The Incorporation Of Adam And Eve’s Story In Frankenstein By Mary Shelley
Throughout Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the parallel connection to Adam and Eve’s story from Genesis is incorporated to emphasize the negative aspects of the main protagonist in the novel, Dr. Victor Frankenstein. Integrating comparisons between the main protagonists in the book of Genesis, readers are able to draw the assumption that Victor is the cause of his own downfall, and that would have consequences- as it did with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. God can easily be compared to the philosophers that Professor Waldman discussed in his class, whom believed that they were capable of creating and/ or controlling the sublime of nature.
The tree of knowledge is proportionate to the experiences and understanding that Dr. Frankenstein acquires throughout the novel. The forbidden fruit that the tree bears is the establishment of the monster that Victor created. In different scenarios, one could compare Satan to both the Creature – who did not perform as his creator originally established him to, and to Professor Waldman – whom indirectly inveigled Victor to create the Creature. The role of Eve was reenacted by Victor in Frankenstein, because Victor “ate the forbidden fruit” by attempting to be a creator and compose another form of life that he would be responsible for, going against nature and God. In this essay the comparisons between the story of Adam and Eve help to emphasize Mary Shelley’s theme of the use of knowledge for positive and/ or negative purposes and the rehabilitative powers that the sublime of nature has. Not only does Shelley introduce different themes throughout her novel, but her parallelism leads readers to ponder who truly was the “monster” in the novel, Victor or the Creature?
Mary Shelley’s incorporation of Genesis within Frankenstein is essentially to ensure that readers fully comprehend the parallel between the sublime of nature and the consequences that one can attain from attempting to misconstrue it. In Genesis, Eve is the first person to consume the forbidden fruit, and it completely changed her and Adam’s life. The parallel to this instance is evident in Frankenstein after Victor receives his letter from Elizabeth in which she conveys her adoration for him and her concern that he no longer wants marry her after the previous series of unfortunate events in the novel. The only thing that Victor contemplates when regarding marriage is the monster’s threat in Chapter 20 of Frankenstein, in which the creature promised to “be with Victor on his wedding night” if he does not create a wife for him. As Victor began deliberating the actions that the creature could perform, he “read and re-read Elizabeth’s letter, and some softened feelings stole into his heart, and dared to whisper paradisiacal dreams of love and joy; but the apple was already eaten, and the angel’s arm bared to drive me from all hope”. At this point in the novel, Victor has gotten ill from the events that have been direct results of his actions, such as Justine, William and Henry Clerval’s death but he still struggles in dealing with the guilt for all of the murders. The parallel to Genesis from the quote on page 162 is, “the apple was already eaten”, which clearly exhibits that fate has already been made after the creature was created and now Victor will have to deal with all of the pain and suffering that he formed.
In the book of Genesis, Eve is the first person to eat the apple, which is why Victor is easily comparable to her in Frankenstein. Just as Eve was tempted by the forbidden fruit, Victor felt tempted by Professor Waldman’s thoughts about the philosophers he taught about- making Waldman quite comparable to the serpent in the Adam and Eve story. Waldman manifests to be much like the serpent that tempted Eve as he postulates to Victor, “But these philosophers, they penetrate into the recesses of the heavens: they discovered how blood circulates, and the nature of the air we breathe. They have acquired new and almost unlimited powers; they can command the thunders of heaven, mimic the earthquake, and even mock the invisible world with its own shadows”. Like Eve, who ate the apple from the tree of knowledge because the serpent tempted her, Victor attempted to create a new life form because the Professor tempted him. Both Eve and Victor reap punishments in their stories, developing questions about who and what Victor truly represents in Frankenstein. Just as Victor aspires to become a philosopher, Eve desperately longed to attain all of God’s knowledge, and both are punished for these desires.
In the novel, Victor is a parallel of Eve – an apprehensive human being persisting to acquire knowledge that they are not ready for and this is when the creature is viewed as the fruit on the tree of knowledge. The monster was created with selfish intent, so that Victor would be known as the man with higher knowledge than any famous philosopher or creator known in the world. The creature was described as having “yellow skin scarcely covering the work of muscles and arteries beneath; his hair a lustrous black, and flowing; his teeth of a pearly whiteness; but these only formed a more horrid contrast with his watery eyes, shriveled complexion and straight black lips”. The creature’s physical structure and appearance made it inevitable for society to do anything but live in fear of him, even though it possessed a big heart and did not purposefully mean to cause ruination to the community. The monster is viewed as blameless when he talks of the cottagers he wanted to have a relationship with, stating that, he “had been accustomed during the night, to steal a part of their store for his own consumption; but when he found that in doing this he inflicted pain on the cottagers, he abstained, and satisfied himself with berries, nuts, and roots…”. The creature is as faultless as the forbidden fruit from the tree, and instead of the creature, it is really Victor whom should be feeling guilt for all of the horrendous events in Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.
As analyzed in this essay, Mary Shelley’s incorporation of Adam and Eve’s story from Genesis allows readers to view the main characters in Frankenstein in a different limelight. The inter-textual reference and parallels between these two stories help readers understand the repercussions of trying to be superior over nature and “God’s creations”, and also sheds light on who is truly guilty in Frankenstein. Readers are capable of understanding that the creature truly was faultless and that all of the problems that occurred were a direct repercussion of Victor’s mistakes. In Genesis, it is anything but difficult to state that Eve is to blame for eating the apple and that the apple, a lifeless thing is clearly guiltless. In a more convoluted story, for example, this one, those things are not as effectively recognized, but rather through examination they can be set up. Shelley is candidly capable of exhibiting the consequences of using knowledge that one attains for negative purposes by using the collateral of Genesis to her novel.
