english literature

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Frankenstein Mary Shelley

In this essay I will analyse and elaborate the context of the novel Frankenstein and explain how Mary Shelley makes us sympathize with the monster. Frankenstein was written in 1816 by Mary Shelley and was published in the early 1818. At that time scientists were making new scientific discoveries such as electriticity, this will link to the creation of the monster. Mary Shelley wrote this novel while she was in holiday in Geneva in Switzerland. She was with her husband, the poet Percy Shelley and a couple of friends one of whom was Lord Byron. He was a poet and came up with the idea to have a competition to write a ghost or horror story.

This was an age of scientific development including electricity and this linked to the experiment of Frankenstein when he was creating the monster. Mary Shelley was concerned about these new discoveries. The year 1712 Newcomen engine was created. These were the first steps that were achieved by mankind into a strange life at the time. It marked the beginning of the industrial revolution. More than 5 decades after the first steam engine, science was discovering new technologies that would change the world. In 1750 one of the founding fathers of United State of America (USA) Benjamin Franklin published a proposal for an experiment to prove that lightning is electricity by flying a kite in a storm that appeared capable of becoming a lightning storm. In 1772 an Italian physician called Luigi Galvani discovered that muscle and nerve cells produce electricity. This led many people into shock as they wondered how things would develop. That would have been a clear sign in modern society. If life is moving on technology will also move on. All this methods used by these great scientists and inventors, led Frankenstein to get an idea to create the monster and eventually use it. Overall with these new discoveries made, Shelley was concerned about religion, science and agriculture. She thought that science was dominating religion and agriculture. The reason for this is at the time people were religious; people thought that only God can do everything, now as science shown the nations that science can do the job as well.

The novel is told in a number of interesting ways. One of the ways is the way in which the monster and Victor speak to each other. Changing the characters so the author can express her feelings and thoughts and the other way is when the monster speaks as the first person this can help us sympathise with him and it is told in diaries and letters of the key characters. The author uses powerful language showing her opinions and sympathy when she says “The different accident of life are so changeable as the feelings of human nature”. This quote clearly shows that Mary Shelley is expressing her sympathy, and she thinks that human nature has a different feeling than a monster. Which means human can be lonely but they have surroundings such as friends and family, where as this monster is lonely as it has no friends and, feels neglected by his creator.

There are times when we feel sorry for the monster, when he is lonely and he asks Victor to make him a partner the monster says “This is you alone can do; and I demand it of you as a right which you must not refuse to concede” by looking at this quote it shows that the monster feels that Victor Frankenstein has a moral duty. But at the end he regrets and thinks it is wrong. Frankenstein also has responsibility such as caring for the monster as he is the father, and the creator of that creature for example a father cares for his children and has responsibility for them no matter what happens to them, so Frankenstein should realise that as well, he can just comprehend that by remembering how his father cared for him. Frankenstein hardly feels any sympathy for his creation.

Frankenstein created his monster for a purpose, as any creation has its own purpose for example God created humans; to worship him but, Frankenstein's creation was different to God's one. He created this monster to show that science made a new discovery, to show that science can take lead into the world, but was he successful? God's creation is successful because he created his creature with beauty but, was Frankenstein's creation, near being a beauty? Victor says “he was ugly” as he admits the monster looked ugly. Frankenstein's creation could be compared to a modern scientific discovery, which is genetic engineering or cloning. This means scientists are trying to make the creation of life better, without disease or deformity through genetic engineering. The warning from this novel is that the scientist cannot guarantee how the experiment will work and Frankenstein expects the creature to be beautiful but is terrified of its ugliness.

When the monster was first created Victor was unhappy with the figure, because of the way it looked. It looked ugly and Victor described the monster's appearance as ugly and miserable, he says “I beheld the wretch- the miserable monster whom I had created”. From this point he describes him with this strong language this could break any human feelings. My sympathy and heart goes to the monster because his own creator rejected him while he is perplexed but Victor did not realise that God does not reject his creation as everything is the same for him.

