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Who is the monster in Frankenstein? - Discuss with reference to chapters 5, 16 & 17.

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Introduction

Who is the monster in Frankenstein? - Discuss with reference to chapters 5, 16 & 17 * Discuss Shelley's use of language * Link to historical context * Refer to your knowledge of the novel as a whole There are many ideas as to who the monster really is in Frankenstein and in this essay I will explore who the monster is in the novel. The three main ideas are whether it is Victor, society itself or indeed the monster who is truly evil. Although Victor's creation is known as the Monster, by reading the novel it is clear that this isn't the full story. The beginning of chapter 5 is very important in the novel, as this is the chapter in which the Monster is brought to life, and we learn a lot about what the Monster is really like. We see from the word 'dreary' in the first sentence and 'dismally' a few lines down that misery is to come once the monster has been created. This is also shown by the choice of month - November. This is a winter month and makes the situation seem bleak. The Monster is described as having 'yellow skin', 'watery eyes', a shrivelled complexion' and 'straight black lips'. ...read more.

Middle

The Monster is portrayed as powerful, beast-like and destructive. This is shown when he says 'I was like a wild beast that had broken the toils'. He vows an 'ever-lasting war against the species' and also mentions 'justice'. This obviously links in with the theme of justice, and that he has been forced into this war because of the trial by society. He decides to seek out his creator, and on the way he says a girl from drowning. The girl's father shoots him and this only serves to heighten his hatred for humanity. He wishes to befriend a child but on finding that the child is William Frankenstein he kills him. This shows he is jealous of the family love between the Frankenstein family because he himself is not being shown that love by Victor. By this action he also wants to make Victor suffer as much as he is. We can see this when he says 'this death will carry despair to him. We also see his plan to make Victor suffer when he says 'a thousand other miseries shall torment and destroy him'. He plants a portrait from the child onto Justine, who is sleeping. This causes Justine to be accused of the crime and hanged. ...read more.

Conclusion

The novel uses a Chinese-box style narration. This means the story is told by many characters, all of which are similar. Victor's determinedness in creating the Monster parallels Captain Walton's in trying to get to the North Pole. The Monster is also determined in Chapter 17 in persuading Victor to create him a bride. The theme of justice is used heavily, in the way that the Monster is treated by society. He is hated because of his appearance, and this is a misguided opinion, a prejudice. They hate him without knowing his caring and kind spirit. The hanging of Justine uses the theme of justice, and is also a parallel to the monster in the fact the innocent people are punished. In conclusion, I believe that society is the monster in this novel. This is because the judge the Monster by his appearance, without knowing him and what he is truly like. In this way Shelley uses the Monster as a symbol. Nobody knows him but everybody hates him, and the Monster is a symbol of innocent people having others who don't know them being prejudiced towards them. We see this from chapter 5 & 16, and see he is prepared to reason in 17, meaning he is not just a cold-hearted monster. By doing this Shelley develops what we think of people, as well as putting across the point that science can be dangerous. Word count: 1,659 Michael Deacon ...read more.

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