Romance, Horror, And Feminism In Frankenstein By Mary Shelley
The novel Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley is an incredible story that has been very well known throughout most generations. It has gotten so popular that they even made movies and changed up certain things. The original book isn’t just one genre, it actually represents many such as Romance, Horror, and also Feminism. The reasoning behind all of these genres in one book is because of the adversity Mary had to overcome during her lifetime.
Mary Shelley’s background played a huge part in writing this novel and it influenced Frankenstein to be one of the most iconic books ever written. Mary was always fascinated with science and that is what helped create the idea of Frankenstein. She had a wide imagination and she really used that to her advantage by creating such a brilliant plot. She was ahead of the game when it came to education and literature because she was surrounded by books and writing at a young age. Both of Mary’s parents were well known for literature and it influenced her to pursue that field. Throughout her journey in the literature world she came across an Italian physician who experimented with electrical currents named Luigi Galvani. She learned a lot from him and used some of his ideas to relate with Frankenstein’s origin.
The horror theme in Frankenstein was heavily influenced by Mary’s troubled life growing up. When she was young her mother passed away while giving birth to her. She took it better than expected with the help of her father who later on got remarried to a widow. Mary and her father were very close and her stepmother developed a hateful relationship filled with jealousy towards Mary. Their relationship didn’t last very long because her stepmother committed suicide while she was pregnant. Moving on to Mary’s own family. She gave birth to 5 children, however only one survived adulthood. Mary’s half sibling committed suicide as well, and her husband drowned at sea. Mary became a widow at age 25.
This influenced the book Frankenstein because in the story the monster who is a child does not have a mother and is unloved by his creator. Frankenstein just wants to be loved, but is denied by everyone that comes his way including himself. Since he was denied and unacknowledged by his creator he then wants revenge. Her terrible relationship with her stepmother is the reason why Frankenstein was a lonely monster would get jealous and seek revenge.
Mary grew up in the 17th century which was revolved around very high standards and it was a time where it was difficult for someone unique to be accepted. In the story Frankenstein is rejected by everyone and isn’t accepted by society. This shows in the book and reflects how much of an impact it had. Living through all these tragedies fueled her and gave her more ambition to write a novel like this. During this time, Mary was also influenced her feminist’s beliefs which were taught by her mother. She was even being considered to be one of the first writers to be a feminist. Mary continued her mother’s feminist practices along with the support of her husband Percy.
Percy was a married man once before and had children. He helped her write the book because he was also a writer. He then eloped with Mary and started a new family with her. She didn’t really have a relationship with many people because Percy eventually passed away and the only true relationship Mary had ever experienced was with her father. The death of Percy definitely took a toll in her life. Which makes sense because Frankenstein was sad when his creator died. That was the only time in the book where Frankenstein showed some type of emotion other than anger.
Most of the details in the book represent the time and personal life troubles in Mary’s life. Her life was filled with people judging her and not being accepted. She lost many people including family members who meant a lot to her which influenced the characteristics of Frankenstein. She created this novel based off of her life experiences and reflected on them through a jealous vengeful monster. Writing in general helped her get through the darkest times in her life and it definitely showed. You could see the great qualities that his book had in it influenced by Science, Horror, and Romance.
All of these correlate with Mary’s life and the impact her trouble life had. From reading this novel one can admire how strong Mary was mentally and that is what inspires many people in the world today. Frankenstein represented many of Mary’s characteristics considering Mary was felt unloved, alone, and not accepted.
The book was successful because the readers could connect with the book in a personal level and it relates with their lives as well. Mary being strong throughout the darkest times influenced a lot of people because she was able to use the negative things in her life and use them as fuel to write one of the most iconic books of all time.
“She Might Become Ten Times More Malignant Than Her Mate”: Feminism In Frankenstein
A branch off of feminist movements gender criticism is a literary approach that explores ideas about men and women can be influenced by cultures that attempt to correct the impression of a paternal society. The novel Frankenstein, written by Mary Shelley, provides numerous examples of gender injustices to communicate to her audience the blatant reality of inequalities between sexes during the 1800s.
Mary Shelly used Frankenstein to reach out to her audience about the injustices that women encountered in her society. Women in the novel have stereotypical female roles. At its surface, Shelley depicts women as being dependent on men as a plant “…sheltered by the gardener from every rougher wind”, but the underlying message is to critique the domestic sphere that women are trapped in during this time period when Shelley wrote Frankenstein. Shelley uses several rhetorical devices and her own outlook on society to reproduce the inequalities between men and women seen throughout the nineteenth century.
Within the novel, Shelley demonstrates that women are meant to be fragile and in need of leadership by only having male-dominated roles, as well as using women as a support for them men. The women are portrayed as objects, advisers, and a filler for men’s lonely void. Shelley Incorporated the criticism of gender roles and the failure of them in the character’s domestic lives. When Elizabeth is introduced to Frankenstein at the beginning of his life, he claims her as a “possession of my own”. Also, with Frankenstein’s father, Alphonse, and Caroline Beaufort, when Shelley refers to Caroline as a fragile plant needing shelter. In the novel, both of these women are stripped of their lives and therefore unable to take care of the family, leaving the men without the “tranquility of domestic affections”. Shelley shows the women as weak and passive creatures, and men as being controlled by their ambitions to criticize the hierarchical nuclear family.
In Frankenstein, Victor Frankenstein creates a male monster to make an all-male world possible. Mary Shelley uses Victor’s fears to portray the consequences of a single-sex dystopia. Frankenstien does not consider the danger of the creature’s male sexuality until he considers creating a female version, thinking that “She might become ten times more malignant than her mate”. He goes on in thought, further imagining “a race of devils that will be propagated upon the earth”, foreshadowing that the women’s sexuality would be the one to blame for the downfall of the human race. It is then that Victor decides the female monster’s fate. This is a recurring motif that can be seen throughout the novel. Men repeatedly decide women’s fates and the women are left to accept these decisions without any objection. He destroys the “monsters” because he is frightened of the ideas of female independence, sadism, desire, power, and monstrosity.
