English / In Mary Shelley’S ‘Frankenstein’, How Does The Creator’S Feeling Towards The Monster Change Throughout The Novel?

In Mary Shelley’S ‘Frankenstein’, How Does The Creator’S Feeling Towards The Monster Change Throughout The Novel?

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Autor:  anton  27 November 2010
Tags:  Shelleys,  frankenstein,  Creators,  Feeling
Words: 1996   |   Pages: 8
Views: 897

In Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’, how does the creator’s feeling towards the monster change throughout the novel?

The author of the famous book ‘Frankenstein’ Mary Shelley came from the rarefied reaches of the British artistic and intellectual elite. While Mary Shelley drew her inspiration from a dream, she drew her story's background about the nature of life from the work of some of Europe's well-known scientists and thinkers. The sophisticated creature that billowed up from her imagination read Plutarch and Goethe, spoke eloquently, and suffered much.

In the summer of 1816, nineteen-year-old Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin and her lover, the poet Percy Shelley (whom she married later that year), visited the poet Lord Byron at his villa beside Lake Geneva in Switzerland. Stormy weather frequently forced them indoors, where they and Byron's other guests sometimes read from a volume of ghost stories. One evening, Byron challenged his guests to each write one themselves. Mary's story, inspired by a dream, became Frankenstein.

In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, She brings up some important issuies, which are still very, if not more relevant today. Playing god is one of these issues in Frankenstein. Playing god is still very relevant today as we are at the technological age where creating man can be done by the idea of cloning, and experiments have already been performed on sheep. In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, it tells you that terrible things can happen by creating man and gives Mary Shelley’s views on the idea of creating life. Frankenstein also known as the modern Prometheus; tells the story of a scientist, Victor Frankenstein whose ambition takes him to create man which has dramatic consequences for him and his family. In Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’ the creator, Victor Frankenstein feelings change throughout the novel towards the monster, in this essay, I will explain and expand on what Victor feels about the monster.

At the beginning of Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’, Victor has a thirst for knowledge and is very curious about the human body “earnest research to learn the hidden laws of nature.” The hidden laws of nature is victor saying he wants to know how humans were built, like the dna code which hadn’t known by scientist in the Victorian era. However later on after his mother death of scarlet fever “My mother sickened; her fever was accompanied by the most alarming symptoms,” Their wasn’t a high chance of survival rate if you caught scarlet fever in the time ‘Frankenstein’ was set. So the way Mary Shelley’s uses ‘alarming’ suggests that it’s almost certain that Victor’s mother will die. Victor’s thirst turns into ambition, as he wants to cure the world of illness. “ Wealth was an inferior object; but what glory would attend the discovery, if I could banish diseases from the human frame.” Mary Shelley in this part of the novel makes little hints about what’s going to happen in the future to victor. “ An omen, as it were, of my future misery.” This type of writing gets the reader to read on because they want to know what bad thing will happen to him.

Victor believes that if he can bring people back to life he can stop people dying which will eventually help him rid the world of illness, this is the first time he contemplates creating the monster. Victor does have some doubts about creating the monster, “but my enthusiasm was checked by my anxiety.” However, his determination to cure and create life; as well as his ambitious nature drives him to ignore these important issues and create the monster anyway regardless of what the consequences may be.

The setting the night victor Frankenstein created the monster was “dreary night of November” it was raining steadily “the rain pattered dismally against the panes.” Mary Shelley sets the scene like this to try to make the reader read on and interested, Mary Shelley uses words like “dreary” and “dismally” to create a negative image of what is happening. Mary Shelley also describes the scene like this because it creates good atmosphere, which helps to try to scare the reader. Another way she builds up the atmosphere is by describing the monster in little a bits and only gives a faint description of what the monster looks like “ dim yellow eyes of the monster” and “watery eyes that almost seemed the same colour as their dim white sockets.” This scares the reader a lot more then if it was described accurately and if every little last detail was described. The technique that Mary Shelley uses is a lot more effective and also lets the readers imagination create the image of the monster, so everyone’s idea of what the monster looks like will be different, thus scaring the reader more. Mary Shelley’s trys to give the impression that the monster is evil, she shows this by setting the scene the monster is created on a dark winters night when the moons out. Mary Shelley sets the scene like this because at the time when it was written the full moon and dark nights were associated with dark evil things and witchcraft.

