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Who is responsible for the murders in Mary Shelley's 'Frankenstein'?

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Introduction

Who is responsible for the murders in Mary Shelley's 'Frankenstein'? 'Frankenstein' is a novel written in 1818 by Mary Shelley, which has become one of the most popular novels of its genre. 'Frankenstein' has been, and is, read throughout the world, having stood the test of time by remaining popular nearly two centuries after its creation. Two main factors probably gave Shelley the impetus to write the novel. The first being the wider social influence of the fast paced scientific developments of the 19th century, and secondly, from a personal perspective, the problems and sorrow which Shelley endured in her family life. The 19th century was a time of great scientific discovery and it is likely that the experiments that were being carried out at the time would have had a huge impact on Shelley, leading her to create 'Frankenstein'. We can well understand the power of science in the modern world, including the promise and dangers suggested by genetic engineering, for example. Similarly, in the 19th century, the public must have been fascinated by the work of scientists such as Galvini. Galvini managed the incredible feat of reviving dead tissue, and his nephew, Aldini actually went one-step further and 'reanimated' limbs of a whole corpse using electricity. ...read more.

Middle

There were however, moments when his conscience surfaced 'often did my human nature turn with loathing from my occupation' this obviously shows us that Frankenstein was not completely enthralled by his work and that he did have some of his morals intact. But eventually his true reasoning behind his experiments surfaces. Frankenstein's whole intention was to play God and to create a creature different from humans. `A new species would bless me as its creator'. This shows us that Frankenstein feels that by completing his experiments he could become almost God-like by holding the power of life and reviving the dead. This can also be seen through the title of the novel 'Frankenstein' or 'The Modern Prometheus', as Prometheus stole fire from the Gods, Frankenstein stole creation from the Gods for the betterment of humanity. The stronger theme is that of discrimination to outsiders. The character of Frankenstein is not represented as evil. He is self-centred and single minded in his pursuit to create 'perfection' and learn, 'the secrets of heaven and hell'. He doesn't consider the implications of his hazardous research or believe that anything could possibly go wrong, his intentions he believed were good. ...read more.

Conclusion

Although it may have been the monster who strangled William and murdered both Elizabeth and Clerval it was Frankenstein's inability to admit to his faults that led to the death of Justine. As Frankenstein could not be bold enough to let other people know that it was not Justine who killed William but his creation. If Frankenstein had divulged his secret then they would know it was the monster who perpetrated the murders. Furthermore, if Frankenstein had told Clerval of the monster then Clerval may not have died, but this can be said for all the murders that occur in the novel. So it was the monster that killed not to defend himself but to have his revenge on a society who judged him not by his morals but by the way he looked. As can be said for our society today which contains many people who discriminate others because of sex, age or race. I feel that Victor is mainly responsible, he started an experiment to which he had given no thought and when he was not happy with the result he ran away hoping that it would pass over but it didn't. Even though he had numerous chances to admit to his failure it was only when it was too late that he confessed. Ikveer Notta 10RN ...read more.

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