Mary Shelley’s prose viewed as a sign of failure as the monster’s language always seems to be a disguise for something terrifying that remains unspoken. Since the gender anatomy of the creature is never spoken of, he is considered incomplete, and women can relate to the creature. Both women and the creature are categorized as “monstrous” and referred to and known as “the body”. Mary Shelley completes her role as a wife by referencing to her husband’s, Percy Shelley, poems throughout the novel. Both Women and the monster cannot be assimilated into society. Women in a patriarchal society are defined as an absence and a mutilated body that must be repressed to enable men to maintain their mastery. The female creature was created based on the desires of one male; and she was aborted due to the desires of another. Further revealing that women are helpless in a male society. It can be noted that Victor loathes and loves the monster and his mother in similar ways.
Within the novel it can be inferred that the female characters fulfill the object role. The female characters rely heavily on men for support and survival. Furthermore, society views the female characters as delicate beings that cannot survive by themselves. As a result, they need a man to protect, cherish, and provide for them. In fact, all of the female characters have a male character to which they depend on. Caroline is unable to survive after her father’s death and as a result, marries Alphonse. Alphonse “came in like a protecting spirit to the poor girl”. This simile compares Alphonse to a hero and Caroline to the weak and desperate women that she is portrayed as. Furthermore, Alphonse takes care of Caroline “as a fair exotic is sheltered by her gardener, from every rougher wind”. This metaphor describes Caroline to be a “fair exotic” who is treated like a possession rather than a capable human being. By making this comparison, Shelley alludes to the idea that the female characters are as delicate as flowers and that they cannot survive without the male characters.
In conclusion, Mary Shelley’s female characters in Frankenstein lack life and detail. They are seen as “passive” because Shelley does not elaborate them in any way. The Females in the novel are quintessentially ambiguous figures: present but absent, morally animate angels, but physically and politically inanimate morals. Shelley seemed to go more in depth with her male characters, whereas the females seem to be there just for the benefit of the male characters.
- O’Shea, Ayla. “The Fear of Femaleness: How “Frankenstein” Acts as a Feminist Platform”. Medium. Nov. 2016.
- Williams, Deborah Lindsay. “Monstrosity and Feminism in Frankenstein.”Electra Street., Nov. 2014. Web. 25 Oct. 2016.
- Tan, Wayne. “The Female Gender and Its Significance in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein”. Unseen. WordPress, April 2017.
- Camia. “Feminist Literary Criticism Is Active Since 19th Century: What Is The Main Theory Of It? What Do Feminist Critics Want? Let’s Look Through The Analysis”. Women’s. Women-s.net, January. 2018
- The Writing Lab. “Feminists Criticism (1960’s-present)”. Owl. Purdue University, 1995-2019.
- Gwanet network. “History and theory of Feminism”. gender.cawater-info.net
- Hollingsworth, Alexis. “ Morality without God in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (presented at SWPACA 2017). Medium. January. 2019.
- Napikoski, Linda. “Feminist Literary Criticism”. Thought.co. Humanities, August. 2019.
Analysis Of Feminism In Frankenstein By Mary Shelley
Frankenstein consists of various literary devices and describes different qualities and social perspectives. The tale intensely rotates around various individual aspects in Mary Shelley’s life. Perusing the novel through a women’s activist lense, it’s intriguing to break down how this perspective identifies with Mary Shelley’s life and likewise influences and relates to the characters in the novel.
Frankenstein was influenced by a variety of texts. Both of her parents were writers, which means that literature was heavily involved in her childhood and daily life. Although her mother died when she was 10 days old, as stated in Was Mary Shelley a Feminist, “Her mother was none other than Mary Wollstonecraft, a pioneer of feminist thought at a time when women were considered, at best, property.” This could have been the base of Mary Shelley’s feminism, and most-likely led to the development of Mary Shelley’s own views. However, it’s interesting to see how downplayed the female characters are in Frankenstein. The female roles are very insignificant for the most part in the novel. This being said, it’s very contradictory that Mary Shelley was born into a feminist family, yet doesn’t really demonstrate that in Frankenstein.
By reading the novel through a feminist lens, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is a predominantly male situated literary piece that incorporates subordinate female characters that shape the novel leading into feminism. These characters extend from the mild-mannered love enthusiasm of Victor, Elizabeth, to the solid willed Safie, to the unjustifiable death Justine, to the close making of the Monster’s female companion. Through her male portrayal, Shelley delineates how these ladies are thought of and treated by the male characters, even purposely placing them in circumstances that inconspicuously outline her own conclusion relating to women’s activist belief systems. Elizabeth is an example of a literary device making her into a metaphor. Throughout the novel, there are many instances where Frankenstein compares her to animals by stating, “she was docile and good tempered, yet gay and playful as a summer’s insect…I loved to tend on her, as I should on a favourite animal…”. This shows evidence that Elizabeth’s character shows a perspective that all women during that era represent the way they are treated and viewed by men and the rest of society therefore their characters vital role as females is to be docile, submissive, and obedient.
To add on, Justine Moritz lives with the Frankenstein family as their servant after her mother passed away. She is a victim in a patriarchal world, dominated by men. After William is murdered, the creature puts an image of Caroline, William’s mother, that William was carrying in Justine’s pocket and she is blame of murder. She later confesses wrongly to the crime out of dread and fear of going to Hell. Victor did not believe that she had murdered William saying, “Justine Moritz! Poor, poor girl, is she the accused? But it is wrongfully; everyone knows that; no one believes it surely, Ernest?”.
