The creatures shift in attitudes regarding society, justice, and injustice is finalized in the final chapter of Shelleys "Frankenstein", but it had been occurring since he very first opened his eyes.

The Monster Within “Was there no injustice in this? Am I to be thought the only criminal, when all of human kind sinned against me? “(273) When Frankenstein’s monster asks this question of Robert Walton in the final dialogue of Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein, he displays the complete transformation of his views on society, justice, and injustice since his creation and initial introduction into the world. The monster’s first experience of the world, as he describes it to Frankenstein during their cave meeting, was one of awe and beauty. He narrates his first experience of nature, recalling, “a gentle light stole over the heavens, and gave me a sensation of pleasure. I started up, and beheld a radiant form rise from among the trees. I gazed with a kind of wonder.” (118) The monster views humans with this same kind of wonder and respect, and desires to be accepted by them, despite his hideous appearance. However, through a series of rejections from his creator and other humans that he has felt a close relationship to, the monster comes to view the world as a place of evil and becomes obsessed with gaining justice for the sins committed against him, even if involves the death of innocents. The creature quickly learns that the beautiful, fair world he had so wished to believe in cannot exist, especially for someone as appalling as he. Even though the monster’s

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  • Level: AS and A Level
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To what extent is Frankenstein a criticism of societys attitude to accommodate what it sees as monsters, aliens and exiles?

To what extent is ‘Frankenstein’ a criticism of society’s attitude to accommodate what it sees as monsters, aliens and exiles? ‘Frankenstein’ was written in an era when gothic horror was widely read and very popular, especially with women. Discussing gothic horror was a common past time amongst women and it was acceptable for more unorthodox views to be expressed. Writers knew that mystery and horror were important elements that made up gothic horror which would almost certainly have influenced Shelley’s writing. ‘Frankenstein’ contains many characters which could be seen as monsters, aliens and exiles and Shelley is very particular in the way in which they are portrayed and accepted by society. It appears that in ‘Frankenstein’ society is itself what creates the monsters – after all, the monster only becomes monstrous after being exiled and mistreated by society. This begs the question – is Victor a metaphor for society and how twisted it has become? Shelley ensures that the audience feels pity for the exiles as they are mistreated. The monster is perhaps the most obvious ‘exile’ and is mistreated in many instances. Firstly by his creator – Frankenstein – which means, in his childlike state, he has no guidance in the world. The first time the monster encounters humans is a jarring way to be introduced to the world of men ‘some attacked me,

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  • Level: AS and A Level
  • Subject: English
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Analyse chapter 4 of Mary Shelleys Frankenstein and explore the extent to which it fits into the genre of the gothic novel and reflects the fears and concerns from the era in which the novel was written.

Charles Ford Analyse chapter 4 of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and explore the extent to which it fits into the genre of the gothic novel and reflects the fears and concerns from the era in which the novel was written. Mary Shelley’s novel, Frankenstein, contains features of gothic literature throughout the book. However this is most prevalent in chapter 4. From this chapter there are plenty of distinctive features which are conveyed through the creation of the monster and also through the setting. The language techniques that Shelley uses in the novel represent the genre of the gothic and also portray the fears and concerns about the era in which it was written. The aspects that can be taken into consideration when analysing the novel is the influence of Shelley’s personal life on the novel, the attitudes of people and family in the era and the character of Frankenstein. Chapter 4 starts immediately with a main feature of the gothic. Pathetic fallacy is a technique that Shelley uses well throughout this chapter as it creates an atmosphere and the reader can emphasise the setting. ‘It was a dreary night of November.’ Where Shelley describes it as a dreary night the reader gains an understanding of the setting of the scene and it is always in the back of the mind. The description of the weather undermines Frankenstein’s excitement as he is about to create the

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Feminist critic Anne K. Mellor argues that Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is an attack on masculine Romanticism. To what extent do you agree with Mellor's assessment?

