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Not Born A Monster By Mary Shelley

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Emaad Ali
Professor Boucher
ENGL108006
1 October 2015
Not Born a Monster, Made a Monster Mary Shelley, a writer and leader of the Romantic era, was clearly influenced by the great thinkers of the Enlightenment. One such thinker was John Locke, who expressed that all humans have natural rights. Locke also had a theory that humans are born with clean slates, and the environment humans grow in, especially at a young age, has massive influences on aspects of their personalities, ideals, and motivations. Shelley’s novel Frankenstein was, without a doubt, influenced by this claim. This is evident in more ways than one, with the strongest argument being that the monster, that Victor Frankenstein created, was almost completely like a newborn baby with a fully developed brain. His actions and beliefs were merely an result of his experiences and the natural goodness of human beings. In essence, Mary Shelley is using the monster of Frankenstein as a representation of other human beings who are affected by the hate and cruelty that surrounds them and become that which they experience. In essence, the monster is an embodiment of the human condition, in a creature that isn’t classically defined as human, but meets all the criteria.
When Victor Frankenstein listens to his monster’s story for the first time it is clear that the monster had no previous knowledge or experience with the world, and similar to a baby, had to learn through experience and adjust his actions
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