To what extent are Frankenstein and his creature evil? Essay
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I feel at this point in the story, Frankenstein is being a very selfish man. He created a human, wanted to play God, now he has, he doesn’t want to know. Just because his creation didn’t turn out quite how he had imagined, he turns his back on him. As the creature is out and alone, he has to fend for himself. He was very vulnerable, like a baby ‘I felt cold also, and half frightened. ‘ ‘I was a poor, helpless, miserable wretch.
‘ He lacked knowledge, so he put his hand straight into a fire but soon realised that it wasn’t a good thing to do. ‘I quickly collected branches but they were wet and wouldn’t burn.
‘ He didn’t know how to make a fire. The creature was reduced to eating acorns because all of the food near the fire had been eaten. So he moved away from the fire and finds open country. There are a series of events, which lead to the creature becoming increasingly resentful and violent. One of those things is when he meets some cottagers, whom he wishes to befriend. He overhears a conversation between the landlord and cottager talking about their life being in danger. He feels spurned by this, as he had thought them his friends. He shows his anger by burning down their home.
The creature also feels envious toward them, as he has come to realise that he is not as beautiful as others. He is ostracised by everyone he comes into contact with. Another event is when he finds Frankenstein’s diary about the creation. He sinks into a state of despair when he comprehends the fact that his creator has abandoned him. He becomes nauseated by his own reflection. The most effective way that Mary Shelly uses language to create sympathy for the creature is when she lets him speak for himself. He sounds civilised and gentle and this contrasts sharply with how Victor has spoken to and about the creature.
Hearing the story makes us realise how vulnerable the creature was to start with as well as allowing us to understand that he has an aesthetic sense and desire to learn. Victor refers to him as a fiend and in other violently derogatory ways this makes us feel sympathetic because we comprehend that these names are not justified. After many days, he finds a boy (Frankenstein’s brother). He senses that the boy may be unprejudiced towards his deformities. He likes this boy and wishes to care for him and be his friend. He naively believes that William will be a companion for him.
When he finds out that William is Frankenstein’s brother, he kills him in an act of revenge. Justine, the family servant was the unlucky sole to be tried for William’s murder. Frankenstein made it clear to everyone that she didn’t kill him but she was still hanged. The murder of Elizabeth is a direct result of Frankenstein’s refusal to create a companion for the creature. He starts work on a companion but then rips it to pieces. This could have been a bad thing, as the creature might have murdered again but also with another creature loose, town’s people would have reacted quite badly to them.
Then again, it could have been good because with another [female] creature to occupy him, he could have left Victor alone for a while. At the end of the story, the creature disappears. Frankenstein follows him to the Arctic where they encounter Capt. Walton. Frankenstein tells him the story of the creature. He does not like the creature at all and wants him dead. ‘He, my enemy and persecutor, may still be in being. ‘ He does not blame himself. ‘I have been occupied in examining my past conduct; nor do I find it blameable. ‘ His duty towards the creature was selfish and self-righteous.
He paid more attention to his friends and family than to his creation. The creature wants to be forgiven because he has killed Frankenstein through torment. He admits that he was selfish towards Victor and others; he has suffered more than anyone. The creature tells Walton that he wanted to be loved and to do the right thing. In retrospect, the creature realises that he has done wrong and that he worse than an animal. People were prejudiced towards him, so he blames them for his sins. He loathes himself more than anyone could.
I don’t think the end of the story portrays them as evil. Victor was intelligent but when he thought of creating life his brain seemed to vanish. He wasn’t evil, just somebody who wanted to play God. The creature wasn’t evil either. Really, he was just a child. He was copying his ‘father’ just as children do when they are growing up. BY HEATHER NANGLE 2/9/01 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.