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Who is the Monster in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

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Introduction

Who is the monster in "Frankenstein"? Arguably, the most famous piece of Gothic literature surely would be "Frankenstein; or, the Modern Prometheus". The highly acclaimed masterpiece was conceived by British novelist Mary Shelley in the summer of 1818 when she was aged just 19 years old. "Frankenstein" tells the story of a "monster's" life via a contemporary issue of advancing science in a secular society. There are many ideas and reasons behind the novel as to what possessed a teenage Romantic, a movement of people who believed in natural beauty, into producing such a chilling tale. The first one, obviously, being the importance an element of parental guidance is. Shelley never had a parental icon in her life because her mother died during childbirth (due to septicaemia), and she never really found a bond with her stepmother. Therefore, she delved into writing, literature and studying works of philosophers - self teaching in other words. This is a main factor we understand as the novel progresses. Another idea why Shelley wrote this novel is because she was pregnant at the time of its making, and she understood the importance of nurture and affection for an offspring (due to not having one herself). Shelley married a fellow Romantic, Percy Bysshe Shelley, who has also been dubbed "the 'finest' lyric poet in all the English language", and this seems to have influenced her into writing the novel too. It was Bysshe Shelley who brought the young novelist to join the Romantic Movement, which audaciously revolted against the scientific rationalization of nature. This is another idea stated in the book. Romantics also emphasized the importance of trepidation, horror and awe which is noticeable quite frequently in the novel. The final obvious idea for the book came from Mary Shelley's, her husband's and a companion, Lord Byron's conversation which was based on the topic of galvanization and reanimation of dead corpses. ...read more.

Middle

Frankenstein believed that creating a partner for his "monster" would be extremely terrifying and because their "joint wickedness might desolate the world". Frankenstein soon destroys his work in progress because he is in angst about events which might occur. However, he doesn't justify this reason to his creation, which later kills; Henry Clerval, Frankenstein's close friend and William, Frankenstein's brother. Frankenstein throughout his life was very self-confided, this causes the death of the aforementioned close relations. After William is killed and Justine is accused of his murder, (due to being framed by the creature after it placed a photo of William's mother in Justine's pocket) Frankenstein denies all knowledge of his death, knowing full well what occurred. This shows that he is willing to endure the deaths of blood relations for his own personal gain, or he doesn't want to admit failure. The way he disrespects human life for personal gain links to the start of the novel, with the letters from Robert Walton. In these letters, Walton claims that "nothing can stop the determined heart and resolved will of man", showing that he will sacrifice anything to see his objective succeed, which is what Frankenstein does. Still, Frankenstein continues with his secrecy, even when it comes to his most beloved relative, his wife-to-be, Elizabeth. When she asks him "What is it you fear?" He replies calmly with "this night, and all will be safe, but this night will be dreadful, very dreadful." He doesn't explain to Elizabeth what makes the night so "dreadful", which shows his reluctance to talk to his loved ones about issues that are troubling him. Elizabeth, unaware of the dangers, is killed instantly at the hands of the creature. The fatalities of; William, Frankenstein's brother; Justine, an adoptee; and Elizabeth, Frankenstein's wife prove to be too much for Frankenstein's father to handle. "He could not live under the horrors that were accumulated around him ... ...read more.

Conclusion

Also I believe she shows herself through the creature when the reader understands that he has taught himself how to read, write and live, which is what Shelley started from a young age. I believe Shelley wanted people to learn multiple messages from her novel, and I am sure there is a plethora of hidden meanings and morals. However, I have discovered the following: The book is shown as a warning to show the dangers of obsession, and how rushing into uncertain and unexamined areas can cause great jeopardy. I also believe that it shows appearance isn't reality, and just because someone looks bad doesn't mean they are a bad person. This can also relate to a modern day society. In that just because a person has come from an undesirable background, it doesn't mean they are bad people. Another important message, I believe, is the relationship between God and man. God grants us with life and in return we are supposed to appreciate it and worship him. However, when someone tries to imitate his actions, the relationship becomes unstable and dire things can happen, as they did with Frankenstein. In conclusion I believe the main message which Shelley was trying to portray was the horror of childbirth. Mary had 4 children, 3 of them dying in infancy. Therefore she tried so hard to create life and ending up with far from what she wanted. This is very similar to Frankenstein in that he toiled and enslaved himself to create life, and the result being far from what he expected, but he inadvertently created a being which is modelled on a perfect human. Not visually of course, but morally. Yet he was never given the chance to show it, which I believe links the 19th century to today. People have biased opinions on other people who may have an unsteady background or appearance, which shows again the immovable natures of man - "powerful, so virtuous, and magnificent, yet so vicious and base". Connor Gallagher ...read more.

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