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Frankenstein is a novel by Mary Shelley, often heralded as one of the first pieces of science fiction, exploring themes of creation, ambition, and the moral implications of scientific advancement. Essays on “Frankenstein” could delve into these themes, the character analysis of Victor Frankenstein and the Creature, and the novel’s enduring legacy in literature and popular culture. Moreover, discussions might extend to the novel’s influence on the genre of science fiction and horror. A substantial compilation of free essay instances related to Frankenstein you can find at Papersowl. You can use our samples for inspiration to write your own essay, research paper, or just to explore a new topic for yourself.
Novel “Frankenstein” : Roles of Gender
Throughout reading the novel Frankenstein, I thought it was indeed interesting how Mary Shelley incorporated themes of gender and the aspect of creation. Mary Shelley uses her own life experiences to shape her works and to gain ideas to integrate social issues into her work. Mary Shelley portrays the problems and incorporates them throughout the book and touches on the aspect of social hierarchies of gender, which inherently value men over women. In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, issues of gender and […]
Who is the Real Monster in Frankenstein
Monsters in literature are normally characterized as a creature that possesses some type of inhuman qualities or deformities, is perceived as evil, and has no compassion for mankind. The term monster can also refer to a person who has done a terrible thing in life that poorly affects others around them. In literature, outcasts are people who are not wanted and are rejected by society. In the novel Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley, many readers label the creature as a monster […]
The American and the French Revolutions
The right of revolution was an idea proposed by Enlightenment Philosopher John Locke, which inspired and challenged the colonies in America and the people of France to revolt. Displeased with their current positions with their governments, they mustered up the courage and strength to challenge authority. Through their battles and hardships, both revolutions sought a government that mirrored the Enlightenment beliefs of natural rights, power of the people, and equality. With those goals in mind, they demonstrated the idea that […]
Gothic Elements in Frankenstein
Mary Shelley lived and wrote her novel Frankenstein during the peak of the romantic era of literature in the early 1800's. She shows this as her work reflects many of the key elements that are associated with romanticism. In Frankenstein, Shelley also utilizes many of the elements of gothic literature. Shelley uses many of the conventions aligned with romantic and gothic literature in Frankenstein's setting, subject matter, characterization, and plot to portray her overall tone and mood in the novel. […]
Physical Appearance in Frankenstein
The main theme in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is the importance of appearance which correlates to the idea of acceptance in modern society. Today's society, as well as in the society of Frankenstein, people judge one often solely on their looks. Social prejudice is often based on looks, whether it be the pigments that make up someone's skin color, the facial features that one has and the clothes that a person wears. Society makes rapid judgments based on these and other […]
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Differences between French, Russian and American Revolutions
A revolution is a successful attempt made by a large group of people to change / challenge the political system of their country. People who are willing to engage and take action in a revolution are trying to fix the struggles in justice, reminding people not to forget the future against the past. People who want to change the political system are looking out for the future of their country. Revolution was the only way average people or citizens felt […]
In her novel ?Frankenstein?, Mary Shelley shows that both Frankenstein and his creature are obsessed with revenge through their strong emotional language and obsessive actions, yet neither of them wins and gets revenge in the end. After Victor Frankenstein is threatened by the creature after destroying his nearly complete bride, Frankenstein states that he “?burned with rage to pursue the murderer of my peace and precipitate him into the ocean. I walked up and down my room hastily and perturbed, […]
Family Relations and Alienation in “Frankenstein”
In today's fast-paced world, it is important to build connections and relationships with people and society. Being able to bond with surroundings, is key for living a healthy and happy life. Family is what helps humans build their foundations and are able to learn and succeed with the support of them. In Mary Shelley's novel, Frankenstein, the lack of connection the characters have to either their family or society leads them to murder, hopelessness and tragedy. Specifically Victor and his […]
Shelley about Romanticism Versus the Enlightenment
In the novel, "Frankenstein," Mary Shelley uses various elements of both mysterious and romantic literature to convey her indictment of the Enlightenment thinking over the use of her characters displayed throughout the novel. Being written in the time of the Romantic era, Shelley uses vivid language to portray her objection of the Enlightenment age as it influenced many people to use logical reasoning and science to disregard barbarism and superstition from the World. In Frankenstein, Shelley's response to this ideology […]
