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Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

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BIRTH AND CREATION: One of the main issues in the novel, and also in Victor Frankenstein's mind. One of the reasons for creating his monster, Frankenstein was challenging nature's law of creation. That is, to create a being, male sperm and female egg must be united etc.. He was also fraught with the mystery of death and the life cycle. He created something in defiance of our understanding of birth and creation. However the similarity of Frankenstein's creation and a baby's creation is that both need to be held responsible for, and consequences dealt with, from the moment of birth. Frankenstein failed to do this with his creation.

?Whence did the principle of life proceed??

?To examine the causes of life, we must first have recourse to death?

?I had worked hard for nearly two years, for the sole purpose of infusing life into an inanimate body?

ALIENATION: Alienation is spoken of frequently throughout the novel. Felt by both Frankenstein and his creation. The monster is deserted by the very person who brought him into the world, thus leaving him completely and totally isolated. Frankenstein feels alienated, because he is burdened with the secret that he has let loose a monster on society and is the real reason for his loved ones deaths. He alienates himself because of his feelings of guilt, shame and hatred of himself for committing such a sin. The monster only realises his feelings of alienation after observing the cottagers for such a long time, comparing their lives to his own, extending his knowledge and then finally setting himself up for rejection when going in to the cottage, believing that they will accept him. Both eventually deal with their alienation by blaming the other and setting out to get revenge.

?All save I, were at rest or in enjoyment?, Monster (138)

?My protectors had departed, and had broken the only link that held me with the world?, Monster (140)

?I, the miserable, and the abandoned, am an abortion, to be spurned at, kicked, and trampled on.? Monster (224)

?Noone can conceive the anguish I suffered?. Frankenstein (78)

?I shunned the face of man?, Frankenstein (93)

?I feel as if I was walking on the edge of a precipice, towards which thousands are crowding, endeavouring to plunge me into the abyss?. Frankenstein (96)

THE MONSTROUS AND THE HUMAN: The only difference between the monster in this novel, and humans, is the appearance, although it is a great difference there are greater similarities; brain, way of thinking, emotions etc. People often have a great fear of monsters, despite having no proof or experience to give them this fear. It is imprinted on us from a young age in stories and other such media. In the book it is mentioned how Frankenstein was taught the opposite by his father, and never carried any superstitions in his mind, or was scared by supernaturalness. This contributes to his blindness to the monster's aesthetical vulgarity, when putting him together, only awakening to it when the monster breathes life. The monster in return, does not instinctively hate humans, rather learns to after being shunned so officiously.

?All men hate the wretched?. Monster (102)

?I do not ever remember to have trembled at a tale of superstition, or to have feared the apparition of a spirit?, Frankenstein (52)

?What hope can I gather from your fellow creatures, who owe me nothing? They spurn and hate me.? Monster (103)

THE CRITIQUE OF SOCIETY: Society is extremely judgemental and holds many prejudices against beings for

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