9 January 2017
Good Intentions and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein
Throughout history, there are many examples of noble intentions turning into horrendous actions, such as Cesare Borgia’s idea of unifying Italy turning into a man’s desperate grab for power. Probably the most influential time periods that stand as a shining example of noble intentions turning into horrible actions is the early 1800’s with the French revolution, radicalism in Europe, and the clash political beliefs. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein echoes with examples of great intentions becoming terrible actions. It is clear that Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein depicts how one’s noble intention can quickly become evil; this is evident through the …show more content…
He then murders a man afterward in the chapter, which just shows how the Monster shows both John Locke’s theory, as the Monster was punished for his deeds which lead him to murder a man because of how his punishment for saving a girl. The Monster also shows Locke’s theory when he says “I am malicious because I am miserable. Am I not shunned and hated by all mankind?” (Shelley 147), which he further says “Let him live with me in the interchange of kindness, and instead of injury I would bestow every benefit upon him with tears of gratitude … if I cannot inspire love, I will cause fear” (Shelley 148). The Monster clearly states he is the way he is because of the situation he is placed in. If people are kind to him he will be kind back with “tears of gratitude” (Shelley 148). He is a subject of his environment which molds him into the person he is in the novel and the Monster knows this. The Monster is clearly an example of Locke’s Tabula Rasa, as he is a product of his environment. There are even more comparisons stated in an article on in the University of Pennsylvania as “He [The Monster] learns the causes of his feelings of pain or pleasure and how to produce the effects he desires … the Creature’s education is completed in just the way Locke advocates” (Mellor). This just shows the influence that Locke has on Shelley as there are many references to Locke’s work in
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Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” is a book with a deep message that touches to the very heart. This message implies that the reader will not see the story only from the perspective of the narrator but also reveal numerous hidden opinions and form a personal interpretation of the novel. One of its primary statements is that no one is born a monster and a “monster” is created throughout socialization, and the process of socialization starts from the contact with the “creator”. It is Victor Frankenstein that could not take the responsibility for his creature and was not able to take care of his “child”. Pride and vanity were the qualities that directed
The life of the monster can be related to the motherless life led by Shelley. Shelley’s mother too left her as soon as she was born, and as a result, she had quite an arduous life. Combined with her father’s financial woes, her tumultuous relationship with her stepmother meant that Shelley did not have an ideal childhood, which would have had a serious impact on her personality. She had to put up with a lot of miseries when she grew up, and was subjected to lifelong condemnation from the society because of her affair with the married Shelley.
John Locke was a well known English philosopher in the late 1600’s and early 1700’s. He believed that people are born with the idea of mortality and that people are “blank slates” shaped by experience. While reading Frankenstein one can see Mary Shelley uses Locke’s theory of “Tabula Rasa” to develop the character of Dr. Frankenstein's creature. The creature is first comes into existence, saying “It is with consider difficulty that I remember the original era of my being: all the events of that period appear confused and indistinct” (87). When Frankenstein’s creature first, speaks he has an empty mind this supports Locke's idea that people are all born with an empty mind. Shelley continues the use of Locke's theory that humans are educated by experience when the creature begins to experiment and learn new things. The creature says “ I began also to observe, with greater accuracy, the form that
Thesis Statement: In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the creature’s identity as a monster is due to societal rejection, isolation, and misinterpretation.
In Frankenstein, Shelly demonstrates how Ambition prevents people from seeing reality and knowing the consequences of their actions. The book presents the idea that when people become too ambitious, they seem to lose the concept of right and wrong. For instance in a series of letter to his sister, Walton describes his exploration to the north pole in hopes of chasing after the unpossessed knowledge, however his dreams are short lived as his ambition leads him to a life threatening situation. Walton himself agrees with the situation when he states," So strange an accident has happened to us ... we were nearly surrounded by ice, which closed in the ship on all sides, scarcely leaving her the sea-room in which she floated.
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein like all texts is far from neutral, acting as a site to challenge and/or endorse certain ideologies. Published in the 19th century, it follows the journey of three characters amidst the influence and conflict of extreme Romantic and Enlightenment ideologies. Mary Shelley experienced much heartbreak, suicide and sorrow with the intense Romantic lifestyle she had chosen to adopt with Percy Shelley and it can be argued that Frankenstein is a critique of radicalism as revealed by her comment ‘I earnestly desire the good and enlightenment of my fellow creatures... but I am not for going to violent extremes, which duly bring injurious reaction…I have no wish to ally myself with Radicals - they are full of repulsion to
Easily one of the most notable themes in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the role of nature versus nurture in developing children, recurs throughout the novel with the two main characters, Frankenstein and his creature, believing in opposite sides of this theme. Favoring nature, Frankenstein maintains that the creature was always evil from the moment of creation, regardless of the creature’s experiences. However, the creature, in his narrative to Frankenstein, argues that “[he] was benevolent and good; misery made [him] a fiend” (106). In adherence with John Locke’s concept of tabula rasa, the creature was born with a blank slate, and only through his experiences does he gain knowledge and personality. Struggling to persevere in the human world, Frankenstein’s creature merely wants humans to welcome him as one of them. The change of the creature from looking “upon crime as a distant evil” because “benevolence and generosity were ever present” in him to seeking revenge on Frankenstein results from a culmination of horrible experiences (103). While it may be hard to see the creature as a trustworthy narrator because of how he has acted and his ulterior motives, he does present physical evidence to support his tale. Facing rejection in different forms, he becomes truly evil, giving up hope of companionship as a result of his trials and lessons. From the moment of his creation, the creature encounters abandonment, violence, isolation, and rejection everywhere he turns.
