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Who is the real monster, Frankenstein or his creation?

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Introduction

Who is the real monster, Frankenstein or his creation? Mary Shelly's Frankenstein is designed as a gothic horror novel but deals with serious moral issues. Written in 1818, a time when breakthroughs and discoveries in the scientific world were common and often of great importance, the book shows how desire for knowledge entwined with humanity's ability to quickly reject what seems ugly or that which they don't understand, can unfold into a tragic tale with several fatal altercations. Whilst playing the role of a negligent God, Victor Frankenstein brings into existence a hideous being, which he rejects at birth, his creation lacking teachings of moral values commits murder. But can either Frankenstein or his creation be named monsters for acting on strong human emotions? The book itself is written as a series of letters, by using this unique method we can more easily adjust to the story and feel more connected to the characters, this means we can better understand the motivations of Victor and his creation. The conventions of a gothic horror novel don't really permit the absence of a monster or source of evil. There needs to be something to fear and I believe Shelly wants us to instantly assume due to its vile complexion and grotesque figure that the creature is that. ...read more.

Middle

To then cower in fear at the sight of his creation was not the action of a professional scientist. Neither of these offences really justifies the name monster. Right from the moment of it's formation Frankenstein's creation is completely alienated. Is Shelley trying to portray his later actions as being acceptable due to this? There is only so much that can be learnt on moral issues through books alone, when completely by himself Frankenstein's creation has nobody to learn about right from wrong he is left to make up his own mind on what is acceptable behaviour. Also considering that the only humans he has come into contact with have rejected him based solely on his appearance, surely what little moral boundaries he decides will be reflective of the alienation and malice he has experienced in his life. In the nineteenth century people had very old-fashioned role on woman's role in life the belief was that their purpose was to be mothers. After Victor has "successfully" created life from cadavers he suffers a disturbing nightmare, which depicts his future wife Elizabeth transform into his dead mother. I believe this dream has a deeper meaning, by creating a way of producing life without the need of sexual reproduction he is getting rid of the need for a mother. ...read more.

Conclusion

The description of the place the monster dwells in as being baron and desolate helps to make him sound like more of a monster, as his home is reflective of his personality. This could be especially true for the cold harsh mountains which he roams, the fact that he can survive there alone makes him suited for being a monster or a wild beast. Is this Shelley trying to classify the creature's mental stability based on it's harsh surroundings? We must also definitely consider whether the creature's intelligence makes him more or less of a monster. Because we see the creature as becoming quite intelligent then we tend to use this as a reason to describe it as not being a monster but considering it has the mental capacity to understand the quality of life for the victim surely this would make his actions more monstrous. The creature is obviously intelligent, possibly more so than his creator. It is this ability that could condemn him to the title monster. Also when the creature makes malicious threats towards Victor, though they are worded to perfection and a good example of his vast vocabulary, they still remain brutally hateful "I will work at your destruction, nor finish until I desolate your heart, so that you will curse the hour of your birth." He poses far greater a threat with a brain to match his incredible brawn. ...read more.

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