English coursework Essay
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The creature not only has beautiful thoughts in this quotation but uses sensitive language: attracted, lovely, delight. However later on the creature explains that rage grasped hold of him as he realised that he would never enjoy her company. This explains that the creature is desperate to love someone, but because everyone treats him as if he is sub-human he is filled with fury, which is a natural human reaction. This is a reoccurring theme throughout the novel, and it becomes blatantly obvious that if humans treated him with respect and admiration, the creature would have never caused desolation.
The above quote is far from the only example of this reoccurring theme in the novel. When the creature studies the cottagers we realise that love and desire are an element of his personality; ‘The more I saw of them, the greater became my desire to claim their protection and kindness; my heart yearned to be known and loved by these amiable creatures: to see their sweet looks directed towards me with affection was the utmost limit of my ambition. ‘ The creature clearly desperately craves for their admiration but when the cottagers encounter him, they scorn and beat him.
It is clear that in this situation it is the cottagers who are the monster and the creature that is human, as the creature is reaching out for love and friendship, but the cottages dismiss him and beat him with malicious intent. At the time of the creation of this novel, a revolution was in progress in France. Throughout the novel there is an underlying connection between its story and the French revolution that became apparent. In France the radical reform was causing a severe amount of controversy and violence.
Some believed the reform to be a positive movement as it would create a more democratic country, however there were others who believed that the reform would damage traditions and make several workers redundant. Therefore, despite the reformists’ intentions being good, the result caused violence and destruction. This theme is paralleled in the novel as Frankenstein intended to defeat death thus helping humanity; however the consequences of his actions resulted in violence and destruction.
Another correlation between the two is that Frankenstein playing God (as he is defeating death) threatens religion as it insinuates that humans have the power and not God, and in the revolution the Church was under threat as the reform deprived them of power and encouraged liberal thinking. However the most important theme is the debate; is it the reform that causes destruction and devastation or is it peoples inability to accept something different? Is it the creature that causes destruction and devastation or is it peoples inability to accept something different?
I believe the answer to both of these questions is peoples inability to accept something different, because if people were not afraid of change then they would have accepted the revolution and not created a reign of terror, and if people were not afraid of something alien and different then people would have treated the creature with some form of courtesy and consideration, thus avoiding infuriating the creature. Evidence from the text on this point is when a young boy free of prejudice and discrimination is confronted by the creature; ‘monster!
Ugly wretch! You wish to eat me, and tear me to pieces – You are an ogre – let me go, or I will tell my papa. ‘ The creature had already explained that he had no intentions to hurt or harm the boy, but because the creature is different and alien, he is immediately associated with evil, and must be avoided. Mary Shelley creates a variety of interesting points throughout the novel; that we should except death and take solace in the fact that we will hopefully be reunited one day in heaven.
Therefore we should not be saddened and try to control the natural process of life, but enjoy experience. Mary Shelley also warned the reader about the dangers of unknown science, and that even an experiment designed to help humanity can have disastrous consequences. However, the most inspiring point created was the connection between the French revolution and the novel. It opened the readers mind to the prejudice and discrimination that the human race evilly portray.
Anything alien or different must be associated with evil, which is a fundamental flaw of society that is near impossible to eliminate. We are, as a race, extremely narrow minded. In the novel we failed to overlook the creature’s repulsive appearance and treated him with complete contempt and disdain. This story illustrates the intolerant and callous society, and no matter how considerate and selfless a person is, we will still torment and ridicule them if they are in any way different to ourselves.
Therefore, I disagree that the creature is a fiend as although he is cursed with a grotesque appearance that does not make him a monster, and although he committed several fiendish acts he is not accountable for this as it is merely a consequence of humans disgraceful behaviour, however as the creature endures feelings of both compassion and rage, as he can distinguish between good and evil, and as he desires more than the basic necessities of hunger, shelter and thirst, I believe that the creature must be described as essentially human.