Frankenstein by Mary Shelley is a gothic novel that tells the story of scientist, Victor Frankenstein, and his obsession with creating human life. This leads him to creating a gruesome monster made of body-parts stolen from grave yards, whom upon discovering his hideousness, the monster seeks revenge against his creator, causing Victor to regret the creation of his monster for the rest of his life. Shelley uses the literary elements of personification, imagery, and similes to give a vivid sense and visualization of Victor Frankenstein’s thoughts and feelings as well as to allow us to delve deeper into the monster’s actions and emotions.
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
This brings us back to Frankenstein, Victor 's relationship with his parents friend, and Elizabeth translated by good words, Shelley uses quotes to emphasize the importance of human relationships (especially, family 's relationship) and how important they are to a person 's well-being “My children, my firmest hopes of future happiness were placed on the prospect of your union. This expectation will now be the consolation of your father. Elizabeth, my love, you must supply my place to my younger children. Alas! I regret that I am taken from you; and, happy and beloved as I have been, is it not hard to quit you all? But these are not thoughts befitting me; I will endeavour to resign myself cheerfully to death, and will indulge a hope of meeting you in another world”(24).
The monster tells Victor of his feelings when he states, “You can blast my other passions, but revenge remains…I may die, but first you, my tyrant and tormentor, shall curse the sun that gazes on your misery.” (153) After months and months of the monster trying to connect with the world, he eventually realizes that the efforts are worthless and vows to do to his creator what his creator did to him. To make Victor isolated would give him the same curse the monster has suffered through for its entire new life. Later, the creature asks himself, “Why, in that instant, did I not extinguish the spark of existence which you had so wantonly bestowed?” The creature easily could kill Victor if that was his desire but its real desire was to make Victor suffer as the monster did. To make Victor experience the feeling isolation, the creature sets out to destroy what he hold most dear, Elizabeth. Victor describes his spouse as the “body of Elizabeth, my love, my wife, so lately living, so dear, so worthy.” Nowhere else in the novel does Victor come even close to describing another human in this manner. Once the monster escaped, Victor realized how important it was to be near people he loved, he had learned the terrors of isolation. The creature then uses this against him by killing the person who brought Victor out of isolation, pushing him back into an even deeper sense of isolation from which Victor can never
Isolation and a lack of companionship is the tragic reality for the monster, who was abandoned by his creator and is repulsive to everyone that he comes across. Victor removes himself from society for many months; severing nearly all human contact then renouncing his creation based on the monster's appearance. As the monster matures he begins to understands the relationship the cottagers share with one another, while the monster, “yearned to be known and loved by these amiable creatures: to see their sweet looks directed towards me with affection was the utmost limit of my ambition.”(Shelley). Armed with nothing but the longing for a real connection, the monster approaches his unknowing hosts only to be “brutally attacked—by those he trusted...because of their human ignorance.”(Millhauser). This violent rejection is a repetition of Victor’s lack of acceptance for the monster and attention to his family. Victor knows that the monster will never be able to live within society and that his ability to create life is the only hope the monster has of achieving companionship. Victor's own aversion to companionship surfaces as he, “ fails to give him the human companionship, the Eve, the female creature, that he needs to achieve some sort of a normal life.” (Mellor). The monsters smoldering hope for friendship dies as he speaks of the injustice that is upon him, “shall each man,” cried he, “find a wife for his bosom, and each beast have his mate, and I be alone? I had feelings of affection, and they were requited by detestation and scorn.”(Shelley). Victor’s miniscule capacity for companionship jeopardises the monster’s chances of a gaining a
The fictional horror novel of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is driven by the accentuation of humanity’s flaws. Even at the very mention of her work an archetypal monster fills one’s imagination, coupled with visions of a crazed scientist to boot. Opening her novel with Robert Walton, the conduit of the story, he also serves as a character to parallel the protagonist’s in many ways. As the ‘protagonist’ of the story, Victor Frankenstein, takes on the mantle of the deluded scientist, his nameless creation becomes the embodiment of a truly abandoned child – one left to fend for itself against the harsh reality posed by society. On the other hand, Walton also serves as a foil to Victor – he is not compulsive enough to risk what would be almost
Victor Frankenstein has since destroyed his female creation of the Monster due to his fear that she and the Monster would procreate, lost the life of Elizabeth who he had just married hours before she was murdered, and threw his life away to pursue the Monster in a chase that led him to the North seeking for revenge against all that the Monster has cost him. Victor, alone and near death, is then discovered wandering through the snow and ice by a passing ship somewhere in the Arctic. The crew rescues Victor and brings him aboard the ship where he meets captain Walden. It is upon this ship and in the presence of Walden that Victor says his very last words. After Victor’s death, a mysterious figure takes form from the darkness of the room in which Victor’s corpse inhabits and out slinks the Monster. Mournful once more but this time not only for himself, the Monster shares these words, “The fallen angel becomes a malignant devil. Yet even that enemy of God and man had friends and associates in his desolation; I am alone.” Gut wrenchingly stated, it is upon these words that Monster reaches complete solitude now that his potential mate and creator have been destroyed. Through the motif of solitude, the Monster has transformed into an
In Mary Shelley’s iconic gothic novel, Frankenstein, Romantic themes are strongly represented in order to propagandize Romanticism over the elements of knowledge and the Enlightenment. In her novel, Shelley uses gothic nature settings to foreshadow dark events that are about to happen in the novel. She also uses nature to intensify the effect that is brought during significant scenes, a strong example being, when Victor Frankenstein’s monster approaches him after a long period of time. Nature and its use to influence mood is one of the most paramount themes of both Frankenstein and Romanticism.
