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
The first clumsy act of villainy Frankenstein commits is when he first creates the monster. This horrid creature, made of human and animal parts, is born without intelligence, but more importantly is born with the ability to learn. He is a young child thrown into a world where he doesn't belong. Curious of his surroundings, the monster stumbles upon Frankenstein and is immediately met with disgust. The first thing the monster receives in his fresh existence, is hate and rejection. Frankenstein instills hate into the monster’s
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.
The monster on the other hand had known only loneliness from the second he opened his eyes. The monster learns through painful rejection that he will never find companionship because humans are unable to see past his ghastly appearance and in anger tears away one of Frankenstein’s many companions. This begins the spiral of anger and loneliness that leads to the monster killing nearly everyone Frankenstein is close to. This, inadvertently, forces Frankenstein to have the same feelings of anguish and loneliness that he first instigated in the monster. Frankenstein never realises that all the monster wants is a companion, he cannot see his own emotions reflected in his creation. Through this Shelley is demonstrating that humans may never have the capability to fully understand the things they create through scientific endeavours, therefore reinforcing her concept that too much knowledge can only lead to downfall. Frankenstein had a wonderful life and in creating then abandoning his monster he destroyed that. The bitter link is the fact that Frankenstein, in leaving his monster, in making his creation go into the world alone, sealed his fate to die alone on the sea, the majority of his loved ones dead at his
“I shall relate events that impressed me feelings which, from what I was, have made me what I am” (Shelley 80). In the second volume Mary Shelley’s novel, Frankenstein, the monster’s story during his years of isolation shows the complexity of his character; this complexity makes him an enigma. In order to uncover the mysteries behind this enigma, we must analyze the factors that played a role in his development. Looking at the monster’s development, we can see parallels between the monster and feral children. Much like feral children, the monster was abandoned—during the early period of his life—and was placed under extreme circumstances, which he was forced to endure—having to fend for himself. Furthermore, because the monster was placed under extreme isolation—only having contact from a far with the De Lacey and being shunned by them when he chose to reveal himself—he was not able to connect with anyone much like how feral children were unable to connect with other people. With this in mind, it is evident that these factors during the monster’s development plays an important role in his acquisition of certain ideologies. Examining the cases of feral children will provide insights into the essence of human nature, identity, and the impact of experience on human learning (Illes and Murphy 1); these insights can then be implemented into the evaluation of the monster’s overall character. The factors that affected the development of the monster is the key to unlocking why the monster’s nature.
The gothic fiction novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley centralizes on humanity and the qualifications that make someone human. The content of the novel Frankenstein depicts a monster displaying human traits that his creator Victor does not possess: empathy, a need for companionship, and a will to learn and fit in.
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,
There are many themes displayed in the novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. There are themes such as blind ambition, the dangers of playing God, prejudiceness, revenge, need for love, and many others. Isolation is a major theme that consistently reappears throughout the novel. The aloneness that is displayed in Frankenstein drives the characters to act irrationally. The book Psychology and Personal Growth explains that, solitude or loneliness often refers to our separation from other people. To be alone means to be by yourself and being separate from society. The book also states, “From birth to death, much of life is spent alone” (Arkoff 97). The demonstration of loneliness drives many of the characters to act irrationally has been proven in psychology, is seen after the creature and Victor are immediately abandoned, and after many of the characters have been abandoned for a long period of time.
Mary Shelley, in her book, Frankenstein, has a reoccurring theme of isolation, in which she isolates the main character, Victor Frankenstein, from the rest of society in order to create a creature. Likewise, the creature that is created is also isolated from the rest of society as he is rejected from his creator as to his appearance. The theme is present throughout the novel as it reinforces Victor’s downfall from a normal boy to a grown man intrigued with creating life as he slowly becomes a madman that everyone soon fears. Isolation causes a loss of humanity as it affects the mind and body. Isolation from society does not teach social interaction, causes regret about oneself, provides one with negative feelings, and causes regretful actions.
In the novel “Frankenstein”, written by Mary Shelley in 1818, illustrates the human nature in which consists of ambition versus responsibility as well as innocent versus evil. At the beginning of the story, Captain Robert Walton is introduced as the first character by narrating in the series of letters that he writes to his sister, Margaret Saville. Walton functions as a foil character for Victor Frankenstein, the protagonist and main narrator. By contrasting and highlighting Victor’s characteristics in the book, they have similarities in the desire of acknowledgment in achievement, loneliness, and differences in the realization of life.
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
There is no other creature in existence that is as communal and gregarious as human beings, due to this, whenever one feels deserted or segregated by the rest of society, they tend to become cold and bitter. In Frankenstein, or, The Modern Day Prometheus, Mary Shelley portrays the monster, as well as its creator, as outcasts from society. Although, Victor has a family, and a wife while the creature does not, Victor feels he is emotionally detached from the rest of his loved ones. Due to his emotional confinement, Victor feels that he cannot trust even his wife with the knowledge of the horrible creature in which he has created. This sense of being an
In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, a conflict as old as life itself emerges as the story progresses; parent versus posterity in a struggle for reconciliation.Victor Frankenstein and his creation become tied up in a constant battle as the creation seeks his origins, finding a horrifying truth; the creator had abandoned the creation. This central conflict derives from the creation of the creature, inability of Frankenstein to appreciate his creation, and the creation’s need for a parental figure. The conflict addresses themes of the book such as human desires for prestige, acceptance, and the intimacy of a relationship with one’s creator. Not only does Shelley capture the resentful conflict between a father and his “son”, but she derives this conflict from her own rebellious battle against her father.
Everyone in the world has experienced emotion ranging from love to outrage, or from elation to sorrow; each individual that walks the earth has experienced all of these and sometimes more than one at a time. Mary Shelley uses her novel Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus to portray many emotions through multiple characters, including Victor Frankenstein, the creature, and Robert Walton. The characters all struggle in some way to find a companion. Walton faces an extended, frozen journey in which he wished he had the company of a similar man. Frankenstein muddles through life without the deep connection to others because he brought a horrific creature to life. The creature is abandoned and wants nothing more that to have another individual to share his life with. Shelley uses alienation and isolation as a focal point throughout novel as a whole. She connects those emotions to the yearning for companionship and need to belong. Therefore, through Frankenstein, Mary Shelley proves that when an individual appears to be alienated,
The monster’s emotion ultimately represents the heart of the body, which Frankenstein fails to pay attention to, yet longs to have. The observance of others emotions helps the monster realize that, “[humans] were not entirely happy… [he] saw no cause for their unhappiness, but [he] was deeply affected by it” (91). The monster, after being left to fend for himself, lacks an understanding of emotional displacement. The use of the phrase, “deeply affected” reveals the monster’s desire to understand the idea of emotions and the actions behind them. Seeking to expand his knowledge, the monster discovers that many of the emotions he reads in literature apply to himself. The monster comes to realize that, “[he] applied much personally to [his] own feelings and conditions… [his] person was hideous and [his] stature gigantic” (109). The monster ultimately displays a longing interest in expanding his knowledge, but each time he tries to apply it, he gets turned away because of his appearance. The use of the words “hideous” and “gigantic” ultimately reveals the monster’s self-doubt as his appearance undermines his capability.