Who Is the Real Monster in Frankenstein? Essay example

Who Is the Real Monster in Frankenstein? Essay example

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Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is a nineteenth century literary work that delves into the world of science and the plausible outcomes of morally insensitive technological research. Although the novel brings to the forefront several issues about knowledge and sublime nature, the novel mostly explores the psychological and physical journey of two complex characters. While each character exhibits several interesting traits that range from passive and contemplative to rash and impulsive, their most attractive quality is their monstrosity. Their monstrosities, however, differ in the way each of the character’s act and respond to their environment. Throughout Frankenstein, one assumes that Frankenstein’s creation is the true monster. While the creation’s actions are indeed monstrous, one must also realize that his creator, Victor Frankenstein is also a villain. His inconsiderate and selfish acts as well as his passion for science result in the death of his friend and family members and ultimately in his own demise.
Throughout the novel, Shelley investigates the idea of monstrosity. She makes the point that a monster does not have to be genuinely evil in order to be considered monstrous. Shelley presents two characteristics of mankind in order to prove her case. The first example is Frankenstein’s creation. Upon first being introduced to his creation, the reader initially labels him as a monster because of his physical appearance. He is portrayed as a man with “…yellow skin scarcely cover[ing] the work of muscles and arteries beneath…watery eyes, that seemed almost of the same colour as the dun-white sockets in which they were set…shrivelled complexion and straight black lips” (Shelley 58). Not only does the reader view him as...


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...most readers tend to sympathize with Frankenstein because of the way in which he is mentally and physically harmed by his creation. However, one must also realize that while Frankenstein is a victim in the novel, he also exhibits features that make him a monster. These monstrous qualities, however, stem from his passion for science and his desire to create life. Not only does the reader criticize and pity Frankenstein, but the reader also empathizes with Frankenstein’s creation. He was unjustly shunned by society because of his physical appearance. On the other hand, the reader realizes that like Frankenstein, the creation can not be sympathized with entirely. He too exhibits traits that make him appear villainous. It is the duality of these two characters that make Frankenstein and his creation two of the most appealing characters of the nineteenth century.

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