Is Frankenstein A Creature Or Monster?

2233 words - 9 pages

Is Frankenstein a Creature or Monster?

Whether Frankenstein's creation is a creature or indeed a monster is a
key factor of the novel as a whole. Mary Shelley successfully uses
language to create and manipulate the reader's opinion of this
nameless creation.

Frankenstein is from a well respected and well educated family; "my
family is one of the most distinguished of that republic". This
immediately gives the reader the impression that he will be a
benevolent character. The reader feels sympathy for Frankenstein when
his mother dies as it is very hard for him "The despair that is
exhibited on countenance" It is obvious that this affected
Frankenstein deeply, which lead to ...view middle of the document...

Words such as "daemonical corpse", "wretch" and "miserable
monster" which Mary Shelley had used to describe the monster at this
point portray an evil and malevolent monster.

After the being has murdered Frankenstein's brother William, he is
again presented as the evil malevolent monster by the words Mary
Shelley chose for Frankenstein to use in his description of the
'wretch' he saw before him; "more hideous than belongs to humanity",
"it was the wretch, the filthy daemon", "I thought of pursuing the
devil". Now the monster seems to the reader even more evil than he did
when he was first created. The lack of the being's feelings and
emotions being included here doesn't let the reader see it from his
point of view, and therefore understand and feel sympathy for him, or
at least be able to form their own opinion of him.

When Frankenstein finally meets the being in the mountains, he is
again presented as the evil monster "his countenance bespoke bitter
anguish, combined with disdain and malignity, while its unearthly
ugliness rendered it almost too horrible for human eyes". However this
time the creature has a chance to speak and does indicate about the
pain he has felt. But the reader probably will not feel sympathy for
him yet as he doesn't seem to be overwhelmed by sadness, but still
quite strong in himself. It is likely that the reader will still
empathise with Frankenstein because since the being was created a
malevolent image of him has been created by Mary Shelley. Mary Shelley
has used an even selection of both negative and positive words to
create a contrast upon how the scene is viewed. This also could be
trying to show that there are two sides to everything; Frankenstein is
good looking but immoral, the creation is ugly but moral.

When the being becomes the narrator, the reader's opinion of him will
change quite rapidly as they realise what Frankenstein has put him
through, and how during his the being's creation, Frankenstein had
lost touch with the morals of society. The being describes the torment
and misery of his existence and the deeper yearnings of his soul. Mary
Shelley begins the being's story by getting the reader's sympathy
through showing the physical and emotional pain he feels, "I was a
poor, helpless, miserable wretch; I knew, and could distinguish,
nothing", "I sat down and wept", "I escaped to the open country and
fearfully took refuge happy to have found shelter, however miserable
from the inclemency of the season and still more from the barbarity of
man". In the phrase "inclemency of season" nature is used by Shelley
to reflect the creation's desolation (pathetic fallacy). The monster
also shows that he can experience emotions such as love. "It was a
lovely sight, even to me, poor wretch who had never beheld ought
beautiful before. The silver hair and benevolent countenance of the
aged cottager was my reverence, while the gentle manners of the girl
enticed my love" Here...

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