Both tasks the two men set out to achieve are things never done before and include overcoming the power of nature. Victor, challenges death, trying to create a new being, and Walton tries to challenge the elements to reach to pole. Victor finds first, that doing this can only bring destruction, ‘the ever varied powers of nature’, a warning that it is too powerful to challenge. This warning, he then passes onto Walton who realises the peril he faces, and abandons his exploration.
The “Ancient Mariner” was a poem written around this time by Coleridge. Coleridge was a Romantic, as was Shelley’s husband, and poems like this one were popular as this portrayed the types of things people were thinking about around that time. Mary Shelley may have been influenced by this poem about the theme of challenging nature as the poem also talks of this. It also included a ‘frightful fiend’ similar to the Frankenstein’s creature. Nature is also linked into another theme of loneliness both of the monster and Victor.
The creature tries to tell Victor how he has been rejected and is totally alone saying things such as ‘I see bliss from which I alone am irrevocably excluded’ and ‘alone miserably’. The creature’s isolation could be found as a reason for his crimes as he never had anyone who he could interact with so he has never learnt how to do it, the creature’s isolation therefore leads to destruction. Every time the creature tries to make friends he is pushed further and further into isolation until he is in the most isolated place on earth, the North Pole.
Using the vast open snowy mountains as the creature inhabits allows the feeling of only him being there and no one else being anywhere near as the monster describes to his creator that, ‘dreary glaciers are my refuge’. Arguably, Mary Shelley might have been inspired, as she wrote ‘Frankenstein’, while staying in Italy in a remote place in the mountains. Shelley also shows the isolation that Victor forced onto himself, rejecting company. This means there is no one there to make him do the right thing so he continues to make horrific mistakes.
The monster and Victor are isolated together at the end and only have each other. When Victor dies, his creation kills himself as the last person who could accept him and give him reason for his existence has died, and he no longer wishes to be lonely. The reason for this loneliness is simply because of the way that he looks, that people are ‘prejudiced against’ him and only ‘behold a detestable monster’. Mary Shelley uses this to make the audience feel sorry for him and to show the reader that he has emotions just like a human.
Much of this book criticises man for judging on appearance and shows that appearance and reality can be very different. The creature is ugly and deformed making him seem frightening to people where as all that he really wants is a friend and someone to love him like he describes to the blind man he has ‘no relation or friend upon earth’. On the complete opposite to this Victor Frankenstein is seen as a rational scientist but turns out to be an irrational obsessive. Mary Shelley is trying to get the point across that things are not always as they seem.
Another important theme is that of the horror of child birth. In chapter five when Frankenstein gives birth to the creature, he immediately rejects it and is in a sense rejecting his “baby”. The monster in a sense has lost his “mother” at child birth and so is lonely. This was a very personal subject that Shelley decided to include within the book as she must have felt similar feeling to the creature after losing her own mother at child birth. She is showing through the creature how lonely it feels not to be loved by a creator or mother.
Through the chapters when the monster is recounting his story to his creator he is trying to get Victor to take his responsibilities of creator and love his creation calling Victor his ‘natural lord and king’ The monster also shows the similarities between Victor and God being the creators and himself and Adam the first creations trying to explain this to Frankenstein saying to him, ‘I ought to be thy Adam’ At this point Victor believes in the total opposite, and wants nothing to do with his creation that he now regrets, trying to rid the monster telling him ‘there can be no community between you and me’ ‘we are enemies’ it is only later on when he starts to listen and feel for his creation that he ‘felt what the duties of a creator towards his creature were’ and that he ‘ought to render him’. I think that to many people Frankenstein is one of the most well known horror stories including all of the ingredients to frighten the audience. To me, I believe that Frankenstein is much less a horror story as it is a novel that questions our society and the people living in it.
The old man tells the monster ‘the hearts of men, when unprejudiced by any obvious self-interest, are full of brotherly love and charity’. Throughout this book this quote is proved untrue. That people are always kind and giving when it does not interfere with their own interests, is shown as wrong. This book criticizes society and man, how prejudiced we are and the greed for fame. Although this book was written nearly 200 years ago the same messages still apply to today’s modern society. By Amy Smith MiDr Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Mary Shelley section.