Theme Of Atonement In Frankenstein

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What happens when one does not atone for what they have done? To atone something means to make amends or reparations - life, for some people, can become increasingly harder to live when individuals do not listen to their conscience and atone for their mistakes. For example, if a mistake is made and the consequences are severe, was there a point where it could have been avoided? What if the truth had been told, would the consequences be less severe? Situations involving atonement surround everyday life in various forms of news stories, entertainment, and history.
In the past year, a major court case involving famous comedian Bill Cosby was brought to the public eye. Cosby’s sexual assault allegations, brought on by nearly 60 women,
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This novel shows exactly what happens when mistakes are not fixed. Victor Frankenstein creates a monster that he feels, in no way, he is ready to take care of. After Victor creates the monster, “the beauty of the dream had vanished and … horror and disgust filled [his] heart” (Shelley, #) , he runs away, leaving the monster to his own devices. In fact, the monster wanders across lands by himself and is blamed for a few deaths in the villages he visits. Later in the novel when Victor visits the monster, he is asked to create a companion for the monster. Victor goes back on the deal so the monster vows to get revenge out of anger. After a tumultuous couple of years, the monster kills Victor’s best friend Henry and soon-to-be wife Elizabeth, leaving Victor to blame himself for the deaths. Killing Henry and Elizabeth through rage are the monster’s sense of atonement. It seems as if it is a sense of karma since Victor did not truly help his monster. At the end of the novel Victor dies with regret since “even the enemy of God and man had friends and associates in his desolation; [he] is alone” (Shelley, #). Since Victor did not follow through on his deal with the monster, he ended up losing two people that he loves dearly. If Victor completed the monster’s companion, he would not have seen the monster again. As Victor dies in the end of the novel, he dies with “[seek happiness in tranquility and avoid…show more content…
In Ian McEwan's novel, Atonement, young Briony Tallis makes a false rape accusation of family friend Robbie, which ruins his life. After Briony's accusation, Robbie is sent to jail and then sent into battle during World War II as an alternative to serving jail time. While Robbie is away, Briony realizes the mistake she made that ruined the potential happy life Robbie and her sister, Cecilia, could have had. During Robbie's time in the war, he contracts a deadly infection and dies just hours before rescue while Cecilia dies in a flood caused by bombings. As a means of trying to right her past, Briony writes a novel in order to achieve her atonement realizing that "a person is, among all else, a material thing, easily torn, not easily mended" (McEwan, 287). To Briony, writing is "a kind of soaring, an achievable form of flight, of fancy, of the imagination" (McEwan, 147), a means to do anything she wanted; in this case, she finally fixes the mistakes she created. She writes as a way to, in her mind, let Cecilia and Robbie finally live a happy life she wrongfully interfered
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