Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein deeply develops the trope of nature vs. nurture. The romantic era is characterized by a desire to revert to natural animalistic living in the world. Shelley’s main characters embody nature and nurture respectively. Victor, raised in a loving home, kills with no concern and disregards his caring family. The Monster, Victor’s creation, on the other hand, is forced to live in nature like an animal with no companion. Victor is Shelley’s direct comment on the Victorian lifestyle characterized by material possession and religious moral structure. Victor embodies one who is grounded in societally constructed niceties and formalities but is corrupted by the lifestyle. The monster is shown to be the morally correct character
The creature and Victor Frankenstein. Similar to how Marxist theory observes the remarkable struggle between social classes, the interactions between said characters, and their struggles, are put on display by Shelly. The exchanges between different characters (or social classes) can be explained by Marx’s Communist Manifesto which states that two classes, one being “the owners” of production named the bourgeoisie and “the workers” or the proletariat (Montag 386). In this situation Victor can be compared to the bourgeoisie while the creation can be represented by the proletariat. In Frankenstein, a similar dynamic arises within the relationship between Victor and his creation as a definitive struggle rises between the two characters. After the successful “birth” of the monster Victor enjoys the reaps of his labor and establishes his power—effectively exerting control over the “lower class” or, in this case, his creation. Throughout this evolution, Shelly depicts the relationship between the monster and Frankenstein with Shelly depicts the Marxist evaluation of capitalism. Later on, when Victor becomes enslaved by the horror of his creation, similar Marxist theory is displayed through what is defined as the products of labor. As a result of this, the monster becomes powerful and rebels against Victor, or his creator, who he describes as incompatible. This power struggle represents the struggle between the upper and lower classes, or, the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. At
In Shelley’s Frankenstein, the monster is portrayed as a grotesque abomination. However, as Hopkins states in Contending Forces, the cultural and geographical situations, or lack thereof, in which one matures in play a crucial role in the proper development of one’s mind and brain. The monster is simply a product of circumstance. The lack of social interactions alongside geographical isolation propelled the daemon to be alienated from society, ultimately resulting in a lack of morals and an underdeveloped psyche. By being a culmination of his surroundings and experiences it is revealed that the true monstrous entities are the factors that leave the daemon predisposed to fail in a modern society. Arguably, Victor created a being, while the circumstances that said being was placed in “created” a monster. Shelley purposefully terrorizes the monster with such intensity to provoke and justify the overarching theme in this novel which states that people should not be judged on their physical appearance.
Throughout the novel Frankenstein written by Mary Shelley, the creature is subjected to countless acts of violence and rejection. For a monster to develop, one must have been formerly exploited either by an individual or their society. The creature is not only a physical product of science, but his atrocious behavior is also an explicit result of Victor’s actions toward him. The creature was not born a monster, but slowly morphed into one as he experiences violence and rejection from his society.
Like most horror stories, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein has a wretched monster who terrorizes and kills his victims with ease. However, the story is not as simple as it seems. One increasingly popular view of the true nature of the creature is one of understanding. This sympathetic view is often strengthened by looking at the upbringing of the creature in the harsh world in which he matures much as a child would. With no friends or even a true father, the creature can be said to be a product of society and its negative views and constant rejections of him. Although this popular view serves to lessen the severity of his crimes in most people’s eyes, the fact remains that the creature is in fact a cold-hearted wretch whose vindictive nature
Thesis Statement: In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the creature’s identity as a monster is due to societal rejection, isolation, and misinterpretation.
Frankenstein by author Mary Shelley was published in 1818. The novel was published at the end of the French Revolution and at the very beginning of the Industrial Revolution. With these major events occurring when the novel was being written and published, revealed how this novel was influenced by socioeconomic standards. Marxist theory attempts to reveal how socioeconomic system is the source of our experiences and conflicts we portray in literary works, as well as how literature in turns to serve to influence the minds of the people. Frankenstein follows Marx’s social theories of how socioeconomics have profound effects on literary works and how they are interpreted.
