Character Development in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Essay

Character Development in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Essay

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Character Development in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

    In any novel the author is free to create and shape their characters in whatever way they see fit. In Frankenstein, Shelley does an excellent job of shaping her characters, be it however minute their part in the story, so that the reader gets a clear picture of Shelley's creations. It seems that each character in Shelley's Frankenstein is created by Shelley to give the reader a certain impression of the character. By doing this Shelley creates the characters the way she wants us to see them. She tells us certain things about them and gives them certain traits so that they will fit into the story the way she wants them to. In particular I will examine the characters of the monster, Elizabeth, and old man De Lacey.

            One of the more minor characters but still an intricate part of the story is the old man, De Lacy. He is the father of the family whom the monster watches after he has left his place of creation in Ingolstadt. The monster learns from the family and feels a closeness to them that is new to him. The fact that the old man is blind is no coincidence at all. Shelly purposely made him blind so he could not be influenced by the monster?s hideous appearance. When the monster finally works up the courage and the old man is finally alone in the cottage, the monster makes his move. He enters claiming he is a wanderer looking for a place of shelter and rest. As he tells of his predicament he seems to befriend the old man, appears to be fluent in the English language, and for all intensive purposes appears a normal person. It is not until the old man?s children arrive home and he is alarmed by the screams of Felix and Agatha, that the monster is seen as any...

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...are more complex such as the monster, some such as the old man are put in to make a point, and some such as Elizabeth are created in a way that augments the imperfections of others.  Each of the characters in Frankenstein has a role or purpose in the story and is created in a way that adds to the story line and the novel in general. By creating each character and shaping them to a specific likeness, Shelley has creates a complex story and one of English literature's greatest classics.

Work Cited

Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein: A Norton Critical Edition. ed. J. Paul Hunter. New York: W. W. Norton, 1996.

Works Consulted

Levine, George. The Endurance of Frankenstein. Los Angeles: Moers, 1974.

Patterson, Arthur Paul. A Frankenstein Study.

Spark, Muriel. Mary Shelly. New York: Dutton, 1987.

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