In this 1700’s society the standards for society are quite different than what they are now, for one the general measure of someone’s worth and goodness is based primarily upon their appearance. Another of these societal standards that Shelley conveys is the social classes of the time with the cottagers and the monster’s description of them and how they are divided by wealth and family reputation. The last of the aforementioned societal standards is that of hiding one’s problems in the case of Victor Frankenstein and his hiding of his creation that became a monster, a monster that society
In her novel Frankenstein, Mary Shelley explores a wide range of themes concerning human nature through the thoughts and actions of two main characters and a host of others. Two themes are at the heart of the story, the most important being creation, but emphasis is also placed on alienation from society. These two themes are relevant even in today’s society as technology brings us ever closer to Frankenstein’s fictional achievement.
More than just a spooky story, Shelley’s novel is rife with allusion, both literary (the Creature’s relationship with its creator closely resembles Satan relationship to God in Milton’s Paradise Lost), and mythological (the book’s subtitle, The Modern Prometheus, likens Dr. Victor Frankenstein to the mythic bringer of fire to mankind). Of course, nothing could have been expected of Mary Shelley, the daughter of a prominent philosopher and a feminist, raised to be an intelligent and educated woman. Despite a lack of critical support for her novel, Frankenstein found a home with everyday readers who appreciated its macabre atmosphere and the plight of the strangely sympathetic
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is ‘one of the pioneering works of modern science fiction’, and is also a frightening story that speaks to the ‘mysterious fears of our nature’. Mary Shelley mocks the idea of “playing God”, the idea that came from the Greek myth of Prometheus, of the Greek titan who stole Zeus’ gift of life. Both the story of Frankenstein and Prometheus reveal the dark side of human nature and the dangerous effects of creating artificial life. Frankenstein reveals the shocking reality of the consequences to prejudging someone. The creature’s first-person narration reveals to us his humanity, and his want to be accepted by others even though he is different. We are shown that this ‘monster’ is a ‘creature’ and more of a human than we think.
The fact that Frankenstein’s creation turns on him and murders innocent people is never overlooked; it has been the subject of virtually every popularization of the novel. What is not often acknowledged is the fact that Frankenstein himself embodies some of the worst traits of humankind. He is self-centered, with little real love for those who care about him; he is prejudiced, inflexible and cannot forgive, even in death. While some of these traits could be forgivable, to own and flaunt them all should be enough to remind a careful reader that there are two "monsters" in Frankenstein.
Peter Brooks' essay "What Is a Monster" tackles many complex ideas within Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, and the main concept that is the title of the essay itself. What is the definition of a monster, or to be monstrous? Is a monster the classic representation we know, green skin, neck bolts, grunting and groaning? A cartoon wishing to deliver sugary cereal? or someone we dislike so greatly their qualities invade our language and affect our interpretation of their image and physical being? Brooks' essay approaches this question by using Shelley's narrative structure to examine how language, not nature, is mainly accountable for creating the idea of the monstrous body.
Tragedy shows no discrimination and often strikes down on those undeserving of such turmoil. In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, a creature more repulsive than one can imagine is brought to life by a young scientist. Although this creature is horrifying in sight, he is gentle by nature. Unfortunately, the softer side of the creature is repeatedly overlooked and the so called “monster” is driven to a breaking point. Even though the Creature committed many crimes, Mary Shelley’s Creature was the tragic hero of this story because of his efforts rescue the life of a young girl and helping destitute cottagers.
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is a nineteenth century literary work that delves into the world of science and the plausible outcomes of morally insensitive technological research. Although the novel brings to the forefront several issues about knowledge and sublime nature, the novel mostly explores the psychological and physical journey of two complex characters. While each character exhibits several interesting traits that range from passive and contemplative to rash and impulsive, their most attractive quality is their monstrosity. Their monstrosities, however, differ in the way each of the character’s act and respond to their environment. Throughout Frankenstein, one assumes that Frankenstein’s creation is the true monster. While the creation’s actions are indeed monstrous, one must also realize that his creator, Victor Frankenstein is also a villain. His inconsiderate and selfish acts as well as his passion for science result in the death of his friend and family members and ultimately in his own demise.
