original intentions. Because the reader doesn't yet know what (if anything) is going through the mind of the 'monster', it is only natural that they can sympathize with Frankenstein, and pity him in his fear and disappointment whether they believe him to be foolish and arrogant or not. After him being occupied with nothing but his work for so long, the arrival of Clerval serves as a reminder to the reader and Frankenstein of his family back home, bringing back an element of normality in Victor's thoughts. When he falls ill, he is cared for and written to, showing that no matter how much he may have neglected his family he is still lucky to have them to care for him, whereas his 'monster' has nothing and nobody. The next time we hear from the creation is when Victor encounters him on his way to Geneva. Without any real evidence, he immediately blames his 'fiend' for the murder of William and is no less than degrading with his description of him. Saying that a "...flash of light illuminated the object..." quickly gives us an impression of the creature being sinister, as we normally associate lightning with being threatening. The fact that Victor objectifies his creation also shows how he is looked upon by his creator as a simple thing that only resembles a living being. Throughout the next few chapters, Shelley makes us feel sorry for Victor's family and possibly Victor himself by using the death of Justine and William effectively. ...read more.

Conclusion

In his closing speech, the creation talks about all of the death and destruction that he has wrought. "Think you that the groans of Clerval were music to my ears?" This and many other lines spoken by him on the final few pages display the immense guilt he feels for the terrible acts of malevolence he committed. Eventually he figures that the only way to end his suffering is to end his 'wretched' life along with his creator, simply saying; "I shall die." This statement is possibly the shortest sentence in the entire novel, and emphasizes the finality of what the creation believes he has to do. In conclusion, I believe that Victor is very much the character who can be said to be more culpable for the tragedies that happen within the novel. There were many opportunities for him to prevent the suffering of others which he refused. If he had not been blinded by his need for recognition as a scientist then he could have thought deeply about the implications his creation may have outside of his imaginings. Among many things, he could have educated the creature himself rather than shunning him away; and the final blow he delivered to his and the monster's life was by refusing to create for him a female partner. Even though it is the creature's hand which directly causes deaths, "[Victor] not in deed, but in effect was the true murderer." by releasing his na�ve and powerful creation into the world. At the end of the novel the creation states how he did not enjoy taking his revenge and was driven forward by 'a frightful selfishness'. Although this doesn't redeem him for his actions, it shows even more that he is very capable of understanding, and isn't pleased with what he has done. Victor's arrogance and neglect of morality was the real origin of his tribulations, and even if he showed deep remorse for them, his problems and aches still followed him even to the grave. ?? ?? ?? ?? Joshua Isted 11X Frankenstein Essay ...read more.

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