Nature Vs Nurture Frankenstein

Good Essays
The gothic fiction novel, Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley describes “what happens when a man tries to have a baby without a woman” (Mellor). In the novel, females are shown with vital feminine nurture and empathy. However, the monster is denied this nurture due to man’s lack of femininity. This absence of nurture leads to the monster’s violence and vengeance. In Frankenstein, Mary Shelley employs the monster’s violent tendencies due to lack of nurture as a way to communicate the importance of feminine nurture in humanity. In the novel, females are portrayed with an indispensable nurturing and empathetic disposition. This important female nurture is illustrated in Frankenstein’s development. As Frankenstein describes his parents, he claims to…show more content…
When first meeting Frankenstein, the monster “muttered some inarticulate sounds, while a grin wrinkled his cheeks” (61, Shelley). This horrifies Frankenstein as he “escaped and rushed down the stairs” (61, Shelley). The monster assumes Frankenstein is his mother. However, as the monster reaches towards Frankenstein, “rather than clasping his newborn child to his breast in a nurturing maternal gesture, he rushes out of the room”, indicating Frankenstein’s un-nurturing spirit (Mellor). Frankenstein’s lack of feminine nurture leaves the creature in abandonment, demonstrating the isolation caused from lack of nurture. Because Frankenstein abandons him, the monster searches for nurture, finding a family to watch from afar. However, the monster believes he “requires kindness and sympathy” and attempts to converse with them in hopes to receive nurture (118, Shelley). Yet, as he speaks with the De Laceys, he gets “dashed to the ground” and “struck violently with a stick” (121, Shelley). This depicts male violent tendencies that dominate feminine nurture. Thus, the nurture that the monster desperately needs is replaced with violence, indicating another example of societies’ failure to foster the monster. After this rejection, the monster travels to Frankenstein, declaring that he “ought to be...Adam” but instead he is “the fallen angel” (93, Shelley).…show more content…
The monster declares that he desires “creatures…cheering my gloom”; however, no “Eve soothed my sorrows” (118, Shelley). Because of this abandonment, the monster “cursed [Frankenstein]” (118, Shelley). No mother or Eve is present to nurture the monster. Therefore, he faults his creator for his isolation and plans to seek vengeance against Frankenstein, sending a message to the reader concerning the violent repercussions from an absence of nurture. Similarly, after the De Laceys beat the monster, he feels there are “none…men that existed who would pity or assist” him, causing him to “declare everlasting war against the species” (122, Shelley). Because the monster experiences violence rather than nurture, he turns violent against mankind. The violence from the De Lacy family causes the creature to “feel anger, then a desire for revenge, and finally a violent severing from all that is human” (Mellor). This exhibits violent recurrence that arises as nurture is replaced by violence. This violence leads to murderous actions. When the monster first encounters William, he hopes to “educate him as [his] companion” (126, Shelley). However, when William speaks “epithets which carried despair”, the monster “grasped his throat to silence him” (127, Shelley). The monster hopes to nurture William. However, once William uses derogatory names, the monster quickly kills William. Thus,
Get Access