We all experience emotion. Whether that be happy emotions, sad emotions, angry emotions, they allow us to be human. Some people prefer to use logic and reasoning, which are Enlightenment ideals, over emotion because emotion can be temporary. Most people say think with your brain and not your heart. Romanticism is what makes a person a true individual (Harvey). Mary Shelley’s most important works of art is Frankenstein, where her main point was to emphasize emotion and connections between people.
She focused on darker human emotions and passions like abhorrence, apprehension, terror, awe and resentment (Harvey).
Overall, we would think that Frankenstein himself is a monster but it is easily debatable to note that his creator Dr. Victor is indeed the monster. He rejects his creation even though he was very excited to have the opportunity to create a new species but he turns out rather difficult to look at. He gave up time and being with those around him to work on this project and it turned out the complete opposite of what he had initially wanted.
There are a lot of scenes in this book that portray emotion and romanticism. There is one scene of the book that really resonated with me was when Frankenstein says “Hateful day when I received life!… Accursed creator! Why did you form a monster so hideous that even you turned from me in disgust? God, in pity, made man beautiful and alluring after his own image; but my form is a filthy type of yours, horrid even from the very resemblance.
Satan had his companions, fellow devils, to admire and encourage him, but I am solitary and abhorred” (Shelley 155). In this chapter, he is looking for food in the woods and finds an leather satchel containing clothes and books. He wants to learn more about this world so he reads them. He then continues to find some paper’s in the pockets of his clothing which were part of Victor’s journal. After reading them he finds out how horrible his creation was and the disgust that this creator feels. After finding this out he wants to meet the people in the cottage and befriend them regardless of what he looks like. He just wants to be accepted. In the lecture, we learned that romanticism symbolized the unbounded and untamed, and saw the world full of hidden messages (Harvey). I would suggest that the creature is full of hidden messages because his outside does not portray what is on the inside.
In other words, the creature is expressing a lot of self-loathing. I would say self-loathing is an emotion, it is a very powerful emotion. The creature is experiencing this emotion because of the relationship he has with his creator. If they had a better relationship, maybe he would not feel so horrible about himself. However, I feel like the monster is a portrayal of what Victor was feeling at that point in time, he puts his emotion above any logic. Overall, the creature does not want to scare people away due to his appearance. Since he spent most of his time alone, I believe he got really into his head about his appearance and the fact that everyone was scared/disgusted by his appearance.
One piece of artwork that I would say embodies this is The Death of Chatterton, by Henry Wallis. This painting gives off an eerie vibe because there is a very discolored woman laying on a bed with her head off the bed. I say he looks discolored because he looks a bit gray and she looks rather lifeless. His hand is resting on the ground.
One this that really stood out to me in this painting was the fact the the window was open, just one window. Everything around that looks very dark and we have no idea what is there (Harvey). After observing this picture for some time, I would say that the man in the picture committed suicide because there seems to be a vial on her floor. I believe that this vial has poison and allowed his spirit to escape through the window. I think that why the window is open and it looks rather beautiful and peaceful outside. Aside from that, the man seems to be smiling. I believe he is smiling because he is much happier after he took his own life.
I would say that the emotions from both the scene from Frankenstein and the painting are quite similar. Both are experiencing different situations that are expressing a lot of emotion, an emotion that is rather powerful. The creature hates himself because of his appearance and the fact that he has no relationship with his creator. However, he continues to strive and goes out to try to befriend individuals. Typically, hating yourself to that point if you do not receive help could lead you to take your own life.
And even though I do not know the background or anything about the picture, I would say that the individual is dressed in decent clothing. However, because of the way his room looks, I could tell his life was probably messy. There is a chest with what looks like ripped papers. Maybe he read something that affected him and took his own life. Frankenstein read something that turned his world upside down because it was the reality of what his creator felt. I feel like both the scene and the painting are opposites in the sense because someone took their life, however, it is also a portrayal of strength. I am not trying to glorify suicide in any sense or anything but the way Frankenstein handled what broke his heart shows strength. He continued to move on to try to better how he was feeling.