Even after this she is still guilty of the murder and is executed. This reveals that Justine is a victim because even though she did not actually murder William, she was found guilty. The murderer was actually a male, the creature, yet Justine was punished. She is wrongfully executed for an action of a man. Justine is an innocent girl; she would rather face the consequences of a murder conviction than be excommunicated by the church. Justine, a pure innocent soul, has no one defend her in trial. Yet, when Victor, a man accused of killing Henry Clerval, has many people to defend him, a much more corrupt soul. For this reason Justine is put to death, therefore she is also a victim of a male dominate world.
- Fredette, Meagan. “Was Mary Shelley A Feminist? A New Film About The Writer Says Yes.” Was Mary Shelley A Feminist? A New Film Says Yes, 15 Apr. 2018, www.refinery29.com/en-us/2018/04/196451/mary-shelley-feminist.
- O’Shea, Ayla. “The Fear of Femaleness: How ‘Frankenstein’ Acts as a Feminist Platform.” Medium, Medium, 6 Nov. 2016, medium.com/@aylaoshea/the-fear-of-femaleness-how-frankenstein-acts-as-a-feminist-platform-bfd3dfdf5b02.
Analysis Of Poetry Referencing In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein was a real breakthrough during the 19th century and classed as a great modern horror story. There are many themes presented and initiated by Mary Shelley throughout the novel, however, in my opinion the themes of Feminism and religion are those mostly prominent and have a great standing point from the beginning of the novel until the end.
Another name for the novel was in fact ‘The modern Prometheus.” This is hugely relevant to the Religious aspect of the novel. Prometheus was a titan in correlation to the Greek mythology he stole from the higher power; from the God’s to give back to mankind, this in parallel to Victor Frankenstein is very similar. In this novel Victor Frankenstein almost valued himself as the higher power as he questions God’s power in creating life. He messes with the construction of life by building a creature from many different human limbs. This in itself is questioning God’s authority and status as if Victor can do what God can do then he is in par with the power that God actually has. Many of his actions throughout the novel question God’s power and status. There is constant biblical referencing throughout the novel in different forms, from quotes up to imagery. Mary Shelley was always a huge writer of the natural world and its beauty which is seen constantly throughout the novel.
I believe this is a very important aspect of the novel as a huge theme throughout the poets and romantic writers of the romanticism era were natural beauty. This almost suggests that Mary Shelley was insinuating something much more than nature being beautiful but almost the fact that humans have a naturally beautiful side to them but also it can be human’s that waste the natural beauty of the world and they cannot see it. This show’s through many other poets during the romantic era. For example in Robert Browning’s’ poem of “My Last Duchess.” He creates a character which in my opinion is extremely similar to Victor Frankenstein in the fact of he again believes that he is more superior than God or life itself, we see this in the line “The dropping of daylight in the west.” This line is a truly significant to my point as this character seemingly believes that the previous duchess he is talking about should have looked at him over the sunset.
Therefore he believes he is in fact more superior than the sun which of course our world revolves around or human life itself wouldn’t exist. Rather than the world revolving around the sun he believes he is metaphorically the sun therefore the world including the duchess’s attention should be revolving around him. Like Victor Frankenstein He also plays with life itself from the line “That’s my last duchess painted on the wall, Looking as if she were alive.” From the perspective of the reader we immediately assume that the speaker is insinuating he has killed the duchess or got rid of her in some way or another. We assume this is because of his many reasons including her loving nature, animals and blushing from compliments. We understand that the speaker may be emotionally and mentally unstable. As a reader of Frankenstein I ultimately again get the vibe of him being also quite mentally unstable as he explains a lot throughout the novel about his childhood, also what he was like when he was a child he explains “The world.” He says, was to me a secret which I desired to divine.” This is interesting as from a young age clearly Victor liked the fact of playing God and he probably always had this mentality from a young boy.
Another interesting aspect is the religious imagery throughout the novel, from when the creature is made by Victor He is immediately seen as this horrendous and hideous creature with Victor running from his mistake. In my opinion in parallel to Victor seeing himself as God I believe the creature takes on the character of Lucifer or the devil. This is the way that Victor portrays the creature however, in my opinion, the creature lashed out at those that were closest and most meaningful to his creator, this is similar to the story of Lucifer and God. Lucifer was God’s creation whom was second in command to help God, however he committed the ultimate sin towards God leading to him being cast down to hell. This is a huge biblical illusion throughout the novel as a big inspiration for the novel was the poem by John Milton Paradise Lost. In the novel when the creature is let loose into the world he makes his way into the forest and reads and obsesses over the poem Paradise Lost in which he spectates many similarities between himself and characters in the poem.
A major character in the poem Paradise Lost and the first that we as a reader are introduced to is actually Satan who was formerly known as Lucifer, he was one of the most beautiful angels and he famously declared that he would rather reign in hell than serve in heaven. This is quite significant the character of Victor as when he discovers his fascination for dissecting human bodies and the secrets of the laws of nature he no longer wants to study in the university but almost wants to form his own laws and ambitions in other words he knows a whole lot more than any of the professors do, this leads to the creation of the creature.
Another biblical allusion that we see in the novel would be that of the creature referring to Adam in the story Adam and Eve. This is in result of after him being created all he wanted from his creator was what Adam had from his creator; God. We see this in the quote “Like Adam I was apparently united by no link to any other being in existence; but his state was far different from mine in every other aspect.” The creature gains knowledge and power in which he can hold over his creator, in the creatures eyes Victor is his God. The monster goes on to explain that unless Victor creates a female partner for him then he will go on to carry on killing all of Victor’s family. This is significant to the story as I believe that the creature understands now that he has been created then surely he must have his “Eve” as that’s who God created for Adam. He goes on to then describes his garden of Eden in which he would want to spend time with his newly created Eve. Like Adam all he wanted was a sense of community and belonging.