Whereas Frankenstein does not properly value the domestic affection he is given until it is violently taken from him, his creation learns that this is what values most in life and yet is not able to gain this affection from others. Francis Bacon says in his essay Of Friendship “I have given the rule, where a man cannot fitly play his own part; if he have not a friend, he may quit the stage”. Shelley highlights the need for a sense of belonging and companionship by letting both her main figures suffer the pain of not having this need fulfilled and, in consequence, they both “quit the stage” (Bacon) and turn their backs on humanity. Social isolation, although through different circumstances, was the predominant cause for both Frankenstein and his creature’s demise. Even Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Shelley’s husband, wrote in his preface to Frankenstein about the “amiableness of domestic affection” (Shelley 9). By denying both main characters the sensation of domestic affection, or any other kind of social belonging, Mary Shelley highlights the importance thereof. The resulting isolation became the driving force behind both Frankenstein and his creation’s abominable actions which, in turn, shows that trying to avoid isolation and seeking the feeling of social belonging is the primary message of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and of
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.” The monster continues by reassuring the creator of his independent intelligence and power over the creature by telling Frankenstein, “This you alone can do”. Here, the creature assumes a role of submissiveness and reliance on Frankenstein. Frankenstein’s monster gains the sympathy of the reader who, despite condemning the murder of innocent people, commiserate with the lonely creature who is in search of an acquaintance, which he will likely never find. The monster also displays power and aggressiveness over Frankenstein; “You are my creator; but I am your master; obey!” The monster wants to desolate Victor’s heart, not by killing him directly,
Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus, is filled with motifs of Nature and companionship. During the Romantic period or movement, when the novel Frankenstein was written, nature was a huge part of romanticism. Nature was perceived as pure, peaceful, and almost motherly. As we read the novel through Victor Frankenstein 's perspective, we the readers can see how romanticized-nature is perceived as by those who find comfort in nature. This novel also contains, in addition to romantic elements, heavy-filled gothic scenes and descriptions. As the creature wanders aimlessly through nature, he comes to find that his version of nature is dark and depressing. The overall feelings and views of Victor Frankenstein and his
Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein, is one of the most important and popular novels in the Romantic genre to this day. The novel was originally controversial because it touched on many fragile subjects such as the human anatomy and the development of science. The structure of Frankenstein begins as an epistolary, narrative story told by Robert Walton to his sister in England. Walton’s letters tell us that he is exploring, searching for what lies beyond the North Pole, and he eventually connects with Frankenstein. Shelley creates the protagonist, Dr. Victor Frankenstein, who has a fascination with life and death. Gensis states; “God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him.” Humans, therefore, were created as a likeness
In literature, a doppelganger is a device used to shape a protagonist’s double. This double exhibits the ability to impersonate their original, but can also possess different morals and ethics that revolve around bringing a dilemma to the protagonist. The Double by Fyodor Dostoevsky uses the idea of a doppelganger when the main character, Golyadkin, finds an exact double of himself upon travel. His double ultimately has a goal of destroying Golyadkin’s reputation because he has the social skills that Golyadkin doesn’t, which creates madness in both characters. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein reveals that Victor Frankenstein, the protagonist, and his monster each control different aspects that make up one human being. Frankenstein represents the
Isolation and abandonment can cause many different reactions from people. In the words of William A. Sadler Jr., a sociology professor, “We often do not know how to cope. It can make us confused, distraught, depressed, frightened, and even outraged” (Sadler 105). In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, several of these effects are presented in Victor Frankenstein and his creation. They both suffer from being isolated from their creator, society, and family units. They ways in which they are affected by this abandonment proves that isolation has grave effects on human interaction and social development.
Naomi Hetherington is a member of the University of Sheffield, the department of lifelong learning. She is an early researcher in sexuality, religious culture, the 19th-century literature, and gender. She holds a BA in Theology and religious studies, an MA and a Ph.D. in Victorian Literature. She currently teaches four-year pathway literature degree at Sheffield University for students who have already attained foundation degrees. Among the books, she has written the critique of Frankenstein. I strongly agree with her thesis. Naomi feels that many people perceive the story as that of a high targeter who aims at archiving things that only God can accomplish and instead tends to imply