Frankenstein Dangerous Knowledge
Isolation is a dangerous act. Whether it is forced by the ones around us or a choice made by us to be alone isolation separates the victim from society damaging them emotionally. In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the monster, Frankenstein's monster, comes to know the true act of isolation. The monster was not only cast out by the townspeople but by his creator. Their prejudiced views of the monster as only that, a monster, turned him into what they truly sought […]
One theme presented in Marry Shelley's book Frankenstein is the theme of isolation. Right from the beginning, someone has felt isolated from someone else. The three characters consistently developed the theme of isolation are Victor, the Creature, and Elizabeth. Though the three experience isolation, their isolation experience differs. Unlike the Creature and Elizabeth, Victor chose to isolate himself from people. This is evidenced from right when he was working on his research and when he tries to create a life. […]
“Words have no power to impress the mind without the exquisite horror of their reality” (Edgar Allan Poe). Dark Romanticism is a literary movement that made waves that still resonate today within modern horror and pop culture, from Frankenstein to Dracula many recognizable names came from this era of writing. From the subjects covered by the many influential authors of the era to how it still has a place within modern writing, Dark Romanticism, a writing movement that began in […]
Feminism Represented through Frankenstein Characters
Frankenstein is known all over for being about a monster that loses control and kills people, but no one talks about some of the topics that Mary Shelley portrays in the novel. This book seems male dominant. The females play a big role, but not in the way that big roles are usually played. Women seem to hide from playing a part in Frankenstein, but Mary Shelley finds a way to display feminism in the book and that is how […]
Discrimination and Prejudice in Frankenstein
During our human history, prejudice and discrimination have existed. Prejudice refers to the irrational and inflexible attitudes that members of a particular group hold about members of another group (Sibley and Duckitt 248). Prejudices are either harmful or positive. Both forms of prejudice are usually preconceived by the people who hold them and are extremely difficult to alter (Stephan, Cookie and Stephan 33). The negative form of prejudices leads to discrimination- unjust behaviors that holders of negative prejudice direct against […]
Philosophy of Dualism and Materialism in “Frankenstein”
In Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein, the philosophies of dualism and materialism can be found through the story's main characters, Victor Frankenstein and the Creature. Throughout the novel, the decisions that both make and their justifications for those decisions are rooted in both dualistic and materialistic ideas. In the scene leading up to the creation to the Creature as well as the scene itself, much of Victor's decision to even try such a feit stems from a materialistic standpoint, using science […]
The French Revolution Within Frankenstein
Almost twenty years after the end of the French Revolution, Mary Shelley published her gothic horror novel, Frankenstein, in 1818. Shelley grew up with parents who were intellectual radicals (Sterrenburg 143). Yet, she was detached from radicalism and opted for a more conservative perspective (Sterrenburg 143). She did a vast amount of readings on the French Revolution (Sterrenburg 143). By extensively studying the ideas around the revolution, it is not a surprise that they appear embedded through her work, more […]
American, French and Mexican Revolutions
When it comes to the American Revolution, there was one individual that gave American people an idea of what they should be fighting for. John Locke’s idea of “life, liberty, and estate” heavily inspired Thomas Jefferson’s “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” when fighting against the British. So why did the Americans revolt? What beliefs did they have? One thing the American, French, and Mexican revolutions have in common is that their governments were corrupt. The Colonists called for […]
The Role of Science in Frankenstein
Mary Shelley tells a story of a scientist who creates a hideous creature in the novel Frankenstein. Victor Frankenstein is an amazing, smart scientist who admired human anatomy, and soon decided to create his own creature. Who is more at fault for the monsters behavior, Victor or the monster? If you were in the monsters position would you become a murderer for revenge? The monster is often viewed as the antagonist, however is Victor Frankenstein the reason many people in […]
Frankenstein and Gothic Literature
The character's identity and outward appearance interferes with the norms of the hierarchical societies in which they live. Thus, preventing them from experiencing life outside of the isolated confinement they are subjected to. While experiencing a constant conflict with acceptance it strikes the curiosity inside them. In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, the experience of loneliness and obsession of science drives Victor Frankenstein to assume the role of God by reanimating a corpse. The horror presented derives from the source of control […]
