Essay on Frankenstein And The Picture Of Dorian Gray

Essay on Frankenstein And The Picture Of Dorian Gray

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Monstrosity is not just defined by disfigurement, but also by the actions and obsessions of man. Most, if not all, tales of monsters often came about as exaggerations of sins and immoral actions. Others see men who become too obsessed with the idea of overstepping their own humanity and playing God as monsters in society. Frankenstein and The Picture of Dorian Gray reflect this idea. While the painting and the creation mirror the monstrous nature and the sin Gray and Frankenstein enact throughout the course of each novel, both Dorian Gray and Victor Frankenstein are the true monsters.
Victor Frankenstein’s obsession for creating life pushes him over the edge between monstrosity and humanity. He feels that “life and death [are] ideal bounds, which [he] should first break through, and pour a torrent of light into [the] dark world" (Shelley 51). This quote demonstrates Frankenstein’s need to push himself scientifically to become in the image and likeness of God. Frankenstein takes the old Biblical saying too far and looses his own humanity along the way. Once Frankenstein latches onto the idea of creating “a new species [that] would bless [him] as its creator and source” (Shelley 51), he isolates himself and abandons all feeling. Unknowingly, he pushes his family away and becomes unsympathetic towards those around him. Only when the monstrosity of his own experiment meets him face to face does he awaken to the horror of his own self. Frankenstein’s fault and monstrosity lie with his belief that he, himself, is God-like and therefore has the right to create life—a job better left to God. Chris Bond, an English teacher and literary critic, states “Victor’s true desire to gain divine knowledge of the world, with the inevitable conseque...


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...th the painting and the creature lash out and take the life that is due. Neither Frankenstein nor Gray could escape their own fate and the results of their monstrosity.
Mary Shelley and Oscar Wilde create representations of monsters in the novels Frankenstein and The Picture of Dorian Gray respectively. This depiction defines a monster as a man that rejects morality and humanity in the pursuit of divine characteristics. Victor Frankenstein chases creation powers and the result is his horrendous creature. Dorian Gray pursues God’s immortality and perfection, which result in the corrupted portrait. Both the painting and the creature reflect the monstrous soul of their counterparts and inspire fear and disgust in the hearts of those that view them. Both authors depict monsters as those that overstep their own humanity in the vain attempt to become the god they are not.

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