About this sample
About this sample
Words: 1159 |
6 min read
Published: Aug 4, 2023
Words: 1159|Pages: 3|6 min read
Mary Shelly's novel Frankenstein (1818) is a Gothic horror story that raises the question of who is the real villain in Frankenstein's narrative. The story is about a young student of natural philosophy, who discovers the secret of giving life to matter and creates a living being. The creation that is kind and gentle in nature inspires fear in those who meet him and must hide away from society. Lonely and doomed to life alone, the creature becomes embittered and cruel, which leads to a devastating revenge on his creator. This is a story about if we, the common man, shall play God.
At the beginning of the novel, we meet Robert Walton. Walton is the first narrator of the story. In his letters to his sister Margaret, he first explains his desire to explore the North Pole. Once he finds a ship and a crew, Walton does indeed head north, and after a few days, he encounters Victor Frankenstein, who comes aboard to tell the captain his life story. Frankenstein’s narration accounts for most of the rest of the book, although the monster tells some of the story. Walton resumes his letter to Margaret at the conclusion of Frankenstein.
Victor Frankenstein is the main character and main narrator of the story. He is a curious young science major who eventually finds the secret of life. After many months of study and experimentation, Frankenstein finally creates his infamous monster. Immediately after he witnesses the being come to life, however, Victor regrets his decision to create life. When he refuses to create a mate for his monster, the creature terrorises the young man, murdering his closest friends and family. Victor decides to dedicate his life to eradicating this devil, but the beast prevails at the end, miserable himself but satisfied that he has avenged the crime of his creation. Victor recounts his fervent love for science, explaining, “Curiosity, earnest research to learn the hidden laws of nature, gladness akin to rapture, as they were unfolded to me, are among the earliest sensations I can remember
The Monster, Frankenstein’s creation is the villain of the book, at least according to Victor, but his narration forces the reader to feel at least some pity for him. He is the true outcast of society, and though he has the intelligence of man, he isn’t allowed into society. After many attempts to gain the favour of humans, the monster finally resolves to take out his anger and misery on mankind, particularly his creator, Victor. To carry out his vengeance, the beast kills Victor’s closest friends and family, and ultimately makes sure that Frankenstein is dead himself. At the conclusion of the story, the beast is left to die at the North Pole; satisfied that Victor’s sin in creating him is recompensed. Here, the monster shows a unique ability to analyse humanity because, though he’s not a human himself, he has the intelligence of one. He explains, “I heard about the slothful Asiatic; of the stupendous genius and mental activity of the Grecian; of the wars and wonderful virtue of the early Romans—of their subsequent degenerating—of the decline of that mighty empire; of chivalry, Christianity, and kings.” This synopsis of Western culture in a nutshell shows the monster’s ability to put humanity in perspective. Indeed, there’s almost a triviality to it. Yet this education only furthers the monster’s realisation that he is disconnected from the humans he admires.
Throughout Frankenstein, several characters, but especially Victor, grow sick during periods of extreme stress. Frankenstein demonstrates such illness after he creates the monster and especially after his friend, Clerval, dies. Other characters, such as his mother and father, also experience extreme sickness, yet to Victor; at least, sickness serves as an escape from life's harsh reality. It also seems to foreshadow horrible, future events—Victor always seems to realise the terrible hold fate has over him
The weather also serves as a quiet metaphor throughout the novel. Like sickness, it too, foreshadows coming events. For example, the storm of the night of William's murder seems to foreshadow the impending misery brought on by the monster. Both Victor and the monster have their spirits lifted during warm weather. To Victor, the Alps is a place of self-reflection and spiritual awakening. Yet the cold, stormy weather (the arctic north near the end of the story, for example, or the rain storm on Victor's wedding night), indicates deep depression and thoughts of death, underscoring how desperate Victor's and the monster's circumstances have become while reminding them of their impending doom. Clearly, the weather corresponds to the characters' attitudes. Likewise, Victor's love but eventual disillusionment with nature reveals his love and disillusionment with life itself, after the monster makes his life a living nightmare. As always, Frankenstein's love turns to contempt and self-loathing, as his creature grows increasingly vengeful.
The Monster is in many ways a metaphor for Victor's life. Indeed, Frankenstein's monster is an outcast—he doesn't belong in human society. Yet the monster's alienation from society, his unfulfilled desire for a companion with whom to share his life, and his ongoing struggle for revenge, are all shared by his creator. As the story develops, Victor becomes increasingly like his creation. Both live in relative isolation from society, both hate their own miserable lives, and both know suffering. The time when all this happens is sometime in the 18th century, which can be seen on the letters to Margaret, Walton’s sister, they are dated with the year 17--.
The main problem in the book is Frankenstein's inner conflicts after creating the monster and how to resolve them. How to exterminate this hideous creature and stop its future crimes. Frankenstein goes after the creature, but he never reaches it and leaves it to die on the North Pole. To make amends for his crimes to mankind Frankenstein throws himself into the sea. Everyone has sometime in his or her life seen or heard about Frankenstein's monster. A monster created by a mad scientist from parts of the body, brought to life with lightning.
The language used in the book is old British English, with long sentences and difficult words. “Although I possessed the capacity of bestowing animation, yet to prepare a frame for the reception of it, with all its intricacies of fibres, muscles, and veins, still remained a work of inconceivable difficulty and labour.” is one of many long and difficult sentences.
After reading this book I would like to read it once again, only to fully understand it. It’s a quite heavy book to read. But the author succeeds in to write a credible and intriguing story that is very present today, with all this gene-technique and cloning. So if you are used to read books in English, so don’t hesitate because when you go into the story it is quite entertaining.
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