Examples Of Barbarity In Frankenstein

analytical Essay
833 words
833 words

The creature is described as a ‘fiend of unparalleled barbarity.’ Explore Shelley’s presentation of the creature in the light of this statement. In the novel ‘Frankenstein’ the creature is presented through many narrative voices, it is through Victor's narrative that we see the Creature as a 'wretch', 'daemon' and a 'fiend'. Mary Shelley chooses to present the creature as a ‘fiend’ due to circumstance beyond the creature’s control Written in 1818, the latter stages of the Gothic literature movement, at face value this novel embodies all the key characteristics of the Gothic genre. It features the supernatural, ghosts and an atmosphere of horror and mystery. However a closer reading of the novel presents a multifaceted tale that explores …show more content…

Victor Frankenstein describes his creation as a ‘fiend of unparalleled barbarity.’ The noun ‘barbarity’ connotes cruelty and someone who is monstrous; this shows how Frankenstein sees the creature as the ultimate symbol of a savage. Furthermore the use of the adjective “unparalleled” suggests that Frankenstein thinks that no one will ever be equal the levels of brutality that the creature exhibits. Victor indulges in a determined, almost compulsive hyperbole that distances himself and demonizes his creation. In the process Victor comes to identify himself with "the whole human race" against the anomalous alien being he would cast out from it. However throughout the novel the creature is an eloquent and rational character whereas Victor Frankenstein relies on passion bursts of rage often fainting in the process. Lee Sterrenburg writes “The monster speaks like a philosophe, while Victor rages in Romantic agony” , Mary Shelley uses these differences to blur the boundaries between the civilised and we are able to see that the creature is someone who we are able to sympathise with ; society has made him a fiend, it is not innate this is from a theory formulated by french philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau called the Tabula Rasa . M.A. Goldberg writes " …show more content…

Shelley chooses to highlight the psychological damage than can occur from continual isolation. Unlike his creator, Victor Frankenstein the creature’s isolation is not self imposed, rather he craves affection and friendship. The creature suffers two rejections in this novel firstly from Victor and secondly from the De Lacey family. This second rejection is far more painful because from afar the creature feels like he has become a part of their family; he merely knows Victor as his creator but nothing else, there is no time for them to create a paternal bond .The De Lacey’s are able to provide the Creature with skills that Victor never did. From them, he learns how to read and write , countless times in the novel we see the creature’s benevolence; as he tries to help the poverty stricken De Lacey’s “I discovered also another means through which I was enabled to assist their labours.” However when he tries to initiate contact they treat him with violence “Who can describe their horror… Agatha fainted... Felix darted forward… in a transport of fury, he dashed me to the ground and with supernatural force tore me from his father...” The repetition of active verbs such as “fainted” are able to quicken the pace and builds the suspense of the events that are carried out. The noun “fury” suggests an idea of uncontrollable rage and passion, Felix reacts on instinct

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes shelley's presentation of the creature as a 'fiend of unparalleled barbarity' in frankenstein.
  • Analyzes how mary shelley blurs the boundaries between civilised and savage in victor frankenstein's novel.
  • Analyzes how shelley highlights the psychological damage that can occur from continual isolation. the creature's isolation is not self-imposed, but craves affection and friendship.
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