Tragic Hero in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

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Mary Shelley’s Tragic Hero 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. A monster can be characterized by an extreme deviation from the normal standards of society including an internal or external wickedness. In the case of Mary Shelley’s Creature, his appearance overwhelms those who lay eyes upon him. A mere glance can send a villager running for the hills. It was not until the Creature caught a glance of his own reflection that he understood why villagers were so afraid of him. The realization of his ghastly appearance began the monster’s journey into hopelessness. In Peter Brooks’ article he writes, “Self recognition as the ‘filthy type’ completes the mirror stage of the Monsters development.” (Brooks 377). Seeing oneself as ugly and slovenly can cast shadows on even the most compassionate of hearts. In the beginning the Creature is born with a kind heart. While traveling through the forest the creature comes up on a small child playing on the side of a river. When the child misses a step and the Creature springs into action to save a stranger. In her story Shelley writes, “’I rushed from my hiding place, and, with extreme labour from the force of the current, saved... ... middle of paper ... ...Nineteenth-Century Responses. Modern Criticism. Ed. J. Paul Hunter. New York: 2012. 368-390. Print. Browerbank, Sylvia. The Social Order VS The Wretch: Mary Shelley's Contradictory- Mindedness in Frankenstein. ELH, Vol. 46. (1979), pp. 418-431. JSTOR. Web. 24 April 2014. Oates, Joyce Carol. Frankenstein's Fallen Angel. Critical Inquiry, Vol. 10. (1984), pp. 543-554. The University of Chicago Press. JSTOR. Web. 20 April 2014. O'Rourke, James. "Nothing More Unnatural": Mary Shelley's Revision of Rousseau ELH. Vol. 56, No. 3 (1989), pp. 543-569. The Johns Hopkins University Press. JSTOR. Web. 24 April 2014. Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein: A Norton Critical Edition. Ed. J. Paul Hunter. New York: W. W. Norton, 1996. Turner Sharp, Michele. If It Be a Monster Birth: Reading and Literary Property in Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein". South Atlantic Review, Vol. 66. (2001).

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