Frankenstein and Gulliver’s Travels Essay

Frankenstein and Gulliver’s Travels Essay

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Mary Shelley and Jonathan Swift were completely us”(Swift, 73). Swift doesn’t think highly of chambermaids. Swift in general portrays females, even his wife, in a rather unjust way. The girls of Brobdingnag “would strip themselves to the skin, and put on their smocks in my presence, while I was placed on their toilet directly before their naked bodies, which, I am sure, to me was very far from being a tempting sight, or from giving me any other emotions than those of horror and disgust.”(Swift 133) Gulliver’s thoughts clearly address the youth of Swift’s time. Contrary to Swift’s writing, Shelly’s Frankenstein portrays females in an esteemed fashion. Females play active roles in Frankenstein, whether to Victor or to Felix. In fact, women help Victor develop in the reader’s eyes which is impossible to notice unless they are mentioned. Elizabeth is the guiding light of Victor, before and after his maddening state of creation. When Victor is re-united with Elizabeth he describes her in romantic fashion, “time had since I last beheld her; it had endowed her with loveliness surpassing the beauty of her childish years.” (Shelly 67) This is completely opposite to Gulliver. Whether it be his mom, Justine, or Elizabeth; Victor has positive encounters with females. It can also be noted that the Frankenstein monster “demand[s] a creature of another sex… and it shall content me” (Shelly 135). This request that the monster asks for is crucial as it shows the necessary interactions between males and females that Shelly, not Swift, shows.
Although both stories are completely different, they have one underlying theme that they both follow. All of the main characters of both stories point out major human flaws. Gulliver and the Frankenstein monster are depictions of human nature. Gulliver shows this through the people and societies he meets in his travels. Swift, through Gulliver, depicts the flaws of modern religion with the disputes of the Lilliputians and their beliefs of breaking “eggs at the most convenient ends” (Swift 59). The reader quickly dismisses this conflict as laughable because of the absurdity of the dispute, and this is a perfect example of Swift’s uncanny satirical powers. Swift leaves no group unscathed in his book. Gulliver ,while traveling through the Islands of Laputa, talks about scientist and their projects in that “The only inconvenience is, that none of these projects are yet brought to perfection, and in the mean time, the whole country lies miserably waste” (Swift 196).

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Scientists basically waste their time on worthless projects that do nothing for the current economic problems. Last but not least are politicians. Gulliver comments on how politicians “who are truly unqualified get posts of power, depending on the kings and governments favor of the person” (Swift 48). Through Gulliver, Swift shows hypo criticism, greed, and corruption; all major human/societal flaws. While Gulliver is outer-human flaws (society flaws), Frankenstein and his creation are representations of inner-human flaws. Victor at acquiring the knowledge of creation clearly addresses the reader of “how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge and how much happier that man is who believes his native town to be the world, than he who aspires to become greater than his nature will allow” (Shelly 39). Victor disagrees with the apprehension of this knowledge to any human, as he doesn’t want any human to go mad as he has, “are you mad, my friend... or whither does your senseless curiosity lead you?” (Shelly 200). While the Frankenstein monster himself is the embodiment of human evil, through the monster, the reader gets a glimpse of human nature on how people treat the monster. True human nature is seen when even the most simplistic and benevolent of families turn the monster down. The monster describes the family, “they are kind—they are the most excellent creatures in the world” (Shelly 122), the monster is then turned down and is “overcome by pain and anguish” (Shelly 124). The Frankenstein monster later on saves a drowning child but is shot for his “benevolence! I [monster] had saved a human being from destruction, and as a recompense I now writhed under the miserable pain of a wound which shattered the flesh and bone… inflamed by pain, I vowed eternal hatred and vengeance to all mankind” (Shelly 130). The monster while not evil at first becomes evil through his interactions with mankind. The monster becomes corrupt through mankind’s nature. The monsters final decent to evil was the murder of William, and finally the monster “bent over her [Justine] and placed the portrait securely in one of the folds of her dress” (Shelly 133), and blackmailed Justine. Mary Shelly incorporates inner human nature in the form of betrayal, fear, and murder.
While both books are considered children’s books, they are much deeper than just everyday fairy tales. They are projections of inner and outer human nature.

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