Although humans have the tendency to set idealistic goals to better future generations, often the results can prove disastrous, even deadly. The tale of Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley, focuses on the outcome of one man 's idealistic motives and desires of dabbling with nature, which result in the creation of horrific creature. Victor Frankenstein was not doomed to failure from his initial desire to overstep the natural bounds of human knowledge. Rather, it was his poor parenting of his progeny that lead to his creation 's thirst for the vindication of his unjust life. In his idealism, Victor is blinded, and so the creation accuses him for delivering him into a world where he could not ever be entirely received by the people who inhabit it. Not only failing to foresee his faulty idealism, nearing the end of the tale, he embarks upon a final journey, consciously choosing to pursue his creation in vengeance, while admitting he himself that it may result in his own doom. The creation of an unloved being and the quest for the elixir of life holds Victor Frankenstein more accountable for his own death than the creation himself.
Shelley also uses the monster to portray the idea that happiness is found through personal relationships. From the moment he is created, people react to the monster with fear and hate, but all he wants is to be loved. While watching the family in the cottage, the monster desires only to reveal himself to them and gain their love and acceptance. He quickly learns how to speak and read in order to make
Frankenstein is a classic written by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley that has captured readers’ imaginations since the nineteenth century. The moral of Frankenstein was that a lack of companionship will lead to self-destruction. Lilo and Stitch, the Disney adapted version, has the same moral. Each teach the same, basic lesson that companionship and friends are generally positive things, yet they told different stories. Their stories, at first glance, are almost unrecognizable from each other. When comparing the two versions, one might ask how the morals remained the same despite the drastic alterations that Disney made. However, if one were to take a look at the changes that Disney made he or she would understand how. In Lilo and Stitch, Stitch (Disney’s equivalent of Frankenstein’s monster) is a protagonist while the monster is the antagonist in the original, Stitch makes friends whereas Frankenstein’s monster suffers throughout the entire book without so much as a friendly gesture, and as a result, the endings are completely different as well.
Mary Shelley makes us question who really the “monster” is. Is it the creature or Victor? While the creature does commit murder, he does not understand the consequences of his actions. He is like an infant who is unfortunately left to learn about the workings of society, and his place in it, on his own. He has no companions and feels a great sense of loneliness and abandonment. The creature voices his frustration and anger and seems to try to project his feelings of guilt onto Victor, as if to show him that he is the ultimate cause of the creature’s misery while he is simply the victim of Victor’s manic impulse. Shelley utilizes words, phrases, and specific tones when the creature vents his misery to Victor and this evokes, amongst the
“I can hardly describe to you the effect of these books. They produced in me an infinity of new images and feelings…” (Shelley 54). As he reads the books he found, he begins to compare his life and himself with others, and shapes his opinion and point of view of himself, since now he wants to be accepted for who he really is, because he knows that mankind rejects him. He feels lonely and miserable, and what he most want in life is a female companion. “You must create a female for me with whom I can live in the interchange of those sympathies necessary for my being” (Shelley 63). The monster feels that he is miserable because mankind hate him, and that is what make him malicious. It is possible that the monster would actually fulfill his promise and leave humankind in peace. We can assume that he has the potential for good as well as evil. As he is being aware of life by reading “Paradise Lost,” he compares himself to Adam, because he was left alone on earth by his creator, and also to Satan, because humans are afraid of him, and he is threatening and
From the start of Mary Shelley's novel, the monster is identified as this psychotic murderer, abnormal. The gigantic, grotesquely horrid creation of Victor Frankenstein, like Frankenstein himself, had only positive intentions at first. He was a delicate, smart monster attempting to alter to human behavior and social skills. From beginning to end, Shelley made sure to target how the monster had to learn everything solo in order to live. As the creature's creator, Victor's role was to provide and teach the creature, taking responsibility instead of running away. The fact that the monster was left unattended in the world led to his raw actions. For instance, Shelley suggest the consequences of isolation when the monster says, "You can blast my other passions, but revenge remains -- revenge, henceforth dearer than light of food! I may die, but first you, my tyrant and tormentor, shall curse the sun that gazes on your misery." (Shelley 153) The Monster is talking in rage after Victor Frankenstein rejects his proposal to create a mate for him. The Monster is so secluded that he, himself, had to ask for a friend. This, however, was not the end of this conversation. In counter play for being deserted, Shelley writes that the Monster went off
The monster's gradual descent into evil most likely follows the path of depression Mary Shelley takes in the course of her life. First, her father is taken away, much like the separation the monster feels when Victor shuns him. Next, she suffers the extreme losses of her half-sister and newborn, which parallels
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein has become a classic in modern literature. Her tale is full of moral lessons that encompass a wide variety of subjects but one of the most prevalent is the theme of knowledge and its pursuit. Frankenstein, Walton, and the Monster all have an appetite for acquiring knowledge and actively pursue their perspective interests, but it soon turns to the obsessive and proves to be dangerous. Each of the character’s desires demonstrates to be detrimental to them when no boundaries are established. Through the use of consequences, Shelley’s Frankenstein shows that the relentless and obsessive pursuit of knowledge can lead to dangerous and disastrous situations.