Another aspect of the novel in my opinion is the way in which women are presented. I believe this is highlighted more also because the novel is of course written by a woman. During the 19th century opportunities for women were extremely limited as they led their lives in a male dominated society. On many occasions Mary Shelley almost had to excuse her work in result of not overshadowing for example her partner Byron or the fact that she was not intending on making any money from her work it was just in some way a hobby during her spare time. Shelley portrays this throughout her novel for example showing the fact that women are more of a possession rather than a partner, this is highlighted especially in an earlier point where the creature believed that Eve should be created for Adam therefore he needs his Eve, this is the creature then forcing a subjective and objective role onto the uncreated female creature meaning that she would be created for his own possession for him to almost do as he pleases with her. In other words he already had her life mapped out for her before she was even created.
There are more similarities between the creature and Victor than either of them actually realises metaphorically speaking Victor has created another side to himself in the creature as one main similarity is that Victor also decides Elizabeth’s fate in that she will marry Victor and they will be together after he has went on his journey of discovery. It’s also crucial to understand that Shelley shows the fact that women have to depend heavily on the men to get by in their life. The story is narrated by men only, this shows that no woman in the novel has in Shelley’s view enough substance to speak which is true reflection of the time period as it’s known that Mary Shelley almost lived in her husband’s shadow with his work being seen and respected.
The character of Elizabeth is seen in Victor’s eyes as the most perfect woman for him and in general. As a reader you cannot help but believe this is in result of the fact that she seemingly takes the role of Caroline; Victor’s mother who passed away, by being a woman who stays at home looking after the children and waiting for Victor’s return so she can marry him and be his wife. This leads onto when Elizabeth is killed by the creature it is hard to then feel the sadness that victor is feeling due to her character not receiving much light during the whole of the novel in comparison to all of the male characters.
The aspect of subjective and objective roles in men and women are very similar in conjunction with the roles in again My Last Duchess from Robert Browning. The narrator which we assume of course is from a wealthy and well respected background, we think this as it seems he is at some sort of gathering in which he is talking with a fellow male, we assume the fate of his last duchess in consideration to one of the last lines in the poem “I gave commands; then all smiles stopped altogether.” this automatically makes the reader believe that she is dead and also the fact that he had power and control over her life, whether she was allowed to live or not, this is the horrendous ending to what we believe was a life of unnecessary demands in which the speaker would give his duchess. He takes on the subjective role when talking about his last duchess for example the possessive pronoun “my” is used throughout the poem in lines like “That’s my last duchess painted on the wall”.
I believe something that lies behind the speaker’s anger and disgust in regards to his previous duchess was that he feared her capability of questioning his masculinity for example in the line “she looked on, her looks went everywhere.” and the line “she thanked men.” This suggests that she had some sort of power over the speaker and he was afraid if she had the capability to be the typical seducing woman then she would be able to commit adultery and ultimately make a fool out of him.
During the 19th century any man whom was cheated on or whose wife would commit adultery was seen as a cuckold; the ultimate shame and demasculinize description a man of time could have. Another way that he wouldn’t want a woman to in some way take away his masculinity is when he explains “who’d stoop to blame.” from the verb to “stoop” I assume that he means rather than asking politely his duchess to stop what she is doing in her actions or explain why she is angering him he would rather put a stop to it himself ultimately by killing her. This means that he still has that power over the duchess even in death. This point is similar throughout quite a few of Browning’s poetry when it comes to the male role wanting to keep their power and masculinity over women as we also see it in his poem “Porphyria’s Lover.” where we believe Porphyria is a woman of high class and status with the speaker being a secret lover of hers. She holds the subjective role throughout the whole poem up until he strangled her with her own hair. Then with her in death the roles switched with him taking on the subjective role in the fact now she is dead he always holds the power over her and he head her life in his own hands just like the duke.
Browning is like Shelley and many other writers of the romantic period he likes to include the natural environment throughout his poems, he executes this specifically by using pathetic fallacy in his poems. Porphyria’s lover begins with the line “The sullen wind was soon awake.” and “It tore the elm tops down for spite.” the weather is personified as well as setting the mood for the poem which we can assume is going to be quite dark and unsettling, in way I believe that the weather in this poem is almost a alter ego of the speaker. This is extremely similar to what Shelley like’s to do in her work including Frankenstein however with the weather and natural beauty being a huge diversion for Victor Frankenstein.
In conclusion the romantic period in writing was one that changed writing for many writers as Frankenstein was rather revolutionary in the fact that it was a female who had written the first major gothic novel that truly scared many people and is still legendary in today’s modern day horror and writing. With poets in the likes of Byron, Browning and Wordsworth being quite legendary in the fact of bringing other forces into their writing rather than just religion as many poets, In the likes of Wordsworth liked to move away from bringing religion into his writing and focus on mainly nature and a humans natural ways.
Examples Of Defamiliarization In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein reveals the uncanny defamiliarization of the natural part of the general public. The creature, a making of Victor Frankenstein’s frenzy is utilized to affirm this. The monsters ghastly appearance is the reason of society’s loath towards it, thus it is addressed with appall and contempt. Despite the fact that the creature has general aims, and of the societal population around him, he tries forming an understanding to the society’s standards. The beast is abandoned by those who don’t have any acquaintance with him, by those he adores, and even by his own particular maker, Victor Frankenstein. Leaving the impression on how society estranges individuals in light of their specific qualities which normally doesn’t satisfy the unequivocal taste of the general public.
