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Essay on The Benevolence of Frankestein's Monster

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After his creation, Frankenstein’s monster is left in isolation, cursed to endure people’s hatred towards him. This revulsion met by onlookers is merely based on the creature’s hideous looks. The monster is not actually a monster at all. He displays more humanity than many other characters in Frankenstein. The ultimate irony is that the prejudicial belief is what caused the reanimated human to become a monster. In the nature versus nurture debate, proponents of the nature theory believe that a person is unchanging and that one’s experiences do not affect that person’s behavior. If this were true, the monster would not change as a result of his interactions with humans. It is undeniable that the creature does immoral things, but when Frankenstein’s monster saves a little girl from drowning, Mary Shelley takes a clear stance that the creature was naturally noble but became monstrous as a result of interactions with humans.
Nurture involves all of the environmental stimuli that can shape a creature. Shelley uses the monster’s bliss in a human-free environment to prove that the monster becomes angry only as a response to humans. While the monster was going to Geneva, in contrast to his earlier mood, was actually happy. “…the day, which was one of the first of spring, cheered even me by the loveliness of sunshine and the balminess of air (Shelley 142).” He uses the words “even him” to show that his happiness is surprising due to his unpleasant memories with humans. It is a “Spring” day, which usually represents rebirth. The monster was literally reborn previously, but in this case the monster’s emotions of “gentleness and pleasure”, which he thought were dead, have come back to him (142). This allowed himself to forget his “solitud...


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...f “kindness” and “gentleness”, and after the gunshot he has “hellish rage” and “gnashing of teeth”. Before, the violent diction was used to describe the man’s action, but after the gunshot it is used to describe the monster’s feelings. This altercation put the monster past the threshold of acceptance of humanity and thus caused the reanimated human to become the monster.
The juxtaposition of the happiness and deep despair of the monster is only separated in chronology by the man shooting him. It is obvious that there is a cause and effect relationship between the shooting and the monster’s hatred for humanity. This hatred for humanity cannot be explained by nature because it contradicts the monster saving the little girl. Since nurture is about external stimuli shaping a person, one can directly conclude that monstrous behavior was a result of human interaction.



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