At the start of chapter V, Victor Frankenstein feels happy and believes the monster is “beautiful” as he has achieved a sense of ambition, however his happiness soon turns to feeling distraught as he realizes what he has created; “ the beauty of the dream vanished” this shows that after the monster is created he doesn’t think it’s a good idea as before. He had not created a human being which will help cure the world of diseases instead it’s a monster which could destroy human life. “ I behold the wretch-: the miserable monster that I created.” The consequences of what victor has created floods back to him “ it became a thing such as even Dante could not conceive” Dante is also known as the devil, which means victor is saying the monster is evil not even the devil would create something so evil! Victor is distraught over this abomination he cannot sleep and falls extremely ill “ I remained for the rest of the night walking up and down in the greatest agitation. Mary Shelley’s use of wording skills here implies that Victor is very apprehensive about what he’s done and doesn’t know what to do about it this is shown by the phrase “greatest agitation”

Later on in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein After victor has recovered from his illness, he is only happy for a short period of time as something terrible happens and that is when William his younger brother dies. “ I discovered my lovely boy………stretched out on the grass livid and motionless: the print of the murderers fingers on his neck.” The language Mary Shelley uses in this chapter involves the reader by trying to let them guess who the murderer is, thus making the reader want to read on to see if thy are right. To add to this great sadness and torment Justine, Victor’s friend is accused of murdering William; “ indeed who would credit that Justine Moritz who was such an amiable and fond of all the family could suddenly become cable of such frightful and appalling crime.” Even though Victor knows the truth that the monster he created killed William not Justine there is nothing he can do about it. “ Which might have staggered anyone who not had such proof of her innocence.” Victor is saying that he knows it wasn’t her that committed the crime but no one else will believe her because they don’t know about the monster. After watching Justine die, victors feeling change from being sad to murderous outrage towards the monster for doing this. He is desperate to kill the monster “I certainly wished to extinguish that life which I so thoughtlessly bestowed” The word extinguish shows he wants to get rid of the monster permanently, forever! Another point where his feelings change towards the monster is when the monster asks him to create a companion for him. Victor at this stage is determined not to make another monster “ shall I create another like yourself, ….. you may torture me but I will not consent” This shows how determined victor is not to create another monster by The way Mary Shelley uses such powerful words such as “torture” these means if Victor was tortured to extreme lengths he still would not create another monster. Because Mary Shelley shows that Victor is determined not to create another monster, this shows the reader that he also must feel guilty about creating the monster in the first place. You can tell Victor also feels guilty “ the demonical corpse which I had so miserably given life” this shows he feels guilty for giving the monster life. Victors feelings change again after his newly married wife, Elizabeth dies “ the murderous mark of her fiends grasp was on her neck… while I hung over her in agony of despair.” Victor feels heartbroken, as he could have stopped this from happening because the monster said he would come; but Victor thought for him. Mary Shelley’s idea is perfect as it is a good twist, which would make the reader, read on and creates a nice finishing touch. Victor’s sadness and unhappiness doesn’t last very long “the deep grief…. quickly gave way to the rage and despair.” This is because this last thing sends victor over the top and is hell-bent on revenge for the monster, this is shown by the word “rage” which means Victor is extremely angry.

Victor Frankenstein feels all these different emotions because of the situations he gets into. Victor’s emotions reflect the situation, when his wife dies he would feel sad because it was someone he liked and loved. Mary Shelley shows Victor to have these emotions to make her character more believable. For example, when Victor finally loses it with the monster and desperately wants to kill him after his wife has been killed by the monster, this is what a real person would be thinking, in that situation. Mary Shelley tries to make the characters like this so the reader can feel in touch with them and know how they I thinking as if they were real life. This is what makes Mary Shelley such a good writer by the way she can show characters emotions and actions accurately. At the time of when the book was set it, people were trying to understand and experiment with science. Scientists were cutting up bodied to learn about the human body. Victor only took it one step further by trying to create human life, if hadn’t tried it and succeeded I’m sure someone else would have of. Also looking at Victor’s frame of mind he was going through some dramatic times. Scarlet fever devastated his family by nearly killing his sister and actually killing his mother, so he was desperate to cure these diseases and he though if could create human life he could learn how to create these diseases. On the other hand, he knew it was wrong to meddle with such things and knew of the consequences, which could happen. It was against the law anyway and his ideas would have been dismissed if he asked about creating life at the university he was at. Also if he was that grief stricken by the death of his mum he wouldn’t have made it through university. Overall I thing it was a bad idea to look create a monster as Victor clearly knew of the risks involved but he carried on regardless.

After studying ‘Frankenstein’ text in depth, I have come to the conclusion that Victor Frankenstein feels many different emotions throughout the novel such as, anger, sadness, happiness and guiltiness’. Mary Shelley unique talent in writing great books such as Frankenstein is the way she can portray characters emotions and feelings extremely well.



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