The monsters revolting appearance causes any individual who sees him to escape on the grounds that, as the general public gets out, the very appearance of the beast contradicts his internal goodness. It is seen as fairly otherworldly. The monsters first experience with a human happens when he goes into a cottage having a place with an old man, De Lacy, the only person who accepted the creature for what he was. De Lacy took notice to the creatures heart wrenching story on being outcasted with no person to care for him. The old man proceeds to tend the upset creatures emotions by assuring him that he’s not the one in the wrong and that it would be a pleasure to be in any serviceable to a human creature. This was the most content filled point in the creatures life, since there was no feeling of rejection being projected in the company of old man, DeLacy. Unfortunately this connection between the two was cut short when family of DeLacy returned home only to find a monster so hideous. They pushed creature away and struck him violently with a stick until he was gone. Realization came to the creature, coming to a conclusion that he would forever be abandoned from humans. “I possessed no money, no friends…endowed with a figure hideously deformed and loathsome I cannot describe to you the agony that these reflections inflicted upon me.” It’s a confirmation that shows how society is never going to be prepared to acknowledge the beast and it is enough to expect that the monster is considered as a creature with violent considerations and expectations.
Unlike the creature, his creator, Victor, brings the burden of solitude upon himself throughout his life. He’s deprived of rest and health and has worked hard for nearly two years secluding himself in the gloomy chamber while working on the creature. Once his creation comes to life, Victor falls into emotional confinement to try to cope with the fact that he created something as horrendous and plagued such as the monster. One can say Victor lives in his own world for him to believe society has turned against him. However his family and friends never stopped loving him, even with his disconnection and lack of response to the letters they would send him. The amount of love given to Victor and the creature affect the emotional and physical isolated point within themselves, which both have come to experience. Since the creature has never been shown such affection and acceptance as one may need, he becomes permanently strayed from the general public. The beast in Frankenstein demonstrates to us about society from a defamiliarized viewpoint. It is the frantic and ruined society. Society, that is, those whom the creature views as associates, don’t regard the beast as an equivalent. They see and regard him as an animal from another planet. Rather than naming the creature as we do on account of a recently conceived infant, Frankenstein constantly sees the beast as a progressing test. This energizes a sentiment exclusion and hatred in the beast. Moreover, not at all like an average baby, the creature never gets the essence of development with guardians. He isn’t taken minded by any one. As a feature of the monster’s taunt development, it figures out how to deal with society. With this information of dialect comes a technique for correspondence and desire of equivalent treatment, or if nothing else acknowledgment, from Frankenstein.
The beast attempts numerous inquiries, which people take lifetimes to reply, for example, the nearness of Creation and Fate (who am I and what my motivation is?) ‘And what was I? Of my creation and maker I was totally oblivious… repulsively disfigured and odious… I was not even of an indistinguishable nature from man. I can’t portray to you the desolation that these reflections delivered upon me; I attempted to dissipate them, however distress just expanded with information… ‘. This outcomes not just in the reader’s acknowledgment of a defamiliarization, yet the monster’s claim defamiliarization with society.
The creature did great deeds yet individuals don’t comprehend it, they rather respond contrarily. Thus, this delivered enough deserting and scorn for the beast to get revenge in its own turn. This general thought invigorates Mary Shelley to paint the representation – the ‘monster‟, which is work for the great, however swings to be shrewd.
A Theme Of Forgiveness In Frankenstein Novel
Forgiveness is to grant pardon for or remission of. Forgiving is key to a happy and unregretful life. Some people lack the ability to forgive, which can make them depressed, isolated, regretful, or even suicidal. In Mary Shelley’s book Frankenstein, the monster’s lack of forgiveness of his creator, society, and self, leads to his tragic suicide.
The monster did not forgive his creator, Victor, for any of the mistakes he made. This leads the monster to think and act irrationally and be reprehensible. After the monster was created, he was abandoned, and when he came across any people they would scream and run away from him because he was ugly so he wanted revenge on his creator. He ran into a little boy and said “You belong to my enemy- to him towards whom I have sworn eternal revenge; you shall be my first victim” (Shelley 144). The little boy ended up being Victor’s little brother and the monster wanted revenge on victor so badly that he decided to kill his brother and then plant the evidence on another member of Victor’s family. This leads Victor to be very heartbroken because he was the one at fault for creating the monster. This was also the monster’s first kill, which leads him to destruction, vengeance, and ultimately, his own remorse.
Victor started creating a female monster for him, but as it went along Victor fell thru with the promise and destroyed iterating, they would reproduce. This made the monster very angry: “ You have destroyed the work which you have began; what is it that you intend? Do you dare break your promise?…do you dare destroy my hopes?” All the monster wanted was happiness with a mate. Without it, he would have nobody and be so reclusive. Instead of the monster forgiving Victor for destroying the creation, the monster swears revenge on him once again: “Ill go; but remember, I shall be with you on your wedding night” (Shelley 173). The monster is continuing to swear vengeance on his creator, which in the end makes himself feel so guilty.
Since the monster again fails to forgive Victor, it leads to another tragedy. On his wedding night, it was Victor’s wife, Elizabeth, that he intended to kill and not him. “I heard a shrill and dreadful scream. It came from the room in which Elizabeth had retired (Shelley 203) said, Victor. The monster believed that since he couldn’t be happy with a companion, that neither should Victor. The monster did not forgive Victor for any of his mistakes, causing more tension between them. It also leads to his anguished guilt, and in the end, causing suicide. Since the monster was never a forgiving being, it leads to conflicts with not only his creator, but also society.
Whenever the monster came in contact with society, he is always rejected and abused. Some people run from him, and some confront him and beat him. “ The whole village was aroused: 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 too refuge in a low hovel…”(Shelley 103). The monster entered a village and scared off all of the villagers except the ones that were hitting him and abusing him because they were so frightened by the way he looked. So the monster ran away and found shelter next someone’s house. The monster is always being rejected, leading to his loneliness and thirst for vengeance.
