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The Theme of Revenge in Frankenstein by Mary Shelley 

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What would it take for you to want to kill somebody, well in Frankenstein by Mary Shelley it didn’t take more than just the thought of being alone for the rest of their life that led Frankenstein’s monster to release his bloodlust and take everything from the same person that brought him to life. The theme of revenge is one of the major themes in Frankenstein because both Victor and the monster feel and act on it throughout the novel. The theme is so strong in the novel that it becomes more than just the theme, but the emotion that Mary Shelley is trying to get across which is that trying to get revenge for what someone did to you doesn’t affect them but more so affects you the most. The story itself talks about how the monster seeks revenge on both Victor and every other human in the world as he believes that they are disgusted by him while Victor seeks revenge on the monster because it took away the people he loved most. The monster also believes that Victor is the reason for him being alienated from the rest of society which leads to his bloodlust. He is also convinced that Victor is the reason for his loneliness and contemplates his creation as seen when he says “Cursed cursed creator! Why did I live? Why, in that instant, did I not extinguish the spark of existence which you had so wantonly bestowed?”. It is this pain that allows us to feel sympathy for the monster as some of us know how it feels to be alone.

The cycle of revenge, which is analyzed in this essay, begins when Victor first abandons the creature due to his disgust, which is as soon as he creates the creature. Once the creature realizes that was the cause he becomes enraged that Frankenstein brought him into the world, then abandoned him due to his physical appearance. The monster doesn’t also believe that Victor is the only one to blame but that all humans are the cause of what Victor did and that they all deserve the fate of death. If the monster had thought he would have realized that it was solely Victor. Mary Shelley involving this brings up the fact that when only driven by revenge one would have cloudy thinking causing them to make horrible mistakes that lead to worse consequences. It can cause a person who is innocent and loving to be filled with hatred and be consumed with it as they do not know how to control their emotions as seen by the monster who at the start didn’t know how to speak and didn’t have a grasp of human emotion, but as he spent time learning he became to learn the feeling of abandonment and decided that his entire purpose in life was to end Victor’s life. The monster also realizes that he has no hope of ever joining human society and that revenge is the only thing he needs and that it is “dearer than light or food”. The monster sees himself as different because he looks different he even calls himself “a blot upon the earth from which all men fled and whom all men disowned”.

One would presume that when seeking revenge the monster would kill Frankenstein, but instead, he goes for his loved ones because he realizes that Frankenstein. During these, the monster doesn’t feel anything but anger, vengeance and the relief of completing his revenge, which sucks out all the happiness from Victor’s life. Most of the monster’s anger is caused by how he views himself and what others think of him. He tries to show that he’s like other humans and has a compassionate side in several occasions, such as when he saves the drowning girl from the river or when he tries to befriend De Lacey, however, due to his hideous appearance all of these attempts fail as he is misinterpreted and judged by his outward look only. This act of rejection causes him to realize that others will never see any good in him, but the monster on the outside and that he will never have a compassionate companion in which he can associate with causing him to say things like “I, the miserable and the abandoned, am an abortion, to be spurned at, and kicked, and trampled on”. These show that the monster cannot visualize anything great emulating from himself and that the only thing that he can amount to being nothing in life as he has no close companion as Victor does. This leads to his insane acts such as when he kills William because he is related to Victor or when he kills Victor’s wife. Victor and the monster’s quest for vengeance lead to their inevitable demise as Victor fails to accomplish the one wish given to him by the monster which was that he created a female so the monster can have a companion. This leads to the monster killing his wife on their wedding night since the monster sees nothing wrong in what he has done and that anything goes in their endless war against each other and this can also be seen as that the only way out of this is for both of them to die as for Victor to be free he has to get rid of the monster and in the case of the monster to get a female companion he requires Victor’s help as he is the only one who knows how to create her. Therefore meaning that they both need each other to live, but neither of the two has each other’s approval for help. Frankenstein throughout the entire book can be portrayed as a man who believes that others do deserve happiness, but in the case of the monster he thinks not as he says when he decides to not make a companion for the monster that he is will not create a “race of devils” which was a big insult to the monster from the person who created him, who is a father figure to him in a way which sounds like such an insensitive thing to say to another person but as we have learnt through the book he does not truly see him as a person but as a monster or as a mistake and something that he regrets doing. It also brings up the question of whether revenge always leads to a feeling of misery.

This isn’t true as revenge is just a form of hatred in an endless cycle, which as I have said before is the main point in revenge as revenge is just a cycle of you hurting someone but instead hurting yourself more. This can be seen through how they each inflict pain on one another and how their hatred in reply grows leading to no solution. This can be seen in real life in some cases such as when a child gets bullied and ends up becoming a bully themselves just as a way to inflict the pain that they received on others and feel a sense of accomplishment. This doesn’t exactly help the person, but just continues the endless cycle of hatred. The only way for revenge and hatred to end was either for the both of them to put away their differences and resolve their conflict by giving each other what they wanted so as not to inflict harm on others because as long as there is hatred towards each other and the want for revenge then we can never achieve peace and that can turn into turmoil which is another main morale that the book tries to emulate to others telling them that by hurting others you’re not hurting them but yourselves and that it is better to forgive as by not holding a grudge can make you make good life decisions that don’t put you or anyone in huge risk or danger.

The very last part of the story reflects Victor’s hatred towards his creation as it had killed everyone he loved, including his brother, dear friend Clerval, His true love Elizabeth and his Father. These deaths caused a rush of emotion that takes over him and cause him to follow a dark path that takes him towards to kill his arch-enemy, his creation, the one that took everything from him, but as a result, he follows the monster through the ice and snow of the north and falls into a patch of freezing water giving him pneumonia which altogether leads to his demise. This helps show that the path to revenge is not a good one, but one that hurts you, and can heavily hurt you either mentally or physically. Revenge is not the only driving and important theme in the novel but is one of the few things that can be seen through Victor and the monster that they have in common. Together they show that revenge is driven by strong emotions such as love, anger, loneliness or even the feeling of being jealous of others. At the end of the book, we are shown the remorseful and empathy given by the once heartless beast, who by what he had accomplished had learnt that revenge and the need for bloodlust leave a feeling of emptiness and dissatisfaction on the inside as he realized that there was no gain to what he had done and that it was all pointless and useless.

To conclude, as seen from this essay revenge is indeed a major theme throughout Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and is explained and reflected through the chain of events that occur against the Scientist and the monster and how their war for revenge on each other lead to them hurting themselves more and feeling isolated. This can all be represented through how the characters lose their sanity as the story slowly progresses and leads to the death of Frankenstein and also the want to not be alive for the monster. 

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The Theme Of Revenge In Frankenstein By Mary Shelley . (2021, January 25). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 18, 2022, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-theme-of-revenge-in-frankenstein-by-mary-shelley/
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The Theme Of Revenge In Frankenstein By Mary Shelley  [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2021 Jan 25 [cited 2022 May 18]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-theme-of-revenge-in-frankenstein-by-mary-shelley/
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