The monster becomes so corrupted in many ways and one of the ways is when he is trying to make friends with the Delacey family. The monster concludes that all humans are his enemy. The monster says “There was none among the myriads of men that existed who would pity or assist me and should I kindness towards my enemies”. By looking at this quote I sympathise with him so much. The reason is the monster is not getting any help from anyone as he is alone. It is like the whole world is neglecting you and I believe the monster felt like that. The monster was looking for many solutions to escape this awful thing. One of the ways is, when he is trying to have sympathy for the family. He does this, by helping the family with their crops over the night, and when he was trying to make friends with the blind man but, he fails to do so, as the family felt suspicious and left the area. This shows he has a generous nature, he is corrupted and turned by the way that he is treated. Frankenstein is responsible for this as he's the creator. The family were also scared because, of the monster's appearance, they judge him by his form; they should have judged him by his intelligence and personality.

Neglecting can lead to corruption in common ways such as the monster had, committed the sin of his life which, first he killed William then murdered Elizabeth and Justin. From that point I lose sympathy for the monster because he killed innocent people that never knew who he was; innocent people that didn't even know that they would get murdered and the monster will face its consequences for this major sin. On the other hand Frankenstein's father felt sympathy for Elizabeth when William was murdered he says “I now say thank you god she did not have to witness the cruel miserable death of her younger darling!” This quote shows how much sympathy the father of Frankenstein has for Elizabeth and it shows that the father believes in God.

In the last chapter the monster commits suicide, lets first start on what he says. The monster says “I shall die and what I now feel be no longer felt.” If we examine this quote this monster is looking forward to death. He feels he is hated but, thinks if he dies the entire hatred will be gone. On the same paragraph he says “Soon these burning miseries will be extinct.” This quote gives us a lot of detail. The reason is the monster is trying to make us think if he goes the world will never see another misery creature like him. On the final sentence he says “My Spirit will sleep in peace”. The monster give us some ideas, he is telling us that his soul will rest in peace, his soul will not see any horrible things, his soul will not witness any more hatred. To take account in all of this information, I felt some sympathy for the monster because he felt he was a victim and felt unwanted by everyone.

The reader's final impression of the creature is the creature is a villain and a victim; first let's start with the villain part of this. The creature is villain because he murdered innocent people for no particular reason. The author describes the monster as “In his murder my crimes are consummated” On the other hand the creature is a victim because the author says “That is also my Victim” This shows us the monster is a victim in some aspects and he has been created from Victor and Victor did not instruct him to do the good deeds, even though Victor knew why he created him. At the end Frankenstein learns that creating humans from deformity is not easy and he learned that everything doesn't come as perfect as he desired. At the end I have 50% sympathy for the monster and the reason is because he had been neglected by his own creator and the other 50% is for being the villain and killing innocent people.

Science is strongly given a bad name due to the cause of Frankenstein in this modern world. This is because most readers will consider him as being selfish and playing with God. Some people will lose trust for science but it does not mean science has glamorised the positive things such as electricity and new ways to communicate with people in other countries. There's always a negative side of a story because in this modern society Frankenstein will cause a lot of controversy between religion and science. I believe it will be religion versus science. One thing that science will desire, and that is creating human; being with ease but they will never reach that goal as God the almighty has the power to create and take life.

Now that I have reached a conclusion, I do feel some sympathy for the monster because he was treated like an animal, he was not treated with respect by any human being even his own creator, instead of the monster being treated like a dog they should treat Frankenstein like a dog because he was the one who did all this awful things. In this essay I have also found out that religion was a major issue in the creation of Frankenstein because at the time of Frankenstein, religion played a major part in peoples life, even now religion plays part in peoples life. I believe no one has any sympathy for Frankenstein. Science also played a major part in the novel of Frankenstein and that was the experiment part. That had led Frankenstein to what he desired for and he was unsuccessful for his creation because of the appearance. So what's the next step for science; is it how a human can never die, or to have an immortal soul in this world. Surely, we shall find out. When God clearly said, “Every soul shall taste death”.


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