Feminist critic Anne K. Mellor argues that Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is an attack on masculine Romanticism. To what extent do you agree with Mellor's assessment? I believe that Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is an attack on the masculine Romanticism, thus, meaning my agreement with Mellor's assessment. In Shelley's novel, the ambitious Romantic hero, Victor Frankenstein, challenges the laws of nature by trying to dominate the role of the females. He attempts to do so by creating artificial life, however, his attempt to tamper with the "ever-varied powers of nature", is then the cause for his "destruction". One interpretation of the novel is that man must keep equilibrium between his ambitious "pursuit of knowledge" and "the tranquility of his domestic affections", not allowing one aspect to "interfere" with another. Shelley structures her novel in a way that Walton's framing tale is used as a warning to the readers who can relate to masculine characteristics, telling them to tame their ambition before it's too late. And through Frankenstein's narrative, Shelley hopes that the readers can "deduce an apt moral" being that over ambition corrupts. The characteristics of a masculine Romantic hero consist of a dominative egocentric personality with huge ambitions to pursue revolutionary ideas. These characteristics are represented in the novel through Walton, and Frankenstein.

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  • Subject: English
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Though Frankenstein was written by the daughter of a feminist, the women in the novel seem less important than the men.

Though Frankenstein was written by the daughter of a feminist, the women in the novel seem less important than the men. How far do you agree that Shelley does indeed present male characters as being more interesting and more central to the main ideas of the novel? Strangely, even though Mary Shelley came from a feministic background, the women in Frankenstein take a very backseat role as the story follows that of the men, with women only portrayed subjectively from Frankenstein or the monster, who are both male. Even though the character of Elizabeth is arguably the third most important character in the novel, it never takes her first person view of events. Firstly, Frankenstein is undisputedly the main character in Frankenstein, and for the majority of the novel it is Frankenstein's recalling of events, through Walton, "Strange and harrowing must be his story", as Walton hears his 'monstrous' tale. The story revolves around Victor Frankenstein in first person, which allows the reader to relate to him with more ease. With Shelley's decision of first person, it allows us to feel the emotions Frankenstein feels, which really complements the story as there are many extremes of happiness and sadness, allowing the reader to experience these as closely as possible. The first person perspective also gives way to bias, considering we are reading Frankenstein's personal reaction to

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How does Shelly portray the creature through her narrative?

How does Shelly portray the creature through his narrative? As the Creature tells his story of his ‘childhood’ in chapters 11 to 16 the pre-conceptions of the creature are challenged. It is the first time the Creature tells his story and immediately it is apparent of the humanistic features he beholds. “It is with considerable difficulty that I remember the original era of my being.” The simple statement proves how far physically and emotional he has come; physically his language has advanced compared to chapter 5 when he speaks “inarticulate sounds.” Emotionally he is not spiteful of the “birth.” His innocence is portrayed through the 11th chapter as the reader experiences the sensations and understanding the world as the creature does. “I felt cold also, and half frightened.” Shelly is creating a sense of empathy for the creature. When the Creature finds the De Lacy’s cottage there is evidence that he has feelings as he feels sympathy for the girl who has “enticed my life.” This furthermore shows his understanding of emotions because even though he can not tell why she is upset he still feels the “kindness and affection.” He learns of human morals, and feels guilty because he “inflicted pain of the cottagers” for taking their food in the night. Instead he finds other food and helps them in their “labours” by bringing their firewood. In

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The Afterlife of Frankenstein

