19th Century Novel Essay
Mary Shelley – Frankenstein Question 2
Many critics have commented that the creature is, ultimately, a character with whom we sympathise. How far do you agree?
It is very easy for us to sympathise with Frankenstein’s monster yet as the story progresses we must take into account his murderous nature as his thoughts become committed to revenge. From the creatures ‘birth’ Shelley creates the impression that he is a child requiring care and guidance however due to his appearance he is rejected by every human he encounters which in turn leads the monster to seek vengeance on his creator.
When the creature describes his first moments after his creation he is portrayed to the reader as a naïve, forlorn child. It is important to note that during this time the creature is unaware of his own size which when combined with the childlike approach he has to the world allows the reader to view him as a small lost child rather than a bumbling monster. With the image of a child alone in the wilderness, deserted, Shelley manages to evoke sympathy from her readers from the very beginning of the passage. Shelley cleverly writes this part of the story from the creature’s point of view which also allows the reader to connect with the creature by allowing us to hear his thoughts and experience his emotions first hand. The passage explains how the creature is inexperienced and frightened so much so that when he tries to make a sound he scares himself into silence. This is when the reader truly begins to sympathise with the creature, he has been abandoned by his parent figure and must now survive on his own. What reinforces this feeling of sympathy towards the creature even more so is the fact that so far the reader has only experienced the story from Frankenstein’s perspective and since his thoughts toward the creature are a mixture of angry, hatred and disgust the readers are likely to adopted this judgement; however when the creature’s tale is revealed the reader will undoubtedly feel guilty for their harsh ideas which will make their feelings of sympathy stronger.
... that he is feeling. Closing sentence The monster is another friendless character that Shelley compels the reader to feel for. There are many ... own creator all make excellent avenues for Shelley to bring the reader to terms with the monster s afflictions. A choice example of ... man who could sympathise with me but I bitterly feel the want of a friend (Pg. 4). The reader is eased into ...
As the creature develops and becomes educated and self-aware he encounters humans however he finds himself cast out and shamed as an abomination due to his appearance. The reader has already seen the monster being rejected when Frankenstein first fled after giving life to him however this time Shelley invites the reader to experience similar situations from the creature’s perspective. Now the creature has matured the reader will lose some of the emotion they have invested in the lost child figure they had seen before but Shelley combats this by making the creature the victim of disgusted slurs and violence when people are confronted with his appearance. The significance of this prejudice towards the creature is huge and plays a key role in allowing the story to develop. Shelley also emphasises how the creature innocently seeks a companion and yet is faced with only detest which helps achieve empathy between the readers and the creature where they recognise that his desire is pure and comes at no cost but is constantly met with not only rejection but a barrage of hateful quips.
As the creature’s view of himself becomes twisted with how others perceive him he finds himself in a depression of self-loathing which then drives him to seek vengeance on Frankenstein. The creature slides into a cunning and calculated mission of revenge against his creator as he abandons reason and resentment takes its place. Having received no compassion from humans the creature offers none to Frankenstein and sets about murdering those closest to him.
A primitive form of the Anti-Heros we know and love today.