Mary Shelley’s story of internal turmoil, the cruelty of altering the laws of nature, and the consequences of redefining the laws of nature is a harrowing one, known widely by many audiences, yet it is never the nature of the characters that is discussed, only the outcome. Shelley’s deliberate use of different character foils portrays the deeper connections and themes in her 1818 novel, Frankenstein. The creation and presence of Frankenstein’s monster directly foils the character of Victor Frankenstein himself, illustrating overarching themes of self inflicted isolation and internal conflict, exposing the dangers and consequences of complete and total narcissism, and revealing a truth many still refuse to accept: we, as humans, are capable
Even Frankenstein, the monster’s creator, is blind to the innocence of the being he animates. Upon reflection, he recounts, “breathless horror and disgust filled my heart… unable to endure the aspect of the being I created, I rushed out of the room” (35), yet this rationalization lacks material justification. Frankenstein, as the creator, is endowed with a responsibility for the being he escorts into the world, a basic social value accepted by all. Nevertheless, he alienates his monster from its first breath, claiming, “no mortal could support the horror of [its] countenance” (36). Shelley employs this ironic twist of social expectations in order to emphasize the ability of visual bias to distort the expression of morality. To abandon a child is perceived as immoral, but to abandon a monster, born into the world with neither hateful bias nor malicious intent is acceptable. He is innocent in every aspect of disposition, yet society greets
This novel reflects Shelley’s own childhood, which consisted of her feeling obligated to rebel against her own father’s wishes and his choice for her marriage. Frankenstein is a way for Shelley to tell her own experiences with parental conflict and how she feels she was affected by her demanding father and the environment she grew up in, by comparing herself to Victor’s monster. Shelley analyzed her own characteristics, and the characteristics of her father, and placed them within Victor and the
Mary Shelley’s ability to create such multidimensional characters in Frankenstein proves that writing is a powerful tool that has the ability to provoke vastly different opinions amongst readers. Even though each individual reading the story is reading the exact same words, their interpretation of those words often leads to opposing views in regards to the fate of the characters. The creature, in particular, has been a popular topic of discussion when conducting a close read of the novel due to his arguable versatility as a victim and villain. The concept of the villain has evolved over the years, however its basis still rests upon the simple fact that as a character in the story, their actions are a result of malicious intentions
Mary Shelley's novel, Frankenstein, sheds light on the importance of appearance through the tale of an unwanted creation that is never given a chance by society. Ironically, the supposed beast was initially much more compassionate and thoughtful than his creator, until his romantic and innocent view of the human race was diminished by the cruelty and injustice he unduly bore. Not only does the creature suffer the prejudice of an appearance-based society, but other situations and characters in the novel force the reader to reflect their own hasty judgment. The semi- gothic novel includes several instances of societal prejudice that include the isolation and outcast of Frankenstein's creation,
Introduction: Frankenstein, a novel written by Mary Shelley, is one of the most popular representations of the romantic era. The romantic aspects of the book allow for a unique analysis of the human personality and its emotions and potentials. This includes many interpretations of a human personality based on one’s socioeconomic status. Using this perspective one can easily analyze the interclass and intraclass social power imbalances and interactions. It is also possible to survey the novel through the unbalanced justice provided to each class. Through various events and trials in Frankenstein, Mary Shelley shows that one’s lack of social power leads to vulnerability because it forces the person to have less of an advantage when compared to others with more power.
Mary has experienced what the true meaning of social justice is like. What does social justice have to do with Shelly’s Frankenstein book and why it is compared to the modern world? Her book explains some reasons why some of her characters have encountered social justices and injustices and their relationship to this. Mary also points out some evidence from the text and uses them to what extent that people do in society when it’s corrupted.
Over the years, the monster in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein has become universally portrayed in one way: a tall, green-skinned, dumb brute with no language or reasoning abilities. Society has turned the story of Frankenstein into a mere horror story, dehumanizing the monster more than was intended in Shelley’s novel. However, the message of Frankenstein is a far cry from the freak show displayed by the media. While many people may only see Frankenstein as a grotesque story meant to thrill its audience, its purpose goes much deeper as it advocates for the equal rights of women in society.