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Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley

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The world consists of people that have the ability to overcome evil or become consumed in it. In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, a creature believed to be monstrous and destructive is created and as a consequence despised by the society he is brought into. Through the perspectives of Walton, Frankenstein, and the creature, Mary Shelley counters Frankenstein’s belief that the creature is a ‘demon’. The creature exemplifies more heartfelt characteristics than the creator Victor Frankenstein himself. Though Frankenstein’s creature portrays the physical attributes of a malevolent character, his human-like emotions overcome his ability to let evil consume him. He demonstrates acts of knowledge and empathy, but society judges him for his appearance and undeniable strength.

The comparisons between Walton and Frankenstein demonstrate an understanding of the characteristics that Frankenstein renders. Both characters show similarities in aspects of their thirst for knowledge, but also contrast each other in a parallel form. Walton prohibits his thrive for knowledge to be exceeded, whereas Frankenstein allows his compulsive obsession to lead to his death. By contrasting these two characters, the reader is able to grasp an understanding of the evil that has forsaken Frankenstein. Though his appearance is one of a human being, his drive for success has transformed him into a character that he views as his creature, monstrous and destructive, without having the appearance of a grotesque fiend.

Mary Shelley depicts Frankenstein as someone more monstrous than his own creation. As of the beginning of the novel, Frankenstein’s stories include an underlying tragedy that will later lead to his downfall, “I feel pleasure in dwelling on the recoll...

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...itive qualities he possesses, such as his ability to acknowledge the importance of a family. By doing so, readers begin to realize Frankenstein is the true monster failing to cope with his demonic side. His inability to admit his anger, hatred, and feeling of loneliness has isolated him from a world in which he has failed to receive love. In contrast, the creature attempts to gain love from the true ‘demon’, Frankenstein, and demonstrates emotions of a human being through his ability to speak and yearning for acceptance. Through this, it is evident to the reader that Frankenstein carries the attributes of a monster and the ‘demon’ Mary Shelley is depicting in her novel is Frankenstein.

Works Cited

Shelley, Mary & Hunter, J. Paul. Frankenstein: The 1818 Text, Contexts, Nineteenth-Century Responses, Modern Criticism. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1996.
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