Mary Shelley’s horrifying tale of a monster and man of science is known far and wide for its captivating story, complex characters and surprising relatability. However this is where most knowledge commonly ends.. Frankenstein’s t underlying themes of isolation, human connection and balance of nature become evident through Shelley’s use of character foils throughout her infamous tale. In her 1818 novel, the monster serves as a foil to Victor Frankenstein, emphasizing Victor’s greed, poor judgement and lack of true understanding in regards to human emotion.
Over the past century, Frankenstein has been analyzed and interpreted in seemingly infinite different forms of literature, film, and television shows. Once solely recognized as the story about a brilliant scientist who creates a creature in whom he regrets making after the creature turns out ugly, Frankenstein now represents an internationally recognized and commercialized pop culture symbol for Halloween decorations and costumes. When analyzing and appreciating the true literary essence behind Mary Shelley’s original Frankenstein, one of the most important comparisons to consider remains the underlying influences behind the Creature’s immoral actions and whether or not the blame for these actions belong to Victor or the Creature.
In Mary Shelley’s novel, Frankenstein, Frankenstein’s Monster experiences a sense of self-actualization after coming to terms with his “monster” identity. In chapter 13, after Frankenstein’s Monster learns about human history and social norms, he conducted a self-analysis of his current self. He stated, “I possessed no money, no friends, no kind of property. I was, besides, endued with a figure hideously deformed and loathsome”. 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.
In most fiction stories, there are always two characters that do or do not represent different sides of the same character. Frankenstein is a short gothic horror story written by Mary Shelley. Shelley writes about a scientist who created a being from dead body parts. Victor Frankenstein as the protagonist of the story created a monstrous character that was a reflection of himself. In Frankenstein, Shelley presents two characters who represent the different sides of the same character. The monster was a clear reflection of his creator because; they had the same development, same pain and suffering, and were recluses. Victor and the monster did not physically resemble each other, but they had the same personality and traits, therefore,
When introducing the family the father was described as, "The father of Safie had been the cause of their ruin. He was a Turkish merchant, and had inhabited Paris for many years, when, for some reason which I could not learn, he became obnoxious to the government. He was seized and cast into prison the very day that Safie arrived from Constantinople to join him. He was tried and condemned to death. The injustice of his sentence was very flagrant; all Paris was indignant; and it was judged that his religion and wealth, rather than the crime alleged against him, had been the cause of his condemnation” (110). A brief history of the cottagers the old man, De Lacey, was once an affluent and successful citizen in Paris; his children, Agatha and Felix, were well-respected members of the community. Safie’s father, a Turk, was falsely accused of a crime and sentenced to death. Falsely accused again Mary Shelley shows that the crime and punishment system in the book reflects the real worlds justice system. “Turkeys legal system was just as bad as Britain’s at the time Civilian and military jurisdiction were separated. While they could also try civilians in times of martial law and in matters concerning military service.” (Miller 3). Citizens could be wrongly accused if the idea of them being a hindrance or problem sprung up. This is exactly what
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,
Mary Shelley and Edgar Allan Poe were Gothic novelists who lived and wrote in the 19th century. They both led unconventional and even controversial lives and their behavior could be described as unethical and scandalous. They both created characters who were inhuman and monstrous. The plots of their stories were frightening, included themes which were unethical, immoral and even anti-religious.
In the gothic novel “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”, Robert Louis Stevenson depicts an idea of the supernatural realm. It is a tale of a man that is well-known among the townspeople as Dr. Henry Jekyll. The doctor transforms into a being completely opposite of himself. Being a man of science, he feels a compulsion to create a potion that will release his alter ego, Mr. Hyde, while protecting his true identity. Throughout the story, many examples of symbolism are presented to the reader. These symbols present an idea of duality, compelling the reader to decide if it is a tale of two men or of a mad man. The similarities that occur throughout the novel assist the reader in concluding that both Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde are in fact
The creature, Victor Frankenstein’s creation, had to suffer and tolerate life without care, love, or identity. The creature was never given a name because Victor didn’t want his monster to become more human-like. It can reinforce that the creature is property, and not a human being that is loved and cared for. Names are important for everyone because it is the easiest way to have self-identity.
