Malicious Behavior in Mary Shelley´s Frankenstein

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Frankenstein and His Terrible Choices

Emotion is a sharp double-sided blade. It has the ability to do either good or harm. Humans have been known to start wars because of spite or anger. They can also be very delicate and fragile emotionally. Therefore, in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the lack of companionship and love can lead to malicious behavior.

All people need love or support in order to thrive. In the book Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, the creature that Frankenstein creates is extremely lonely and states:

If any being felt emotions of benevolence towards me, I should return them a hundredfold; for that one creature’s sake I would make peace with the whole kind... I demand a creature of another sex, but as hideous as myself... Oh creator, make me happy... Let me see that I excite the sympathy of some existing thing... .(Shelley 148)

This ties into a certain sense that many take for granted, the sense of touch. The creature has been living alone for at least a year with only the family of De Lacey for pseudo company. However, he never really makes contact with them, meaning that he is deprived of an important aspect for feeling love and comfort: the sense of touch.

Research by Darlene Francis and Michael Meaney has shown that rats that were groomed by their mother in infancy were more calm and had a stronger immune system when they grew up (Keltner). Humans have pressure receptors called Pacinian corpuscles under their skin (Trudeau). When the pressure receptors are stimulated, it sends signals to the vagus nerve, which is responsible for lowering blood pressure and slowing the heart beat (Trudeau). The vagus nerve then releases oxytocin (Trudeau). Oxytocin is defined by Merriam-Webster dict...

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...Facts On File, 1818. Web. 24 Mar. 2014. .

Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein. N.p.: Tom Doherty Associates, 1988. Print.

Szalavitz, Maia. “Measure of a Mother’s Love: How Early Neglect Derails Child Development.” Time. Time, 24 May 2012. Web. 30 Mar. 2014. .

Trudeau, Michelle. “Human Connections Start with a Friendly Touch.” NPR: National Public Radio. NPR, 20 Sept. 2010. Web. 24 Mar. 2014. .

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