Mary Shelley Essay
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I don’t think the reader feels sorry for Victor because if he hadn’t have rejected the monster in the first place he wouldn’t have been in that situation. In the era the book was written, people were beginning to question God’s existence. Should God be the only creator of life? Should the power of science be able to create people? We found out the answer to this in Frankenstein. Victor tried to create the monster using scientific knowledge and succeeded.
However, the end result of the monster was horrific. He was lonely, had no friends, and resorted to killing people.
This proves science can not create life and make them fit into the human race. Only God can achieve this and that’s the way it should stay. I think the reader sympathizes for the monster because the monster didn’t choose to live, Victor did it for him and he only needed somebody to love. ‘I collected the instruments of life around me that I might infuse a spark of being into the lifeless thing that lay at my feet. ‘ This quote shows he was searching for something to bring the monster to life, and that it was his decision to do this.
At different stages in the story, Victor and the monster are both altruistic and egotistic. To start with, Victor is very altruistic. Whilst developing the monster he was very focused and in some way addicted to his creation. He became increasingly tired and unhealthy as he wasn’t looking after himself properly. ‘Sometimes I grew alarmed at the wreck I perceived. ‘ This shows he didn’t even realise how he was treating himself, and he was ‘alarmed’ when he realised. This proves he started off to be very altruistic, thinking of others before himself. At the same time he could be egotistic.
He didn’t think of the monster’s feelings, and just focused on achieving his goal, not thinking of the consequences there were to come. Victor claims he was doing it to be ‘useful to my fellow beings. ‘ His mother actually sparked the idea and fame and fortune drove him. So he ended up doing it for himself. The monster starts off to be altruistic as he befriends the family and helps them and generally doesn’t focus on just himself. He makes adult suggestions unlike Victor who has stubborn childish responses. Victor could have offered friendship and love, but does the complete opposite making him extremely egotistic.
However as the story continues it all changes dramatically and Victor and the monster almost swap places. Eager to love and to be loved, the creature is not born evil. Society makes the monster become egotistical. As society keeps on rejecting him, he becomes more and more egotistic and doesn’t really care what anyone else thinks anymore. The monster wanted what Frankenstein and so many other humans had and took for granted – a place to belong. Loneliness and isolation motivated the monster to turn to destruction. However, this was through no fault of his own.
Victor was the first one to reject him therefore, it’s mainly his fault. When this starts to happen, I think the reader feels sorry for the monster, as he had no other choice but to do this, and become egotistic. On the other hand, Victor becomes more altruistic and begins to think of others. When the monster starts to kill people close to him, I think he realises he needs to do something. Victor does decide to make the creature a bride which was very altruistic, but turns against the idea. Elizabeth, Victor Frankenstein’s foster sister, plays a crucial part of Frankenstein.
Since Victor’s mother died, Elizabeth played the ‘mother’ role and was adored. ‘Everyone loved Elizabeth. ‘ At many points in the story Victor is saved by the love of Elizabeth. On Frankenstein’s wedding day, his creature, the monster kills Elizabeth. Her beauty and innocence are greatly emphasized which takes away a lot of sympathy for the monster. When Frankenstein’s father knows that she was killed, he dies a few days later. ‘What then became of me? I know not; I lost sensation, and chains and darkness were the only objects that pressed upon me.
‘ This shows Victor doesn’t want to live anymore and doesn’t take any notice of the world around him. He didn’t have anything to live for, except to get revenge on the monster he’d created. ‘How I have lived I hardly know; many times have I stretched my failing limbs upon the sandy plain and prayed for death. But revenge kept me alive. ‘ So Victor decides to find the monster and searches for him. He tracks the monster ever northwards into the ice. He then freezes to death and dies, and when the monster finds this out he kills himself.
At this point you sympathize for mainly Victor as he never got his revenge but also the monster, as he had such a horrific, lonely life. To conclude there are many different times in which the reader feels antipathy and mainly sympathy for the monster in Frankenstein, which shows he wasn’t treated well at all.