In Mary Shelley’s novel, Frankenstein, the pursuit of knowledge was weighed against the negative affects such knowledge would have on humanity. Mankind, in all of its glory, was shown to be both virtuous and powerful, as well as condescending and base. The desire to create a superior race of humans led to death and destruction on the behalf of both the monster, and Dr. Victor Frankenstein. Life, and it's worth, were measured against the mental states of Dr. Frankenstein and the monster, as they transitioned from believing to, and looking down upon humanity. The morals and ideas of the monster were reflections of those of his creator, as both evolved to place varying states of importance on the value of natural life.
In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the theme of nature versus nurture is seen throughout the novel. Freud and many psychologists state that nature and nurture influence development because genes and environment, biological and social factors direct life courses, and their effects intertwine. Through the Creature 's continual rejection by society and Victor, Mary Shelley shows that social rejection altars the Creature’s attitude towards society and pushes him to be vengeful. In Frankenstein the Creature experiences more nurture than nature in the novel due to his knowledge gained from his experiences this is seen with the continual rejection from Victor and the Creature teaches how to survive.
Persisting in discourses on state of nature even today, the theories of these two philosophers provide various views on what man’s state of nature may be; they contain thoroughly developed hypotheses that stand individually as major influences in state of nature philosophy. State of nature theories previously defined and developed
Frankenstein’s monster is one of the most universally misrepresented characters in literature; in popular culture, the monster is known as an evil, soulless killer. However, in Frankenstein, he is revealed to have human emotions, the capability for compassion, and initially good intentions; his experiences in human society turned him into a true monster. When Frankenstein meets his monster, the monster reveals himself to be human in nearly every way. However, his alarming appearance makes it impossible to fit into society. Because his outward appearance is that of a repulsive monster, people treat him as such regardless of his actions or intentions. For instance, when the monster saved a young girl from drowning, the townspeople, who believe that he is trying to murder her, shoot him. As he tells Frankenstein, “I had saved a human being from destruction, and as a recompense I now writhed under the miserable pain of a wound with shattered the flesh and bone.” Because of many experiences like this one, the monster eventually turns resentful and bitter towards humanity and kills Frankenstein’s younger brother out of rage at Frankenstein. In short, by refusing to accept the monster based on his appearances rather than his character, society molded the monster into a true monster with evil intentions and a lust for blood. Had even one person shown compassion to the monster and been able to see past his appearance, the monster might not have become the killer that he did—in mind and soul, the monster seemed very much human and had the potential to become a productive member of society.
In the novel “Frankenstein”, by Mary Shelley, the protagonist, Victor Frankenstein, bestowed life to monster which he then banishes, leaving the creation to learn on his own. The abandonment of the monster subsequently caused him emotional and mental damage, his exclusion and isolation from society induced his immoral actions. Due to Victor Frankenstein not acting as a father figure toward his creation, the monster thus developed sociopathic tendencies and committed acts as a serial killer would.
Monsters are not born, but created. In order to become a monster one must have been previously victimized or have a predisposition to violence. The monster is created because he is exposed to violence and rejection, he then breakdowns and becomes malicious. In the lines “Why did you form a monster so hideous that even you turned from me in disgust? (Frankenstein, 124)”. Shelley is showing that by turning against the creature, Victor is deserting him in a strange and uncomfortable world. The creature is miserable and all alone. In corollary, the creature hurts others, because he has been neglected and in turn a monster is created. The creature states that “I will revenge my injuries; if I cannot inspire love, I will cause fear, and chiefly towards you my archenemy, because my creator, do I swear inextinguishable hatred (Frankenstein, 138)”. I believe that the novel would have turned out differently if Victor had welcomed the creature with
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.
In the novel Frankenstein, written by Mary Shelley during the romanticism period, we see different characters who struggle with self-understanding and self-deception, as well as those who shift to gain a better realization of themselves and others. Victor Frankenstein’s creation is one example of a character we see shift from being very self-deceptive to gaining self-knowledge and understanding himself in relation to others. In the beginning, the creation’s false expectations, based on limited human interactions and knowledge, lead him to deceive himself by believing humans can accept him and overlook his deformities. But after many negative experiences, he understands the true and cruel nature of humans, vows vengeance on the entire species, and gains self-awareness and accepts his identity as a “monster.”
Frankenstein Final Essay: The Real Monsters 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
In Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, the Monster might be incorrectly named—when most people think of monsters, they think of creatures that are inherently bad. The Monster, however, experienced emotions like any human did and was even repulsed at thoughts of death and destruction; events throughout the story shaped the Monster into the murder he became. The Monster also encountered books that developed his pessimistic worldview and hatred of humanity, including Ruins of Empires, Paradise Lost, The Sorrows of Young Werther, and Plutarch’s Lives. The characters and events in these books were partially responsible for the Monster’s belief that he would never be accepted by any human. If he had read some more optimistic works with characters he could relate to, perhaps he would have developed into a different character.
Alhough Victor Frankenstein calls his creature a monster, and considers it disgusting and abhorrent, it is in fact Frankenstein who behaves monstrously. He claims to have created the creature for a noble purpose: to defeat death. However, it is clear that his motives
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
Essentially at this point Frankenstein is not a monster, it is his experience within human society which determines his future evil behaviours. We perceive Frankenstein burning himself on a fire: ‘I found a fire which had been left by some wandering beggars...in my joy I thrust my hand into the live embers, but quickly drew it out again with a cry of pain.’ In this instance Shelley conveys the fundamentals of conditioning. Frankenstein learns that putting his hand into the fire results in pain, which reinforces the notion that Shelley presents behaviourism as a dominant force. More importantly, the influence of the social environment upon Frankenstein is explicitly conveyed with his experience with the De Lacey’s. Frankenstein seemingly exemplifies operant conditioning as he begins to learn language, understand human relationships and develop feelings of empathy through observation. Again, this reinforces the notion that it is behaviourism, not the biological approach, which fundamentally shapes Frankenstein’s personality. It is within Frankenstein’s experience of humans that his personality significantly shifts from neutral to evil because ‘the creature learns from sensations and examples’.7 Essentially Frankenstein is treated with contempt by his creator, violence for doing a noble deed and violence from the De Lacey’s who he admires. These experiences fundamentally shapes his personality and transforms him to ‘eternal hatred
Frankenstein’s and society’s rejection of the monster, however, drove him to an uneven passionate pursuit for a companion. He forced Frankenstein to create a female monster, and he provided motivation by killing Frankenstein’s loved ones and threatening to kill more of them. The monster recalls in this final scene of Shelley’s novel how his desire drove him to evil. “. . . do you think that I was then dead to agony and remorse?--He . . . suffered not more in the consummation of the deed;--oh! Not the ten-thousandth portion of the anguish that was mine during the lingering detail of its execution. A frightful selfishness hurried me on. . . .” (153) At that point in the novel, the monster has changed from good in nature to evil in nature. His own desires are more important to him than the well-being of others and he is willing to commit murder in order ensure the fulfillment of his desire.
// add summary 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.