He stayed there for a while and found an opportunity to reveal himself to one of the people, hoping for acceptance and love. “Who can describe their horror and consternation on beholding me? Agatha fainted, and Safie, unable to attend her friend rushed out of the cottage. Felix darted forward and with supernatural force tore me form his father…he dashed me into the ground and struck me violently with a stick” (Shelley 136). What he went in for what not what he got, he wanted acceptance and got beat and kicked out. It made him sad and angry and he blamed Victor for his ugliness and for being an outcast in society, so he again swore revenge on Victor. “Accursed creator! Why did you form a monster so hideous that even you turned from me in disgust? God, in pity, made mad beautiful and alluring, after his own image; but from my form is a filthy type of yours, more horrid even from the very resemblance. Satan had his companions, fellow devils, to admire and encourage him, but i am solitary and abhorred.” These were the monster’s words blaming his creator, Victor for everything. And in the end, his anger and vengeance had built up so strong, that the monster kills most of Victor’s loved ones.
After the incidents in the village and with the house, he went off into the woods and saw a girl fall into a fast-moving river, he ran out and pulled her out of the water so she wouldn’t drown, when he heard someone walking towards him. “On seeing me, he darted towards me, and tearing the girl from my arms, hastened toward the deeper part of the wood…when the man saw me draw near, he aimed a gun at my body and fired” (Shelley 142). The monster was shot, sending him to the ground. “Inflamed by pain, I vowed eternal hatred and vengeance to all mankind” (Shelley 143). The monster has never learned to forgive so he is constantly wanting revenge on humankind, especially his creator. Without forgiveness, it causes such hatred and anger, which is exactly what the monster has. The monster is always seeking revenge when he should be seeking forgiveness and being content.
In the end, the monster ended up feeling guilty for all the crimes and mistakes he did. He also explained that he felt like he was insignificant and had nothing to live for. “But now crime has degraded me beneath the meanest animal. No guilt, no mischief, no malignity, no misery, can be found comparable to mine” (Shelley 230). The monster feels guilty about the crimes he did and puts himself down. He now looks at himself as the meanest “animal”. Not a creature, but an animal. He always wanted to be happy and affectionate, but the way that society and his creator treated him cause him to be angry, bitter, and want revenge. This lead to his self loathing because of how guilty he was of the crimes he did.
The monster also feels guilty for all the people he killed. He knows that it was wrong for him to kill all those innocent people. “But it is true that I am a wretch. I have murdered the lovely and the helpless; I have strangled the innocent as they slept and grasped to death his throat who never injured me or any other living thing” (Shelley 231). This shows that the monster has unbearable guilt for the people he killed. He murdered innocent people, which makes him feel even more guilty and self-loathing. But not only does he feel remorseful for murder, he also feels it for making Victor so miserable. “I have devoted my creator, the select specimen of all that is worthy of love and admiration among men, to misery…” (Shelley 231). The monster spent his whole life getting back at Victor for the mistakes he made. And the monster only feels remorse for the things he did to Victor after he dies.
After Victor’s death, the monster felt no need to live any longer and decides to leave the vessel on an ice raft and die. “I shall die. I shall no longer feel the agonies which now consume me or be the prey of feelings unsatisfied, yet unquenched” (Shelley 232). So he sets off into the ocean to free himself of his self-loathing and guilt.
It is important for people to always forgive because without forgiveness there is only hatred and vengeance. The book Frankenstein, it shows that lack of forgiveness can lead to self-loathing and unhappiness. Since the monster didn’t forgive his creator, society, or himself especially, it leads to his tragic suicide.
Challenges Faced By Man As Depicted In Mark Shelley’s Frankenstein
To be Human is to have high aspirations and ignore limitations
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Anishinaabe-Ojibwe Creation Myth Ladder to the Sky explain that to be human is to ignore their limitation and to have aspirations that are too high. Victor Frankenstein in Shelley’s novel creates danger for humanity by his high aspiration of being like God to create a human kind. Similar to the grandmother in Ladder to the sky, where she creates danger to entire village through her aspiration of saving her grandson therefore climbs the forbidden vine. Throughout two stories, both Frankenstein and the grandmother create danger for others through their actions of ignoring human limitation therefore results in others to face the consequences of their high aspirations.
In Shelley’s novel, Frankenstein ignores his limitation as a human that he uses the power of science to create a being, just like God. As consequences, his loved ones suffered from his actions. He says while creating his creature, “a new species would bless me as its creature and source”. Frankenstein believes that his aspiration has helped him in breaking his limitation as a human, where he, with him newly found power placed himself as God, the creator. However, his aspiration leads others to find the negative consequences. As Shelley mentions in the book that Frankenstein’s creature has killed people who Frankenstein loves, including his brother William, his best friend Clerval, and his bride Elizabeth. Their death represents the negative consequences of Frankenstein’s high aspiration. Through this, Frankenstein has made his family and friend face the negative impact of his high aspiration of being equal to God.
Equally, in Anishinaabe-Ojibwe Creation Myth Ladder to the Sky, the grandmother with her aspiration to save her grandson breaks the limit of human by reaching to the forbidden vine that results in the punishment from Gitchi Manitou to the entire community. It stated in the story, “She broke through the power of the vine.all night she climbed”. By aspiring to have hr grandson back, the grandmother would do anything, including disobeying the Great Spirit and therefore breaking the human limitation of approaching the sacred vine. As a result, Gitchi Manitou sends a spirit to announce a punishment for the entire community, “Disease and pain will live among you people…your people will no longer live forever…all must die when the time comes”. Through this punishment the community does not have strong and healthy people anymore, which means all must be sick and die at the end. The grandmother’s aspiration doesn’t only result in the punishment of herself, but also the entire community as a whole.
