The Themes of Good and Evil in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Essay

The Themes of Good and Evil in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Essay

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How are the themes of good and evil explored in Chapters 16 and 17 of
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein?

Not only does the idea of ‘good vs. evil’ have relevance in today’s
society, but some of the ideas behind the medical advances shown in
‘Frankenstein’ and the moral issues of creating new life in unnatural
ways such as cloning, should we really be making life for scientific
advances or should we be leaving to nature?

During Chapters 16 and 17, Frankenstein is telling the sailor what the
Monster had told him when they met. He recounts the misery the Monster
felt after the family he’d been watching for sometime and had begun to
love, shunned him when he revealed himself to them, this id the loving
side of the Monster coming through. He tells of Frankenstein how he
felt when he burned down the family’s cottage in his rage; he’s evil
because he loves too much. He also tells Frankenstein about how he
saved a girl from drowning in a river, and how the father of the girl
shot him when he saw her in his arms. Lastly in chapter 16 he tells
Frankenstein how he killed his younger brother, William, and how he
planted the locket on Josephine in the barn, because he knew she would
never love him. Through most of Chapter 17 we see Frankenstein and the
Monster arguing over whether Frankenstein will make the Monster a
female for the Monster to have as a companion. Frankenstein feels it
is wrong to bring another Monster in to the world in case it has
devastating effects on the world. The Monster how ever blackmails
Frankenstein, saying that he’ll make his life a living hell if he
doesn’t.

The relationship between the Monster and Frankenstein is a complicated
one. The Monster sees Frankenstein as his creator and his fath...


... middle of paper ...


...e natural world, he is a fabrication, freak “evil”
creature against the natural “good” order of life.

I think that Mary Shelley wanted the Monster to be seen in many
different ways, for example his evil side that enjoys killing and
destroying things, his loving side that is just waiting for somebody
to listen to him and learn to love him, his childish side that just
craves the love of a father. She makes the reasons for his evilness
very clear through these personas. Bitterness and anger towards the
world is only natural feel if the world shunned him. So although the
monster is ‘unnatural’ his responses and feeling are those as any
‘real’ person faced with the conflict he has had to face. His evil
side is the result of the creation and therefore Frankenstein’s doing.
This is why Frankenstein hates him so much; the monster is the
embodiment of his guilt.

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