Are monsters really that bad? Or is it ultimately their creators in the wrong? Victor Frankenstein, son of Alphonse Frankenstein, recently came out with the fact that he had created a monster, brought back from the dead. The question is though, was Dr. Frankenstein or his creation responsible for what the monster had done. All signs however, point to Victor being fully and completely responsible for the monster’s actions.
Although in Frankenstein the monster’s actions are horrific,we understand his justification for doing so. Even in his attempt to be good and integrate himself into society ,society rewards him with beatings; “... I arrived at a village. How miraculous did this appear! The huts, the near cottages, and stately houses engaged my admiration … I hardly placed my foot within the door.
“Knowledge is power” (Meditationes Sacrae [1597; Works 14.95; 79]) is a famous quote from Francis Bacon with many meanings. Knowledge is magical and beneficial; everyone wants to be able to say that they “know everything” but knowing too much is not always a good thing/has been proved to lead to destruction. Victor Frankenstein in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Macbeth in Shakespeare’s Macbeth are two extraordinary characters that seem to struggle with the power of knowledge. Both crave any amount of knowledge they can receive which inevitably influences their ambitions, causes them to make immoral decisions and lose their sense of reality.
In Jeffrey Jerome Cohen’s Monster Culture (Seven Thesis), Cohen analyzes the psychology behind monsters and how, rather than being a monstrous beast for the protagonist of the story to play against, “the monster signifies something other than itself”. Cohen makes the claim that by analyzing monsters in mythology and stories, you can learn much about the culture that gave rise to them. In Thesis 1 of Monster Culture, Cohen proposes that “the monster’s body literally incorporates fear, desire, anxiety, and fantasy”, specifically the fear, desire and anxiety of the cultures that gave rise to it;; fFor example, vVampires, undead, represent a fear of death. Monsters are born of an intense fear, desire, or internal conflict, “at this metaphorical
In James Davis’ literary essay “Frankenstein and the Subversion of the Masculine Voice,” he discusses the oppression of women and the minor roles of females in Mary Shelly’s novel Frankenstein. With a feminist perspective, Davis claims, “He [Victor Frankenstein] oppresses female generation of life and of text; he rends apart both the physical and the rhetorical ‘form’ of female creativity. In fact, all three male narrators attempt to subvert the feminine voice, even in those brief moments when they tell the women’s stories” (307). Throughout his essay, Davis demonstrates the underlying message of Shelly’s subversion towards men and the social consequences of misogyny. Davis draws parallels between the three men, Robert Walton, Victor Frankenstein, and Victor’s creation, Frankenstein, in which they
Duality is shown in Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein, a gothic tale of a scientist whom looks to advance the life-giving qualities of mother nature. Through this novel, Shelley proves that good and evil in human nature is not always simple to define, and that everyone has both of these qualities within them. The duality of human nature is shown through the characters of Victor Frankenstein and his monster, who are both heroes in the novel while simultaneously displaying anti-hero qualities. Shelley forces the reader to sympathize with them both but also creates gruesome ideas of the two. Frankenstein’s creature places himself in a submissive position when he begs his creator to have mercy on him and asking the creator to “create a female for [him] with whom [he] can live in the interchange of those sympathies necessary for [his] being.”
Just as Frankenstein’s monster was the first of a new species of being, so Mary Shelley’s novel was the first of a species of book. Frankenstein is generally accepted to be the first ever science-fiction story (Stableford, 1995), and it incorporates themes that are now considered to be at the core of the genre. However at the time of writing, the genre of science-fiction did not exist, since she had yet to create it. It is therefore imperative to examine how Shelley’s work functions as a piece of gothic literature, taking into account all of the accompanying symbolism and imagery that entails.
Rough Draft Being known as a horror writer may be Mary Shelley’s claim to fame. In fact, at the mention of the author’s name, most people will automatically envision the bolt-necked monster with which we are all familiar. While Mary Shelley did not gain much recognition for her work during her lifetime, she used her experience and her writing to promote equality for women. She took aweful experiences throughout her lifetime and made magical horror stories about it and transformed herself into the horror story Mary Shelley we all know of now hundreds or years later. Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin was born August 30th, 1797 in London, England.
It is most commonly accepted as a universal truth that the way a child is raised plays a major role in their development from infancy to adolescence. The monster in Shelley’s Frankenstein is no exception. Although born into an adult body, the monster’s development adheres along many stages in the science of childhood development. Despite his grotesque appearance, the monster in Frankenstein has a human persona- a fact that Victor failed to realize upon the monster’s creation. If Dr. Frankenstein had understood the human component of the monster’s personality, the story of Frankenstein would be drastically altered as lives would not have been lost and the monster would not have lived the majority of his life in vengeful isolation.
The monster’s soul, designed to be human-like, corrupts as his acts of kindness are treated with hate and malice. In Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein, the monster causes suffering and harm to others due to the injustice and harm inflicted upon the monster’s well intentioned actions. Since the monster’s creation, he isn’t guided through what is right or wrong, and his appearances prevent him from establishing rapport with other humans. When the monster tells Victor about his first feelings upon being created, he states “I saw, felt, heard, and smelt at the same time; and it was, indeed, a long time before I learned to distinguish between the operations of my various senses” (Shelley 70). The monster is similar to a child since