Creation of Life in “Frankenstein”
The next major aspect of the novel that I would like to focus on is the creation of Frankenstein. This will include dissecting the experience into pieces, such as the use of technology, the role of God and religion and the reason behind creating the monster. In the novel, technology is used in correlation with the creation of Frankenstein. Victor says, I collected bones from charnel houses; and distributed, with profane fingers, the tremendous secrets of the human frame (Shelley […]
Foster’s Chapter “Every Trip is a Quest” in “Frankenstein”
In Foster's Chapter, Every Trip Is A Quest , he implies that every journey is a quest and every quest has to have a quester, a place to go, a stated reason to go there, challenges and trials along the way, and a real reason to go. When a character goes on a quest, he goes with intentions on fulfilling the originally stated reason, but once he is on the quest, he never ends up going for that originally stated […]
Economic Crisis Druing the French Revolution
The economic issues made by the French kings additionally added to the Revolution. Amid the eighteenth century, the French government spent more cash than it gathered in expenses. By 1788, the nation was bankrupt. Arthur Young, an Englishmen, and spectator, who ventured out to France from 1787 to 1789 furiously portray the living conditions of the workers in his book Travels in France (Campbell, 18). The measure of expense every individual must pay is out of line. Landholders found in […]
The History of Frankenstein in Film
From the dawn of the cinematic age, both horror and science fiction films have been shown throughout every cinema available. More common, however, were films based upon previously written works such as books or plays as they were easy to adapt from one medium to another. In 1910, Edison studios released what would inevitably lead to a cultural shift around the plot of one of the most famous, if not the most famous gothic novels: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1818). The […]
Isolation: Frankenstein and the Heart of Darkness
As humans we are naturally inclined to socialize with each other. There are times when we don’t want to be surrounded by others and just by ourselves, but prolonging that isolation can be detrimental to one’s psyche. Isolation can lead to stress levels rising, poor sleep, immune system dysfunction, and even cognitive depreciation (Psychology Today). In Heart of Darkness ?by Joseph Conrad, we see through Marlow’s eyes the descent of the antagonist Kurtz due to prolonged isolation in the wild […]
Technology and Morality in Shelley’s “Frankenstein”
In Frankenstein, Shelley addresses her concerns regarding human advancement by using a framed narrative that includes parallels, foils, and allusions in order to express that many people are unaware of the consequences of their actions because their hubris and ambition blinds them. This tends to disrupt the balance of society. Shelley’s framed structure leads us gradually to the central ideas of her novel and has us question our own society as a whole. The intention of each narrative in the […]
Victor Frankenstein in “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley
Frankenstein tells the story of Victor Frankenstein, a scientist in the 18th century. The story begins with a letter from Captain Walton to his sister. The first letter is dated 17--. In Walton's letters, he tells his sister of his encounter with the scientist Victor Frankenstein. Victor becomes consumed with discovering the secret of creating life. In his pursuit of this knowledge, Victor creates a living creature made of body parts of corpses. Victor is successful in creating life, but […]
How Technology Changed Society
Technology has dramatically changed society in ways people never imagined. Before the dawn of modern-day technology, life was troublesome and everyday tasks like chores or transport consumed too much of humans’ effort and time. Now, because of technology human can communicate, transport, and work faster than ever. Due to the efficiency of tech, humans’ lives have been eased tremendously and almost all humans live in comfort. In the 21st Century, technology and human life are inseparable; society these days depends […]
Frankenstein Book Review
In the book “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley, it is clear to lay the blame upon Victor Frankenstein. The definition of blame is the assignation of responsibility towards someone/something for a fault or wrong. Victor’s love and passion for science led to a monstrous idea and ended up killing three people. While his pride was a driving force, abandoning the creature was not a smart move. Due to the fact that his idea was matched with the act of doing gives […]
Frankenstein: the Cruelty he Faced
For centuries, society has placed stereotypes on those individuals who are different. Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein is an example of one specific stereotype, which is the discrimination of a person because of a physical deformity. Frankenstein shows how social prejudices against physical deformities can automatically classify a person as bad or monstrous. In gothic novels, visual codes were used to identify good from bad and socially acceptable from socially unacceptable. By using these codes, it was possible to tell if […]