The Frankenstein myth has produced over 2,600 pieces of derivative work and 100 films. Post-publication it was critiqued but not heavily. William Godwin, an old radical, was dedicatee on the anonymously published work and so association with him garnered rejections from conservative publications. There were questions over aspects of the novel reflecting preoccupations and values of the time. It was praised in some essays. All in kind showed some respect initially. Lawrence published his work and gained notoriety. Through being or fear of being associated with his work Mary Shelley revised her work n 1831 where se removed signs of his ideas. The first play appeared in 1823, Presumption, making three key changes from the novel: Frankenstein's religious remorse, the monster being mute and a comic servant called Fritz. It is a cautionary reading followed by The Demon of Switzerland. Before her own changes had been made, she had lost control over her own plot. Her edits were damage limitation. Conservative writers were interpreting it however they wanted knowing their readers agreed. She cut what The Quarterly wanted removed from Lawrence's work. The novel is the first in the mad-scientist genre. Victor has now become more corrupt. The creature is more sensationalised and dehumanised. Playwrights recognised problems in translating the play. The internal reasonings of Victor

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''mistakes in frankenstein''

'How and what causes characters to learn from their mistakes' In Frankenstein, listening is an important theme in the characters learning from their past mistakes. The novel is written in a narrative form, which allows the story to be relayed through other characters several times. The reader and Mrs. Saville are the first people who listen to Frankenstein's story through Walton's letters home. Walton listens to Frankenstein's story from Victor, and Frankenstein listens to the monster's story. Each person's story has a message or warning that they need to relay to the other and upon hearing their story they each learn of their past mistakes and how to correct them. Mary Shelly emphasizes the importance of listening through a series of key characters. Mrs. Saville and the rest of society read Walton's letters which tell Victor Frankenstein's story. This is the outermost layer of the narrative format of the novel. Mrs. Saville is Walton's sister; he begins writing her letters on his mission to the Artic to let her know that he is in good health. When he comes across Victor Frankenstein he records Frankenstein's story in his letters home to Margret. Victor's story is supposed to communicate a warning to society. The warning is to not become so wrapped up in the pursuit of knowledge that contact with other people becomes unimportant. Isolating oneself from society due to

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Explore the way that Shelley presents the relationship between Frankenstein and his creature.

"Did I request thee, maker from my clay to mould me man? Did I solicit thee from darkness to promote me?" - John Milton, Paradise Lost. Frankenstein tells his creature that "There can be no community between you and me; we are enemies." However, it can be argued that the creature and his creator are very similar. Explore the way that Shelley presents the relationship between Frankenstein and his creature. Frankenstein and the creature, although have strong feeling of hate towards each other. Frankenstein to creature for murdering his family and friends, and also creature to Frankenstein for creating him, and refusing to make a partner for the creature to have for company. Although there can obviously be no community or relationship between the creature and Frankenstein there are some similarities between them that Shelley makes obvious and shows very well. The first similarity we notice, when reading the novel, is how Frankenstein and the creature feel the same a lot of the time. They are both extremely lonely and feel isolated in their world. Frankenstein cannot talk to anyone about his feelings and what he has done. "...But now that I had finished, the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart." This shows how his realization of what he has done has affected him and made him feel guilty and shocked for what he has done and created,

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Themes in Frankenstein

From our reading so far I can identify many themes within the novel which I will now explore and analyse in this essay. Possibly the most powerful theme shown in Volume One is the dangerous pursuit of knowledge and the possible moral consequences of ambition. From the day we first meet Victor we learn that he is an obvious over-reacher and will attempt to surge beyond any regular human limits to access the secret of life. Through Victor and his ruthless ambition Shelley makes it clear that she believes knowledge such as the type of which Victor is enthralled in can lead to no good and that it soon becomes destructive when uncontrolled. Although, not only Victor is affected by this theme, Walton too succumbs to his uncontrollable passion, saying this though; it is Victor whose obsession is bizarrely intense. “I collected bones from charnel-houses and disturbed, with profane fingers, the tremendous secrets of the human frame. In a solitary chamber, or rather cell, at the top of the house, and separated from all the other apartments by a gallery and staircase, I kept my workshop of filthy creation: my eyeballs were starting from their sockets in attending to the details of my employment,” it is during these lines where his obsession grows immensely. In fact Victor is so deeply engrossed in the process of making his creation that he fails to consider what his

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  • Level: AS and A Level
  • Subject: English
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