With procreation comes with the expectation to provide, protect and to love one’s progeny. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is a cautionary tale of the effects that parentages and society have on adolescents, particularly the disabled and abused, and the consequences later in life. Victor Frankenstein, a brilliant and ambitious man with a God complex gives life to a monster, whom he immediately hates and fears. Victor’s disdain leads to the monster’s existential crisis and psychological impairment, which results in theft and murder. This parallels to contemporary maltreatment of children and its bearing on their future health, and interaction with society.
In the novel Frankenstein,by Mary Shelley, the mysterious and unnatural origins of the character of Frankenstein’s monster are an important element. The Monster, having been created unethically and haphazardly, is at odds throughout the novel, resulting in his alienation from society and prolonged feelings of anger, desertion, and loneliness. Shaping his character, his relationships with other characters, and the meaning of the work as a whole, the Monster’s origins are what define him. The Monster faces rejection and violence every time he attempts to make contact with the new, foreign world he has been thrust into. Having been created from mismatched body parts, the majority of which had been decomposing for some amount of time, the Monster is grotesque and inhuman despite having human parts.
Moreover, when he “looked around, he saw and heard of none like [himself]. Was I then a monster, a blot upon the earth, from which all men fled, and whom all men disowned” (138). Through the knowledge he acquired from spying in on the Felix family, he gained the understanding that his grotesque look doomed him to be marginalized within human society; therefore, his understanding of human history destined himself to be a monster. Although, this self-realization of a monster identity plays a huge role in the general plot and character development of Frankenstein’s Monster, it hints at a subtler interpretation of the nature of knowledge.
The Creature’s feelings of rejection from society and the abandonment from Victor compel him to use violence and seek revenge. In so, the Creature ends up killing a great many of people throughout the story, some of which include: Victor’s younger brother William, Justine Moritz, Victor’s close friend Henry Clerval, and Victor’s soon to be wife Elizabeth Lavenza. Many would say that the story of “Frankenstein” from the start sets out to make the creature seem to be naturally evil and a monstrosity of a thing which is directly the cause of its uncontrollable bloodthirstiness, but I believe this to not be the case. Although the Creature behaves viciously and murders several people, he is not inherently evil or malicious. It is because of the human relationships he endured and the consequences of a neglected psycho-social responsibility that drove him to do such
In her novel Mary Shelley explores the central ideas of rejection and abandonment, human nature, good and evil and revenge to support the conviction of Frankenstein’s responsibility in the novel and Frankenstein is a reflection of this. Shelley shows through positioning of characters within the stories that good and evil is not clear-cut and there are many moral grey areas. The readers are positioned to feel sympathy for the creature, especially since his yearnings for human contact could easily be their own. Which makes it all the more frightening when Victor and others treat him in such vile ways. Shelley uses the novel to explore human nature, Frankenstein wants the readers to see the creature as a monster however they don’t.
While they obtained different knowledge for different reasons, both were led to unhappiness through it. Frankenstein, in the creation of his monster, brought upon himself a terrible fate of loss and anguish. The monster, upon learning to speak, found only that no matter how hard he tried this world would not welcome him, he found his reflection in Lucifer and felt the weight of his existence. Both were ultimately lost, falling into their own forms of
Frankenstein left the monster alone, and the monster reacted for seeking that Frankenstein should feel just as much loneliness and woe and he did by killing off his entire family. Shelly is therefore claiming that one's own nature and forms in which they were nurtured (Frankenstein) have an effect on those of others, and can even cause someone else to be more inhumane than the original person (the daemon). This is seen in human nature, where one who experiences abandonment from a parent because the parent's nature causes them to flee, this person will be more likely to commit crimes due to their loneliness and lack of direction by a parental figure. This translates directly into the plot of the story,
They each show characteristics of being a monster, they are hostile toward others and inspire a sense of dread commonly associated with creatures of evil or those that are not fully human and care little for the nature of that which is good. The perception of what makes a monster is questioned as the more we learn about the scientists the more we question their humanity. Frankenstein takes on the qualities of a mad scientist robbing graves and desecrating corpses, and Nathan drowns himself in alcohol taking out his aggression on those around him. Frankenstein’s creation in novel is able to express compassion and is able to show remorse, caring for things beside himself. Nathan comments about in regards to Ava's brain that it is “Impulse.
It is also pivotal to remember that he did not just lose his family, but by creating such a monster he loses his place amongst humanity as he says “I had no right to share their intercourse. I had unchained an enemy among them, whose joy it was to shed blood, and to revel in their groans” (pg. 188). Frankenstein creates the murderer of
When making the decision to destroy his half-finished female form, Victor recalls that he had already “created a fiend of unparalleled barbarity” in his first monster, and that this new creation might even be “ten thousand times more malignant than her mate” (138). In the wake of the trauma the monster has caused both to himself and his family (via his post-partum depressive state and the deaths of Justine and William respectively), Frankenstein is now overwhelmingly conscious of the horrible consequences that birth can entail. In contrast to his previous aspirations, he characterizes his creation with words of negative connotation such as “barbarous” and “fiend,” and suggests that a future creation could even be exponentially more evil. Victor’s initial dreams of fatherhood have been grotesquely morphed into terror of future creation, which would be made possible by creating a female monster. He speculates that one of the first results of creating a mate for his monster would be a “race of devils…propagated upon the earth” who would make the “very existence of man…full of terror” (138).
Grendel vs. “The monster” Grendel in the novel by John Gardner is very similar to “the monster” in Frankenstein by Mary Shelly because both Grendel and the monster feel like outsiders, they kill humans, and they both are able to learn new things. Grendel feels like an outsider because he knows he is different and he wants to know the truth of why he is what he is and why God made him that way. Grendel asks his mother “Why are we here?” which means that he is doubting his existence. Grendel kills humans in the mead hall while they are asleep. “Swiftly, softly, I will move from bed to bed and destroy them all, swallow every last man.” He kills them because he was affected by the shapers death.