Essay on The Physical Deterioration Of Mary Shelley 's Frankenstein

Essay on The Physical Deterioration Of Mary Shelley 's Frankenstein

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It is scientifically proven, that people prefer attractive people. Appearances help millions of good-looking men and women across the country advance in their careers, get free drinks, and receive more opportunity. But, Mary Shelley juxtaposes the physical deterioration of Victor as her novel, Frankenstein, progresses and the creature ’s ugly physical appearance and the motif of clouds juxtapose with birds to argue that appearances may be deceptive. She argues through the juxtaposition of Victor and the creation’s death that ultimately it is through death, one of nature’s devices, that allows us to see the character of a person.
Shelley juxtaposes the physical deterioration of Victor into the ugly appearance of the creation to prove that time will reveal a person’s character. Victor claims that as a boy, “No human being could have passed a happier childhood than myself” (32). Victor’s childhood is associated with innocence and happiness. However, as he grew older, he exchanged his innocence for pride as victor states, “I deemed it criminal to throw away in useless grief those talents that might be useful to my fellow creatures” (261). By juxtaposing a happy childhood to a prideful adulthood, Mary suggests that it is Victor’s desire to push the natural boundaries, even if out of good intentions, that begins the departure from happiness. As Victor grows older, the more he deviates from his cheerful youth. After creating his creation, “a cold dew covered my forehead, my teeth chattered, and every limb became convulsed” (59) and the pattern to Victor’s reaction to tribulation begins to form. When faced with a trial, Victor’s body reacts to emotional grief with physical manifestations of suffering. After the death of Clerval, Victor f...


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...hat he is in harmony with nature. He is surrounded on all sides and thus consumed and immersed by nature. There is no differentiating between the creature and the ocean; they are but one. In all, death is the catalyst for allowing the reader to gain understanding into the character of both the Victor and the creation, and death is merely a part of nature.
Mary Shelley juxtaposes Victor and his creature in both appearances and death and weaves a motif of clouds throughout her novel to advance her theme that immediate appearances may often serve as facades, hiding a different truth within then what is perceived. Mary Shelley never explicitly forces her opinion on who the metaphorically uglier monster, but it is clear that despite all his mental faculties, Victor was never able to break through the mist and cloud and see who he was at his core while the creation did.

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