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Frankenstein Sympathy for Mosnter

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Throughout the novel the sympathies of the reader alter from Victor and the creature. In this extract, Shelley creates pathos for the creature by humanising him through his love of nature and the lyrical language that hew uses, and by making his passage the closing statement of the novel Shelley leaves the reader with a lasting impression of the creature’s inherent good nature.

In this extract, Shelley constantly associates the creature with nature. The creature describes himself as missing the “sun and stars ”, the feeling of “ the winds play on [his] cheeks ”, and the “ cheering warmth of summer ”. This imagery is overwhelmingly positive and the word “play” connotes a child like innocence and associates nature with the pure love and innocence of a child feels before the a ‘corrupted by the evils of the world’. Through this, Shelley echoes ideas of romanticism, in that all children are born good and are corrupted by society., ideas that Rousseau wrote about in the famous romantic text, ‘Emile’. By associating the creature with this innately good and childlike innocence, Shelley directs the reader to be sympathetic towards him and to believe that the immoral crimes that he committed were due to the corrupting nature of man, and were not his own fault. Shelley utilizes many references to nature throughout the course of the novel,  for example she constructs the monster’s diets to consist of “ fruit and berries ”, which also  brings him close to nature and through this making the reader commiserate with him.

Another way that Shelley makes the reader sympathise with the creature is through his use of language. In this passage, the creature speaks with lyrical eloquence, such as the use of hypotaxis in the sentence starting with “ some years ago.. ”, which creates a wistful and nostalgic tone and emphasises his love for nature, which creates sympathy for him as it emphasises his humanity. Shelley contrasts this with harsh, guttural short sentences frequently used by Victor throughout the novel, such as “ fiend ” and “ wretch! ”. By presenting the creature as more eloquent and well spoken of the two, the reader feels alienated from Victor’s cruel language and therefore sympathises with the creature. Furthermore, Shelley’s use “ some years ago ” reminds the reader of the tale that the creature told Victor in the isolated ranges of the mountains ( Chamonix ) and makes the reader remember that this is not the first time that the reader ahs heard lyrical language from the creature. When the creature told his story to Victor, he also uses poetic language and linguistic devices such as the simile, “ like lichen on a rock ”. Because of the Russian doll narrative that Shelley employs, the voice of the creature is furthest away from the reader and filtered through both Victor’s and Walton’s biased view of the creature because of his appearance. This means the readers never get to hear the voice of the creature directly, but the fact that he still talks with such eloquence despite the biases of Victor and Walton means that Shelley has further convinced the reader of his inherently good nature and therefore sympathises with the creature.

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