The two stories are very different, but the two characters, those of Frankenstein and the grandmother, reflect the same aspiration as humans. Both of them have ignored their limitation by aspiring too high that results in negative consequences for others around them. Frankenstein’s aspiration result in the death of his beloved ones, similar to the grandmother’s, which results in the punishment of the entire community. By aspiring too high and ignoring their limitations as humans, they both have created misery not only for themselves, but also to others around them.
The Lost of All Hope of Happiness and a Life Beyond Repair in Frankenstein, a Novel by Mary Shelley
A Total Loss of Hope
Through Victor’s seeing himself in Henry Clerval, we see that he has lost all hope of happiness and believes his life to be beyond repair. The two have met up in Europe in order to journey together before Victor is to marry Elizabeth. However, this is just a facade so that he can actually retrieve the necessary tools and components to create a second monster. Though Victor is on a mission, the two make time to stop at the relevant sites across Europe to gain knowledge and experience the culture. As they travel down the Rhine, Victor admits “I smiled at the enthusiasm of my friend and remembered with a sigh the period when my eyes would have glistened with joy to behold the scenes which I now viewed. But the recollection of those days was too painful; I must shut out all thought to enjoy tranquility, and that reflection alone is sufficient to poison every pleasure” (Shelley 180). Victor wishes that he still had the ability to be happy, to appreciate nature and be joyful, like Henry can. He is filled with too much sorrow to even think about those days and there is nothing that can bring him pleasure anymore. He “remembered with a sigh” that previous part of his life in which he could be happy, yearning to experience that once again. Building on top of that, he says “I saw an insurmountable barrier placed between me and my fellow-man; this barrier was sealed with the blood of William and Justine, and to reflect on those events filled my soul with anguish. But in Clerval I saw the image of my former self; he was inquisitive and anxious to gain experience and instruction” (Shelley 182).
Not only is Victor experiencing deep sorrow, but now it is deemed insurmountable. He no longer feels a connection to any of mankind, and feels hopeless to do anything about it. His hidden guilt for the deaths of William and Justine rendered him unable to find happiness or return to who he was before their deaths. Victor has seemingly lost all hope and looks back with regret, wishing he could find pleasure in life once more. In Henry Clerval, Victor sees the good which had once inhabited himself. The thirst for knowledge and the curiosity to gain new experiences in Henry are what ultimately led to Victor’s obsession and loss of hope. At first, his seeing himself in Henry Clerval solely portrays his loss of hope for his life, and his inability to find happiness anymore. However, the second time that Victor sees himself in Henry, it seems more definite, as if Victor’s life can never be changed and he will never find happiness. While Victor saw himself in Henry, his ultimate death was symbolic of his complete loss of hope. Henry’s death cemented Victor’s misery and confirmed the inability for him to ever find happiness. Will Victor ever be able to live with himself and find hope or happiness? Or have the deaths of his closest friends and family made that impossible?
The Robert Walton’s Role in Frankenstein
In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the novel is the view of Robert Walton. Walton uses his letters during his journey on the Pacific Ocean to allow the reader to understand the tragedy of both the Monster and Frankenstein from an unbiased perspective, giving mankind a ray of hope as being kind compassionate.Both men, even though they have similarities, are very different. Robert Walton makes humankind look like they are merciful and sympathetic. Walton wants to go to a land and accomplish things that no man has ever done. He wishes to improve existing life on earth as it is. Frankenstein even goes to describe how different he is from Walton, “you seek for knowledge and wisdom, as I once did; and I ardently hope that the gratification of your wishes may not be a serpent to sting you, as mine has been,” (Shelley 25). Robert Walton’s character is structured heavily on the letters he wrote to his sister. In one letter to his sister Margaret, he expresses how loneliness consumed him. “I desire the company of a man who could sympathize with me; whose eyes would reply to mine. You may deem me romantic, my dear sister, but I bitterly feel the want of a friend,” (Shelley 13).
Victor Frankenstein fulfills his desperate need for a friend, as they both compliment each other through their solitude. As for the Monster, his lonesomeness was never satisfied, for his own situation cursed him to an eternity of loneliness. When Shelley gives the narrator role to Walton, she makes sure each character’s story is coming from an equal opinion, and that having Walton tell the story from his perspective allows the reader to make their own opinion of Walton himself, Frankenstein, the Monster, or any other character. By giving Walton this role, Shelley uses him as a way to introduce Frankenstein’s story. Frankenstein is able to tell what happened to himself, but throughout the novel, the monster was never able to say that his solitude was destroyed and that it found a companion. Walton provides a sympathetic view of the Monster’s distress, “I was at first touched by the expressions of his misery,” and is pushed aside, “when I called to mind what Frankenstein has said of his powers of eloquence and persuasion, and when I again cast my eyes on the lifeless form of my friend, indignation was re-kindled within me” (Shelley 272).
This shows how the monster felt every time it encountered with humankind. In addition to Walton having this narrative role, he is able to conclude both the Monster and Frankenstein’s story altogether. Giving this role to any other character such as Frankenstein, he could possibly just end the novel with his death and leave the Monster out to dry. This makes the reader want to know more about the Monster’s future, but if Frankenstein had been the main narrator, the reader would be lost. It would leave them wondering of how the Monster’s story concluded. The Monster goes to say “fear not that I shall be the instrument of future mischief. My work is nearly complete. Neither yours nor any man’s death is needed to consummate the series of my being, and accomplish that which must be done: but it requires my own,” (Shelley 274).
Robert used this as a way to tell the reader the after the death of Frankenstein, the revenge the Monster wanted on him would die. This conclusion allows the reader to have closure on both the Monster and Frankenstein’s story. Without Robert Walton’s letters Frankenstein would never be truly resolved. His resolution to the Monster’s story concludes this novel. Walton gives the reader someone a character they can relate to and form their own opinions apart from Frankenstein and the Monster.