Frankenstein Critical Analysis
In Mary Shelley's novel, Frankenstein, isolation is a motif, or recurring idea with symbolic importance, revealed throughout the story between two characters, Victor Frankenstein, and his scientifically animated monster, the Creature. They both engage in acts and narratives of projecting the consequential dogma of isolation, that inevitably isolation results negatively and perpetuates misanthropy. Victor on one hand is an obsessive personality, lost in his studies he removes himself from very much human contact and engaging society. It results in his […]
Often regarded as the first science fiction novel in history, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley is a true masterpiece. Although she was only 21 when she published one of the best gothic romance novels of all time, its value doesn’t diminish even today. So, why is this book so popular among all generations two centuries later? The answer probably lies in the themes elaborated and the universal truths revealed. Ambition, revenge, love, and hatred have ruled over humanity across millennia and seem to be infinite sources of inspiration for discussion. Moreover, the symbols portrayed are ideal prompts for essay titles. As for the plot, Victor Frankenstein provides the perfect foundation for analysis and criticism. As profound as his knowledge is, Victor uses his brain to his detriment. Because of his eagerness to surmount the unsurmountable and create life out of death, he sacrificed his family. Victor’s character is unique because of the clash between love and hate, intelligence and ignorance. Most readers end up reading with a single thought: Is Victor the real monster? As a result, Mary’s debut in the writing realm is a true gem for students of all ages. Essay topics can include the pursuit of knowledge, the importance of family, the symbols of nature, isolation, and revenge. The number of literary analysis essay examples on Frankenstein is endless. For instance, you might dedicate your research paper to atypical appearances as opposed to societal expectations. Ideally, your thesis statement will mention prejudices based on looks. For maximum impact, ensure you cap the introduction with a good hook that grabs the readers’ attention. Are you confused about where to start and how to outline your academic paper? Worry not because PapersOwl is always by your side and offers multiple free argumentative essays about Frankenstein. All you need to do is visit the platform and insert the required theme. Feel free to explore the extra features, including a free plagiarism checker, a conclusion and summary generator, and a paragraphing tool. Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus Essay Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus is a novel by English author Mary Shelley. This is considered one of the most popular literary works studied in schools and colleges all over the world. If you’re a student, you will have to read the book and probably do a literary analysis of its characters, themes, and symbols at some point. Many students are assigned the task of writing a critical essay or a research paper on Frankenstein. A highly original story for its time, the novel packs a lot of ideas and still provides intriguing and thought-provoking insights, which is why it’s so thoroughly studied. The plot is simple at first sight. Victor Frankenstein is a young scientist, who conducts a scientific experiment at the end of which he manages to bring to life a new living creature. Despite its monstrous look, the creature has the same thinking and feeling abilities as any human being. This simple plot makes way for the exploration of many interesting concepts, which means that a student can easily find many topics to cover when writing an essay on Frankenstein. To get examples of a good argumentative essay, see our page where we explore the controversial ethical questions posed in the book and perform character analysis and a dissection of the most important themes. Read our essay examples to get a good overview of the novel’s symbolism and create your own outline. We discuss aspects such as alienation, the dangerous pursuit of knowledge, monstrosity, ambition, family values, the natural world, and many other key concepts that Mary Shelley delved into in her novel. Reading literary analyses is important for students to not miss out on important ideas after the first reading of the book itself.
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Home — Essay Samples — Literature — Books — Frankenstein
Essays on Frankenstein
Hook examples for "frankenstein" essays, monster or victim hook.
Is Frankenstein's creature truly a monstrous villain, or is he a victim of society's rejection and cruelty? Dive into the moral ambiguity of this iconic character and explore the depths of his humanity.
Mary Shelley's Inspiration Hook
Discover the intriguing story behind the creation of "Frankenstein." Explore Mary Shelley's life, her influences, and how this timeless novel emerged from the challenges and tragedies she faced.
Scientific Ambition Hook
Victor Frankenstein's relentless pursuit of scientific discovery leads to catastrophic consequences. Analyze the theme of scientific ambition and its ethical implications in the novel.
The Promethean Myth Hook
Frankenstein is often compared to the myth of Prometheus, who stole fire from the gods. Delve into how the novel explores themes of creation, rebellion, and the consequences of playing god.
