The Fear Of The Monster In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

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Monsters are created from fear, and fear changes from generation to generation. While there are things that humans are afraid of all the time, specific periods of time can be defined through one cohesive fear. In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, fear and how the characters act on that fear is used as a plot device to help characterize her antagonist and protagonist, Victor Frankenstein and his monster. It is through analysis of character interactions between the these two and society around them that helps to define who is truly the monster, and who is the victim. During the Victorian Era there was only one thing its people truly feared: nonconformity. This era of time was built on the belief that everyone should be the exact same, that “if you…show more content…
Shelley addresses this question with the character Victor Frankenstein. One of the first things Victor is at fault for is his creation of Frankenstein in the first place. The monster would constantly cry, “Cursed, cursed creator! Why did I live? Why, in that instant, did I not extinguish the spark of existence which you had so wantonly bestowed? I know not…” (Shelley, 16.1). His reasons were selfish, to defy nature, and in fear of his own work he left it to suffer, without guidance into a world that was so foreign to him. Then when given a chance to bring the monster what he believes his only chance of happiness, he destroys it. “‘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, 20.11). Victor denies the monster humanity because he is appalled by his features, and that’s what makes Victor the true monster. He made early judgement on who the monster was before the monster could speak because he was terrifying, and society had made him believe that if it were different it was dangerous. Even when the monster promised to leave society forever if he were only given someone to love, to feel normal, the idea that anything outside their realm of societal norms being allowed to continue existing was just too much for Victor. This emotion/tradition over rational that was seen all
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