When reading through the novel some might question who's the real monster? Throughout Frankenstein Mary Shelley uses the concepts of Science and knowledge, social rejection and true evil. Victor is a lonely guy who takes on a “God like” role for his personal satisfaction. Victor creates the monster out of his greed and ambitions which led to many of the horrible events throughout the story. He was portrayed as the victim at the beginning of the story because of how secluded he was and his mother died. Victor was a lonely guy and all he wanted was a friend so he took science to the extreme. All throughout Mary Shelley's novel she tells a story about how Victor the creator is clearly the real monster and his creation is the victim.
A writer named Nikita Gill once said “When you see a monster next, always remember this. Do not fear the thing before you. Fear the thing that created it instead.” This quote can be related to the novel Frankenstein where instead of the actual creature being perceived as the monster, the person who created it deserves to be called one. Using the archetypal lens, Victor can be seen as the real monster in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein from his cruel characteristics, continuous patterns of monstrosity, as well as symbols and themes involving nature.
These driven characters thrive for the same goals, feed of similar pain, and feel the same loneliness, remorse, and isolation as one another. These similarities are so extreme that it is for no reason that most of the world recognizes the creature by the name of Frankenstein himself. Regardless of their considerably different looks, physical manifestation and lives, Victor and the monster have many similarities in the physiology, emotional and habitual domains. The monster and Victor represent the same and their differences complement each other. With the progress of the story, the creation manifests itself as an identification of the traits and qualities of his creator, Victor
How does Mary Shelley’s construction of the secondary characters reflect upon the protagonist? Throughout Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, character parallels and analogies between Victor Frankenstein and the creature are strongly emphasized. More evidently, the character doubles between the creator, Victor, and his creature are presented through their demeanor, their desires, and their demands. Shelley emphasizes parallelisms of nature, alienation and vengeance to underscore their similarities, leading some readers to interpret Victor and his creature being so similar that indeed, they are the same person. Both lonely and outcasts in the world, Victor and his creation live forlorn and dreary lives, hungry for the love of another, desperate for
Shelley’s novel encompasses the unknown and how ambition drove Victor’s passions, ultimately leading him to the tragic end with many other bumps in the road along the way. As Victor had been in the study of life and its cause, the death of his mother had catalyzed a movement of grief which had started, “…depriv[ing him]self of rest and health. [Which he] had desired it with an ardour that far exceeded moderation…” (Shelley 35). Even though he knew that he had been raiding graveyards, Victor believed that he created the body with the ‘finest body parts’ available. However, upon realizing had created an abomination as he finished, he flees, “…now that I had finished, the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart” (Shelley 35). After a long and grueling process, Frankenstein regarded the creature as horrid, malicious, heartless, inhuman, and uncouth – simply, a monster. He wanted to create life so bad that it became an obsession for him as he would go to any extreme to reach his goal. Furthering such a point could be the poignant example of the fallen angel, who had decided that he wanted to be more than a ‘special angel’ – he wanted to be God. As a result, Victor had succeeded in creating a baby in a man’s body, while leaving it to fend for itself without recognizing
In the narrative, Mary Shelley carefully introduces various aspects of the tradition of Romantic literature and thus, the novel can also be understood as a mirror to the society of that era. Few of the Romantic thoughts evident in Frankenstein are, the idea of individualism, yearning for a utopic state, nostalgic remembrance, the symbolic use of nature and most evidently, the presence of gothic elements that showcase intense emotions and horror. Furthermore, Shelley uses the voice of three different narrators-Walton, Victor and The Monster, to engage the audience and make them understand all the three viewpoints. Through the epistolary and framed narrative, she also continues to establish new themes as the novel proceeds. The skilful use of literary devices such as allusions, monologues, imagery and metaphors helps to dramatize the text and create an impact on the readers’ mind. Additionally, two of the most impressive aspects in Frankenstein are the foreshadowing of events and the adverse use of intertextuality. Shelley by using words such as ‘fate’ and ‘omen’ sets up the course of the book in an intriguing manner. Notably though, events such as Victor referring to his genius as “the fatal impulse that lead to my ruin” (24) establishes a firm ground for foreshadowing and prepares the reader for what evil is yet to come. As previously