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Analysis Of Mary Shelley 's ' Frankenstein '

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John Locke is one of the most influential Enlightenment thinkers and is famously known for asserting that all humans have natural rights. He also believed that humans are born with clean slates, and that the environment humans grow in, especially at a young age, has massive influences on aspects of their personalities, ideals, and motivations. Shelley was most definitely influenced by this claim when writing Frankenstein. As the reader, we can see the monster that Victor Frankenstein creates grow up alone, without guidance, and be formed by the experiences it is put through while trying to survive. Its emotions and beliefs throughout the book were merely a result of its experiences as it encounters the harsh reality of the world. Mary…show more content…
Listening to the monster’s story for the first time, it becomes evident to both the reader and Frankenstein that the monster initially lacked knowledge and experience with the world, however it adapted through trial-and-error and adjusting its actions based on newfound knowledge. This is especially proven when the monster was incapable of even being able to discern between its senses; it took him “a long time before [he] learned to distinguish between the operations of [his] various senses” (Shelley 70). Shelley shows that, despite having a fresh slate, the monster had a developed body and brain. After being abandoned by Victor, the monster had to get accustomed to bright and dark, cold and heat, and hunger. Just as a child would, the monster learned about the world from making mistakes. For example, when he “found a fire which had been left by some wandering beggars, and was overcome with delight at the warmth [he] experienced from it,” and “thrust [his] hand into the live embers, but quickly drew it out again with a cry of pain” (Shelley 71). Probably the biggest parallel between the monster and a child would be with learning how to communicate. While learning about the world, the monster found that humans fear it, and run away from it. As a result, the monster stayed away from humans and found refuge near a cottage. The monster tries to learn the language by listening to the group of cottagers converse. He “found that … people possessed a method of
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