Comparing Mary Shelleyés Frankenstein with The Tale of Despereaux
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When comparing Mary Shelley’s gothic novel, “Frankenstein” to the 2008 movie, “The Tale of Despereaux” a common theme that runs through the novel is the character archetype of innocence to evil.
In “The Tale of Despereaux,” one of the major characters in the story is Chiaroscuro, or Roscuro. Roscuro is a rat who is misunderstood by people who have not yet met him. He travels with a human companion by boat and docks in the kingdom of Dor during the annual Royal Soup Day. Roscuro, enchanted by the soup’s aroma, travels up the chandelier in the royal dining hall and ends up falling into the Queen’s soup, giving her such a fright she has a heart attack and dies.
Roscuro, feeling guilty over the death of the Queen, goes to see the Princess Pea to apologize for all the trouble he has caused. The Princess, terrified by the sight of Roscuro, rejects him immediately before he has a chance to explain himself. Heartbroken when he is turned away, Roscuro vows revenge on the Princess. This is one major similarity between Roscuro and the creature in “Frankenstein” because the creature vows revenge on all mankind.
The creature finally finds the courage to go up to Mr. Delacey, knowing he is blind and the old man will not judge him based on his looks alone. However, when Safie, Agatha, and Felix return home, he is immediately rejected and is chased away without giving them an explanation. Roscuro and the creature are both very similar because they were both never given the chance to explain themselves and were immediately turned away.
Once Roscuro and the creature are rejected by the people they most want forgiveness or sympathy from, they are devastated. They both transform from an innocent being into a cruel and unmerciful monster. “When you...
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...e in the world; the creature, on the other hand, was always alone. Roscuro was found by Botticelli, the leader of the rat world in the dungeon beneath the castle. He also had the help of Miggery Sow. The creature never had anyone to lend an ear to, or to help him in his time of need.
“The Tale of Despereaux” and “Frankenstein” both illustrate how two characters that begin as innocent beings and are turned into true monsters because they were judged too quickly on their appearance alone, or because of a stereotype they were prematurely labeled as. Both of these stories teach a valuable lesson of not judging others before meeting them and tells of two good hearts become damaged because of society’s prejudices.
<“The Tale of Despereaux”; Dir. Sam Fell and Robert Stevenhagen; Matthew Broderick, Emma Watson, Dustin Hoffman; Universal Pictures; 2008; DVD>