Compare and Contrast the ways in which rejection is presented in Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein"

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Compare and contrast the ways in which rejection is presented in an extract from Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein”


Mary Shelley presents rejection very much through her characterisation of the Frankenstein monster. I have taken an extract from the novel in which Frankenstein is reunited with his monster. In this extract the monster relates to Frankenstein the troubles he has had in mixing in human society, and he then threatens Frankenstein to build himself a mate. Shelley presents the monster’s rejection through her use of form, structure and language, of which she uses to highlight the significance of the monster’s rejection and the intensity of pain that results from his rejection.

Frankenstein’s monster describes a pivotal moment in his life that changes his destiny, or his desired destiny, and propels the story to its tragic ending. The monster approaches the home of his “protectors.” He waits for any opportunity for himself and the blind old man, De Lacey, to be left alone. When the youthful Salfie, Felix and Agatha leave the home, the monster seizes his opportunity to befriend a group of human beings. The tension building to this moment is heightened as the monster relates the nervousness and apprehension he feels before approaching De Lacey. The narrator, the monster, is aware of the great importance that this scene holds for his future, and as a result, the reader is also able to appreciate the significance of this particular event. A similar technique is used by Ian McEwan in his novel “Enduring Love”: the narrator Joe Rose goes into great detail about the setting of an event and the significance of an event before explaining the plot; before he tells of the balloon crash and his meeting with Jed Parry, Joe describes this incident as pivot in order to present its significance, and he heightens the scenes importance by going into great detail concerning the setting of the event of which he is explaining.

 Mary Shelley also presents the monster’s rejection through her description of other characters’ loneliness. Initially the monster and De Lacey are able to converse with one another and they are able to relate to each other. Their connection is evident even before the monster enters into conversation with De Lacey. He describes De Lacey playing “several sorrowful” songs.  He and the monster both suffer sorrow and they have both been exiled outside of their once adopted, or in the monster’s case: supposedly adopted, society. The two are both linked in conversation, and both seem to delight in one another’s company. De Lacey describes being “persuaded” that the monster is “sincere.” De lacey is able to discern the goodness in the monster due to his blindness and therefore De Lacey is unprejudiced and accepting of the monster. The monster describes De Lacey as an “excellent man!” The monster is not completely isolated, but he is linked to De Lacey through rejection and pity. In Charlotte Bronte’s “The Foundling,” Sydney and Lady Julia are able to relate to each other, through the similarities in their emotional states. In the same way De Lacey and the monster share the state of sorrow and isolation, Sydney and Julia also share an ambiguity in their feelings for each other. Lady Julia feels sorrow and hope- in her song she sings of a weeping bride losing her true love, but she also sings of the hope of reuniting with the once lost lover. Sydney also feels sorrow and joy-after Lady Julia tells him that she always love him, but can never marry him, Sydney fells pleased that Lady Julia has promised to devote her love to him, but at the same time he feels saddened by the extinguishing of any hope of marrying her.    

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The tenderness that the monster feels towards De Lacey does not last. On returning home, Felix, Salfie and Agatha are horrified by the sight of the monster. Salfie fleas the home, Agatha faints and Felix confronts the monster and attacks him. The endearing nature of the blind father is completely switched to an abhorring and unwelcoming violence and disgust towards the monster, when the rest of the family return home. On sighting the monster the violence erupts. In the monster’s speech De Lacey observes sincerity, however, in the monster’s physique “horror” and “consternation” is evoked from those who see him. ...

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