In this essay I will raise points about the two main characters in the novels “Frankenstein” and “Interview with the Vampire”. I will discuss the similarities between the “Creature” and “Louis”. I will explore the way Mary Shelley and Anne rice evoke sympathy for the characters and how the readers sympathise with these protagonists. Mary Shelley who wrote Frankenstein was considered to be the first person to write a science fiction novel around the time of the great discovery, which was muscle tissue could be stimulated and brought to life by an electric current.
“Paradise Lost”, written by John Milton is about the fall of man and the making of Adam; Mary refers to this idea in Frankenstein. “Metamorphoses” a poem written by Ovid also was a great influence on Mary. Mary published Frankenstein anonymously because of the strong prejudice against women at the time; the novel was then praised because of its intellectual yet fantastical approach for its sense of morbidity that was becoming popular at the time.
The very popular “Dracula” and traditional vampire fiction influenced Anne Rice author of Interview with the Vampire, Rice puts a twist into interview with the Vampire and it does not conform to the conventions of gothic vampire fiction. Since this novel was written in 1976 lots more vampire novels have copied its format and followed its lead. Shelley wrote Frankenstein when the gothic genre was becoming popular and her work has very typical forms of gothic fiction included, such as its features of gothic literature.
The settings for a typical setting for a gothic novel are inhabitable places such as dungeons, castles, mountains, icy landscapes, moonlight and murders. Other popular gothic novels include “The Castle of Oranto” by Horace Walpole, “the Monk” by MG Lewis and “Vathek” by William Beckford. In Frankenstein Victor Frankenstein a scientist who attended Ingolstadt University became friendly with Professor Waldman who encourages his interest in natural philosophy, Victor becomes obsessed and spends all his time working in his laboratory trying to generate life in the inanimate.
He embarks upon creating new life using parts of dead bodies he has scavenged for. However when his task is completed he is repulsed by his monstrous creation and runs away, the Creature then disappears into the night. Victor changes his mind about science and returns to university to study languages and poetry, accompanied by his best friend Henry Clerval. During this time news arrives that Victor’s younger brother William has been murdered, the accused is Justine, servant to the family and a dear friend to Victor’s wife to be Elizabeth.
As Victor travels back to Geneva to be with his family, he sees a huge figure walking in the mountains he instantly recognises his creation and realises that he must be the murderer of William. Knowing Justine is framed, Victor is tormented by the realisation that if he tells the real story no one will believe him. Justine is found guilty and hanged. Whilst walking in the mountains, Victor comes face to face with the creature. The creature becomes the narrator of the story telling Victor that he learned his human ways be observing a family from a distance.
He wants to join society and be accepted, but because of his inhuman exterior he is rejected. He continues by telling Victor that it was him who killed William to seek revenge and framed Justine by planting his locket on her whilst she slept. All the creature wants is acceptance but knowing he will never be normal he demands that Victor makes him a female for company. Victor agrees to protect his family, he then travels to England to pursue his new creation, and he takes along Henry who is unaware of his plans. He retreats to a remote part of Scotland promising to reunite with Henry later.
Halfway through the construction Victor realises the horror of what he is doing and rips the creation to pieces. The creature who has been secretly watching swears eternal revenge. Victor travels to Perth to meet up with Henry, but on his arrival he discovers that the creature has murdered him, victor is accused at being responsible for his death but is cleared of the charges, he returns to Geneva to marry Elizabeth. On their wedding night the creature kills Elizabeth, the shock leads to the death of Victors father.
Victor determines to spend the rest of his life pursuing the creature who is pleased that Victor is as lonely and unhappy as he is. The story ends in the Arctic where Victor is still pursuing the creature, after telling his story Victor dies peacefully. The creature visits the body and mourns the death of his creator; he leaves to die himself because his reason for living is gone. In Interview with the Vampire the time is now, Louis the vampire comes in and narrates his story to a boy. Louis a two hundred year old vampire wants to tell his story.