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Frankenstein - The Humanity of the Monster

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Frankenstein - The Humanity of the Monster

 
    Sometimes, in novels like Frankenstein, the motives of the author are unclear.  It is clear however, that one of the many themes Mary Shelley presents is the humanity of Victor Frankenstein's creation.  Although she presents evidence in both support and opposition to the creation's humanity, it is apparent that this being is indeed human.  His humanity is not only witnessed in his physical being, but in his intellectual and emotional thoughts as well.  His humanity is argued by the fact that being human does not mean coming from a specific genetic chain and having family to relate to, but to embrace many of the distinct traits that set humans apart from other animals in this world.  In fact, calling Victor's creation a `monster' doesn't support the argument that he is human, so for the sake of this case, his name shall be Phil.

 

    Though Victor ends up abhorring Phil, it is important to understand his motives of creation.  When Frankenstein discovers the power to bestow life, he ponders whether he should attempt creation of a being like himself or one of simpler organization (81).  He ultimately decides on creating a man--a human life form.  He did make the frame of a larger size, however the structure was designed in the same fashion as that of man.  Victor even professes to have selected Phil's traits as beautiful, with proportionate limbs and parts in which he endeavored to form with such pain and care (85).

 

 

    Once Phil is endowed with life, during the first days of his existence, he ambles into the forests near Ingolstadt.  Though not to the same degree as man, here he feels pain, hunger, and the sensations of temperatur...


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... Phil, because he was giving no name.  He was either addressed as "monster" or "daemon."  The name `Phil' was given to the monster in order to argue his humanity, just as Shelley made the monster articulate and intelligent, caring and benevolent so that his humanity could be argued in the first place.  

 

"I imagined they would be disgusted, until, by my gentle demeanor and conciliation of words, I should first win their favor, then afterwards their love."  (*Milton, John. Paradise Lost.  In Shelly 294-96.)

 

Works Cited

 

Milton, John.  Paradise Lost.  In Shelly, Mary. Frankenstein.  N.P.: Broadview., 1999. P249-296.

Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus. Broadview.  1999.

"Wolf Logs February 1-28, 2002"International Wolf Center. 26 Feb.2002.   http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Forum/8388/wolf.html   

 

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