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The True Monster in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

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Like most horror stories, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein has a wretched monster who terrorizes and kills his victims with ease. However, the story is not as simple as it seems. One increasingly popular view of the true nature of the creature is one of understanding. This sympathetic view is often strengthened by looking at the upbringing of the creature in the harsh world in which he matures much as a child would. With no friends or even a true father, the creature can be said to be a product of society and its negative views and constant rejections of him. Although this popular view serves to lessen the severity of his crimes in most people’s eyes, the fact remains that the creature is in fact a cold-hearted wretch whose vindictive nature is brought through the killings which take place throughout the story. Regardless of his unfortunate upbringing and life, however, the creature is a being determined to ruin the life of Victor, through being the master of Victor’s life and every day existence, almost in a slave and master scenario, who feels remorse but continues to kill anyway and is therefore deserving of the title, "monster".

Throughout the story, Victor’s life is in peril due to the monster’s extreme vindictiveness. Although the monster is justified in showing anger towards Victor, his killings of Victor’s friends and family is overly brutal. Years of neglect by Victor, which leave the monster fatherless as he grows up, drive him into a vindictive rage, or according to the monster, an "uncontrollable passion". Instead of going after Victor directly and immediately, however, the monster acts to complete what he calls a "demoniacal design". He carries out this plan by methodically killing Victor’s friends and family. This he...

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...tradictory ways to them, the monster certainly is deserved of his title as "monster".

An increasingly popular way of thinking in today’s society is to evaluate the upbringing of someone in order to condone or at least understand their behavior. Along the same lines, one popular view of the creature in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is to be sympathetic towards the creature due to his poor upbringing and lack of a friends or a traditional father figure. Regardless of these unfortunate circumstances, however, the fact remains that the creature is still a cold-hearted wretch bent on ruining the life of Victor, through being the master of Victor’s life and existence, almost in a slave and master sense, who feels remorse yet kills anyway and is therefore deserving of the title "monster".

Works Cited

Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein. New York: Norton and Company, 1996.
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