Like all works that have been taught in English classes, Frankenstein has been explicated and analyzed by students and teachers alike for much of the twentieth and all of the twenty-first century. Academia is correct for doing so because Frankenstein can appeal to the interests of students. Students, teachers and experts in the areas of medicine, psychology, and sociology can relevantly analyze Frankenstein in their respective fields. However, Peter Brooks explains in “Godlike Science/Unhallowed Arts: Language and Monstrosity in Frankenstein” that Shelly had presented the problem of “Monsterism” through her language. According to Brooks, Monsterism is explicitly and implicitly addressed in Shelly’s language. While this may be correct, Brooks does it in such a way that requires vast knowledge of subjects that many readers may not be knowledgeable in. After summarizing and analyzing the positive and negative qualities of Brooks’ work, I will explain how the connection of many different fields of study in literature creates a better work.
Over the years, the monster in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein has become universally portrayed in one way: a tall, green-skinned, dumb brute with no language or reasoning abilities. Society has turned the story of Frankenstein into a mere horror story, dehumanizing the monster more than was intended in Shelley’s novel. However, the message of Frankenstein is a far cry from the freak show displayed by the media. While many people may only see Frankenstein as a grotesque story meant to thrill its audience, its purpose goes much deeper as it advocates for the equal rights of women in society.
Vast arrays of appropriations have sprung from Shelley’s text, which influence as to why the text still remains today. The main source of today’s appropriations has been drawn directly from the figure of the monster itself. As, technology advanced and the idea of the stage was subjugated with the growing trend towards cinema, the figure of the original idea of the monster diminished. The figure slowly morphed into a hideous being, possessing green, stitched skin with bolts in the side of the head (lacking the original parallels to Adam). Unfortunately, the birth of cinema and its immediate success led to the demise of the philosophies and principles, which were initially at the crux of Shelley’s Frankenstein. A modern day appropriation of Frankenstein is The Rocky Horror Show, which draws directly from the creation of a monster, yet puts it in a satirical context, once again abating the traditional philosophies. The birth of the horror theme was partly due to Shelley’s text and though the horror theme is carried through today, it differs greatly as society now expects a different form of horror.
After he was created he immediately got abandoned by Victor Frankenstein and by every other human being he met. Therefore he spent the first years of his life alone in the woods with nobody as a companion. He had to learn everything on his own and had to take care of himself. The creature kills William as a punishment for Victor because he left him alone. After that, he spent several months at the same cottage helping the residents in secret with tasks like collect firewood but the cottager pushed him away without being thankful for the help when they finally saw him. Because of that experience, the creature burns the cottage. Everyone is reacting in that way because the creature apparently is extremely ugly leading to everyone assuming he is a monster, without getting to know him in any way. After that, he visited Victor again giving him the opportunity to build another creature and he promised in return to leave every human civilization so that he'll never meet another human again. Frankenstein accepted this offer and started creating a companion but shortly before he finishes his task he completely destroys it again, with the creature watching. Therefore the creature had to look at his promised future getting torn apart in front of his eyes. As a revenge for destroying his future, the creature kills Henry and
violent acts. After facing denial from Felix and the family, the monster later attempts to find love from one of his kind (Weekes 12). The creature requests that Doctor Frankenstein create a female partner for him, with whom he can share his passion and acquire empathy (Shelley 130). The monsters demand shows today’s current situation where people desire to depend on others for acceptance and validation.
Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein expresses human nature specifically through the character of the “Creature” and his development. The Creature has an opportunity to explore his surroundings, and in doing so he learns that human nature is to run away from something so catastrophic in looks. The Creature discovers that he must limit himself in what he does due to the response of humans because of his deformities. I feel that Mary Shelley tries to depict human nature to running away from the abnormal, which results in alienation of the “abnormal.” Even today, people have a prejudice against someone or something that is abnormal, and these people will act differently towards this abnormality that is put in front of them. In the novel, Shelley seems to suggest a conception of humanity that is deeply influe...
Struggles with our inner faults are pure representations of who we are and this can be reflected by society’s emotionally scarred outcasts. The gothic novel Frankenstein explores the instability that manifests when people indulge in a greed for knowledge and satisfaction that hints at the relatable characteristic of an appetite for self-assurance in society. In the gothic novel Frankenstein, Mary Shelley employs a parallel to reflect the monster that is present within people and the society they contribute towards.