Frankenstein, By Mary Shelley

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Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein as a response to a contest put forth by Lord Byron and her husband, Percy Shelley. The challenge was to write a horror story. Fittingly, her novel was influenced by the discussion they were having regarding the nature of life, referring to Darwin’s theory of Evolution, and the possibility of creating a creature. As a result, she wrote about a curious minded individual, Victor Frankenstein, assembling a creature with human parts and giving it life. The creature is neglected and abandoned, eventually became a monster. Despite his essential goodness, he is hated, and so he can only hate mankind in return. While, Frankenstein gave life to the creature, he deserted his creation immediately upon laying eyes on him. Frankenstein, the modern scientist, carefully pieced together the creature out of human parts he considered to be beautiful. However, the outcome repulses him. Aboard the ship, to Captain Walton, he recounts the night of creation: “How can I describe my emotions at this catastrophe, or how delineate the wretch whom with such infinite pains and care I had endeavored to form? His limbs were in proportion, and I had selected his features as beautiful. Beautiful! – Great God! His yellow skin scarcely covered the work of muscles and arteries beneath; his hair was of a lustrous black, and flowing; his teeth of a pearly whiteness; but these luxuriances only formed a more horrid contrast with his watery eyes, that seemed almost of the same colour as the dun white sockets in which they were set, his shriveled complexion, and straight black lips” (35). What Frankenstein had envisioned and dreamt of has now become a nightmare. The creature is grotesque and Frankenstein is filled with horro... ... middle of paper ... ...ature’s horrid appearance and should therefore not shriek in horror at his presence. The blind man represents the goodness of human nature in the absence of prejudice. He explains to the blind man, how he’s been helping his family and hopes of friendship in return. However, the creature is met with panic and fury when the children return to the cottage. He describes the situation, “Agatha fainted; and Safie, unable to attend to her friend, rushed out of the cottage [. . .] he dashed me to the ground, and struck me violently with a stick” (94). Misinterpreting the situation, they treated him violently and with cruelty. Once again people reject him. Though, he has loved and trusted them from the beginning. He is not angry with them but sadden. Although the creature is compassionate, he learns that others are not. He sees the world as hateful and mistrusting.

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