Frankenstein critical analysis evaluation





Frankenstein critical analysis evaluation

Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus is a book by English author Mary Shelly framed as a series of letters written by Robert Walton, an explorer, who shares the experiences of his travels to his sister. One of these experiences is the story of a scientist, Victor Frankenstein who creates a monster by resurrecting a dead body. Victor however turns his back on his creation owing to its horrifying nature. The monster 8 feet tall, with yellow eyes and unnatural skin color is crushed by this rejection and in rage, murders Frankenstein’s brother, William. The creature runs and wonders about the countryside. His grotesque nature is a constant source of agony as humans are frightened by him. He finds shelter in a farmhouse with an old blind man where he learns to speak and read. The creature is kind to the family but soon as the rest of the old mans family arrive and see the monster they flee. The monster is overwhelmed by rage and burns down the farmhouse. Again, the monster finds itself in the company of humans; he secretly observes a family of cottagers and gains a desire to belong. The creature says. “I required kindness and sympathy; but I did not believe myself utterly unworthy of it” (128). The creature is able to experience feelings just like humans and when it meets with Frankenstein, it asks him to make it a mate. A companion who would not find him repulsive. He would then leave. Away from Victor and all humankind to have his own family in the mountains. At first, he agrees but later declines this request fearing what offspring would come of it and the effect they would have on society. Frankenstein destroys the creature’s companion and when the creature sees this it goes back to murder Victor’s bride and only love, Elizabeth. In utter despair, Frankenstein sets off to kill his creation after chasing it for months he meets with Walton and while on his ship, he tells him of his tale and his quest to find the creature. However, he dies before he could find him. The creature comes to Victor’s room the night that he dies and laments over his deeds and it tells Walton that it plans to build a fire and light itself to death. The final letter concludes as Walton tells his sister that the creature jumped out of the boat and disappeared into the darkness. Mary Shelley’s story can be viewed as an exploration of humanity through the eyes of its own reject. The story is able to inspire thoughts about humanity but not without its shortcomings.

 Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is a book that manages to narrate the improbable by investing in the emotions of the characters. The book is said to be among the pioneering works of science fiction as it proposes the resurrection of a man by summing up parts of corpses to make a living being. Its other title, The Modern Prometheus, refers to the Prometheus myth. A Titan, who stole fire from the gods and gave it to humans allowing them to thrive. This can be compared to the “fire” of lightening that was used to bring Frankenstein’s monster to life. Science is hereby viewed as a power that humankind possesses. This power, just as it got Prometheus into trouble, it gets Frankenstein lonely and in despair. This state later results in his death. The emotions explained in the book are wide and varied. One is able to encounter the monsters deep desire for a sense of belonging when he explains how he learns from the cottager family the elements that make man. “I admired virtue and good feelings and loved the gentle manners and amiable qualities of my cottagers, but I was shut out from intercourse with them, except through means which I obtained by stealth, when I was unseen and unknown, and which rather increased than satisfied the desire I had of becoming one among my fellows”(124).

In Mary Shelley’s story, the creature’s deep desire to get approval and affection from its creator can be said to be the sole reason for its every deed. The various evils it commits are all a display of the emotion the creator inspires in the creature. It can be argued that the author, an openly acknowledged atheist, tries to show that it is only through the elimination of some belief structures and consequently God, that self-realization can be achieved. However, the monster does not live to enjoy its state of realization for soon as its creator dies its grief leads it to take its own life. The author’s beliefs are expressed in how she brings out the fact that morality is inborn and does not necessarily come from faith in God. The monster when born is almost childlike. The fact that it stands and walks right after creation shows its instinctive nature. This can be used to argue that its sense of right and wrong is also instinctive. The remorse it feels for its deeds are not based on its knowledge of a faith. The author however, fails to convince the reader that the monster learns to read and speak by eavesdropping on the De Laceys and reading books.

Works cited

Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein. United Kingdom: Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor & Jones, 1818. Print.

Smith, Nicole. Analysis of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley: Morality Without God. Article Myriad. 6 December 2011. Web. 14 August.

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