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“One to make the reader dread to look round, to curdle the blood, and quicken the beatings of the heart” this was Mary Shelley’s intention when she created Frankenstein the definitive gothic novel . Though this was unheard of for a woman writing in 1816 she did just that. Influenced by the events around her, the new scientific developments and social unrest conveyed through her “depiction of Victor and through the monster she reveals an outraged awareness of social injustice and a passionate desire for reform.
” Throughout the novel we are given an image of monster and creator this is conveyed through the central characters. Shelley presents a tale of gothic horror in which we are given opportunities to feel sorry for both main characters; yet we are inclined to feel more sympathy for the monster who after all is a victim of a man essentially playing God.
Throughout the novel Shelley plays with our psyche and sympathies as reader, but it is clear that the monster deserves our pity more than Victor.
Victor was given a wonderful loving upbringing and was clearly a spoilt child “I was their plaything and their idol” whereas the monster had none of that; he was not loved by anyone, just Victor’s mistake. The monster was left alone to wonder where his companions were, “But where were my friends and relations? No father had watched my infant days; no mother had blessed me
Our sympathies lie in favour of the monster after all he was the one that was unjustly abandoned and left to feel isolated without a friend in the world.
Shelley then leads us to believe that the monster will be accepted by his benefactors the De lacy’s as the creature is accepted and reassured by the blind mans words “I am poor and an exile, but it will afford me true pleasure to be in any way serviceable to a human creature” the desperate monster is then beaten out of the cottage by Felix and his only hope of happiness is ruined.
Deep down the monster is a kind and worthy creature “he found his store always replenished by an invisible hand” It is only when he finds out that the family out of fear has permanently left the cottage that he starts to feel negative emotions such as hatred and revenge “for the first time the feelings of revenge and hatred filled my bosom, I bent my mind towards injury and death.
” However these feelings are not directed towards the De Lacy family, but to Victor. But, as reader we should understand the monster’s point of view, Victor, ultimately is the cause of all his problems; he made the monster ugly then abandoned him, it is his fault that the monster does not fit in, this makes us more inclined to feel bitterness and resentment towards Victor, He should not have meddled with life if he could not finish what he had started.
Victor does feel some compassion when the monster relates his story “I compassionated him and sometimes felt a wish to console him, and agrees to the monsters requests “You must create a female for me” Victor gets the monsters hopes up as he starts to believe that he may have a companion to console him then just as his second creation his finished Victor selfishly destroys it before the creatures very eyes “do you dare break your promise?
I have endured toil and misery” Victor shows his selfish nature at other times during the novel, when he is exhausted on Walton’s ship and the crew want to go home because it is too dangerous, he responds by accusing the men of cowardice and unmanly behaviour. If they were to abandon their expedition they would return home with a “stigma of disgrace” judging by his words he has not learnt anything from his ordeal with his monster. He apparently still feels that people should put their own desires above more important issues!
Another example of this is the way that he deals with the monsters threats it is clear that the monster wants to hurt him and have his rightful revenge, but Victor assumes that it is only him that the creature wants to kill “I will be with you on your wedding night, such was my sentence, and on that night would the daemon employ every art to destroy me from the glimpse of happiness. ” Yet it is clear that the best way to get to Victor is to harm the people that he loves as the monster has already witnessed Victor’s reactions towards their deaths, he does not realise this otherwise he would have been more protective of Elizabeth.
Though very tragic for Victor and we should feel sorry for him when she is killed it is completely his fault, he was naive and utterly careless to leave somebody that he loves alone while a revengeful monster that is roaming around voicing threats. Victor had the chance to change everything before Elizabeth was murdered and was guaranteed that the monster would leave his family and himself alone for the remainder of their lives. He is just like Dr. Faustus who also had the chance to turn things around and repent the good angel states that it is “never too late” if Faustus will repent.
The angel means if the Doctor repents of his evil decision to turn from God and make a deal with the devil for conjuring powers, he can still be saved. However, the bad angel on Dr. Faustus’ shoulder soon responds that it is “too late. ” Similarly Victor does leave things too late yet he still had some relatives left worth saving like his father . Although it is clear that Victor has already lost everything and the people that he cherished the most.
Our sympathies can now lie with either the monster or his creator as Victor is in a terrible predicament he cannot win either way incase the monster goes back on his word. Victor is torn between morals and his family it is a shame he did not consider that to begin with. Another reason that we should sympathize with the monster is that he did not want or enjoy killing anybody and that the killings did not make him feel better he says that he was “the slave, not the master, of an impulse which I detested, yet could not disobey” The monster, just like Victor, reaches a point where no feelings are left except hatred.
The monster is essentially the one going through the most torment he has to live with what he has done, seeing his creator dead on Walton’s ship he shows remorse and with an immense self hatred he tells Walton that he will “consume to ashes this miserable frame. ” Nobody has won the novel ends and both die without satisfaction. The monster did not get a companion nor was he accepted, and Victor lost everything worth living for, they drove there selves to destruction, neither of them would give up as I stated earlier they created a vicious circle in which in the end consumed them both.
The monster went through his life lonely and abhorred the only kind moment he had was with the blind De Lacy which was soon ruined by Felix, he did not enjoy his life and was only giving his creator a taste of what he was put through, this essentially is why as reader I believe the monster deserves our pity as nobody should go through life that miserable and despised, he had nobody to care for him at least Victor experienced happiness.
Carla Wells Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Mary Shelley section. Download this essay Print Save Not the one?