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Frankenstein - Essay Example

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Frankenstein

He is built from the body parts of various dead people. His complexion is ghastly and his aspect terrifying, not as a mark of past evil deeds, but merely of his unnatural birth. Even at the moment of creation, he looks so horrifying that even Victor, his creator, is afraid of him and abandons him. Victor does not understand that he has to take the responsibility for his actions and is obliged to understand and care for the hideous-looking new life he has created. Of his own admission, the monster is just the result of an experiment in his quest for knowledge, and he just wishes it out of his life.
The monster blunders into the world in pain; cold, miserable, hungry and clueless, through no fault of his own. His suffering knows no bounds, he is at the mercy of nature, with no idea on how to cope with his situation. This is how he describes his foray into the world to Victor, later in the course of the novel: "I was a poor, helpless, miserable wretch; I knew, and could distinguish, nothing; but feeling pain invade me on all sides, I sat down and wept". (Chapter 11) The reader encounters a pitiable creature, abject and pathetic, and here the concept of multiple narration helps the reader understand the monster better, because the reader gets to hear his plight in his own words. In the beginning, the monster is terrified of the villagers on being persecuted, and escapes with a readiness totally at odds with his great size and menacing appearance : "The whole village was mused; some fled, some attacked me, until, grievously bruised by stones and many other kinds of missile weapons, I escaped to the open country, and fearfully took refuge in a low hovel...."(Chapter 11). What further moves the reader is the tenderness of the monster's first descriptions of the De Lacey family, where he displays a very human quality, even noble refinement and understanding: ".... He raised her, and smiled with such kindness and affection that I felt sensations of a peculiar and overpowering nature: they were a mixture of pain and pleasure, such as I had never before experienced, either from hunger or cold, warmth or food; and I withdrew from the window, unable to bear these emotions". ( Chapter 11)

When living undetected in the vicinity of the De Lacey family, he was full of benign emotions, innocent even of the very concept of shedding blood. The future ruthless murderer was not born in him yet, because so far his interaction with the human race had been unpleasant but limited. He had no concept of who or what he was, how different from the human race, and the nature of his own creation. He knew by now that his appearance inspired fear and loathing in human beings, but he had as yet no one to blame for his present horrible appearance. The very mention of slaughter or murder moved him to deep disgust, just as it would any other gentle human being: " For a long time I could not conceive how one man could go forth to murder his fellow, or even why there were laws and governments; but when I heard details of vice and bloodshed, my wonder ceased, and I turned away with disgust and loathing". (Chapter 13)

He actually feels sorry for his "protectors", and tries to help them by chopping firewood for them, and on witnessing Felix and his sister's virtuous and compassionate behavior, he does not rob them ...Show more

Summary

At the time he is last seen in the novel, the monster describes his predicament in these words "I, the miserable and the abandoned, am an abortion, to be spurned at, and kicked, and trampled on".(Chapter 24, Walton's letter continued). The word "abortion" defines the rejection faced by an unwanted child, better dead than alive, which tormented him and led him to acts of unspeakable cruelty…
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