The Pursuit of Knowledge Hook
Examine the characters' quests for knowledge in "Frankenstein" and how their thirst for understanding the unknown shapes their destinies. Consider the fine line between discovery and obsession.
Ethical Dilemmas Hook
"Frankenstein" raises profound ethical questions about the responsibilities of creators, the treatment of the other, and the consequences of one's actions. Explore these dilemmas and their relevance today.
Monstrosity of Society Hook
Discuss how "Frankenstein" critiques societal norms and prejudices. Analyze how the creature's rejection by society shapes his behavior and leads to his transformation into a true monster.
Gothic Elements Hook
Explore the Gothic elements in Mary Shelley's novel, from eerie settings to themes of isolation and horror. Consider how these elements contribute to the overall atmosphere and meaning of the story.
Modern Scientific Ethics Hook
Draw parallels between the novel's ethical dilemmas and contemporary debates on scientific advancements, cloning, and genetic engineering. Reflect on how "Frankenstein" remains relevant in today's world.
Dracula and Frankenstein as Cultural Mirrors
Dracula and frankenstein: a mirror of society and politics, made-to-order essay as fast as you need it.
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Dracula and Frankenstein: Role of Women in Gothic Fiction
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Good and Bad Sides of Frankenstein
Mary shelley’s frankenstein; self discovery, the reasons why the monster deserves sympathy in frankenstein, a novel by mary shelley, power reversal: the marxist view of frankenstein, get a personalized essay in under 3 hours.
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Social Norms in Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
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1818, Mary Shelley
Novel; Gothic Fiction, Horror Fiction, Science Fiction, Romance Novel, Soft Science Fiction
Victor Frankenstein, the monster, Robert Walton, Alphonse Frankenstein, Elizabeth Lavenza, Henry Clerval, William Frankenstein, Justine Moritz, Caroline Beaufort, Beaufort, Peasants, M. Waldman, M. Krempe, Mr. Kirwin
Shelley has been influenced by her parents, especially her father's "Enquiry Concerning Political Justice" and "A Vindication of the Rights of Woman". It also included ideas of galvanism, which have been extremely popular during the time the novel has been written.
Light and darkness, good and evil, fire, isolation, anger, unorthodox approach.
It has been the main theme of reanimating the dead, which became the pioneering theme in literary works, yet the most important and symbolic importance of this novel is the interaction between the scientist Victor Frankenstein and the nameless creature that he has brought to life. It can be summed up with the words of the monster: "I was benevolent and good, misery made me a fiend" (Shelley 90). It speaks of Victor's creating the being, yet it was the society that has created the monster.
The novel tells a story of a gifted scientist called Victor Frankenstein who manages to bring life to his own creation. The challenge is that his creation is not exactly what he has imagined. As a monster creature, he is rejected by his creator and mankind in general. The main idea is to see and explore regarding who the true monster is.
Mary Shelley was only 18 years old when she started Frankenstein . She was 20 years old when the book was published. The Frankenstein has been written in the shadow of a tragedy as Shelley has lost her newborn daughter. The most common misconception is that Frankenstein is the name of the monster, which has already become symbolic all over the world. In truth, the monster has no name at all. Frankenstein word comes from the name of the German castle not far from the Rhine River, literally meaning "Stone of the Franks''. It was the place where an odd alchemist called Konrad Dippel has tried to create an elixir of immortality. It was thought that it was Mary's father Percy Shelley who wrote the book since he also wrote the preface. The book has not been accepted by the critics and was called "absurd" and "disgusting" The full name of the book is Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus.
“Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change.” “Life, although it may only be an accumulation of anguish, is dear to me, and I will defend it.” “I do know that for the sympathy of one living being, I would make peace with all. I have love in me the likes of which you can scarcely imagine and rage the likes of which you would not believe. If I cannot satisfy the one, I will indulge the other.” “Even broken in spirit as he is, no one can feel more deeply than he does the beauties of nature. The starry sky, the sea, and every sight afforded by these wonderful regions, seems still to have the power of elevating his soul from earth. Such a man has a double existence: he may suffer misery, and be overwhelmed by disappointments; yet, when he has retired into himself, he will be like a celestial spirit that has a halo around him, within whose circle no grief or folly ventures.” “How mutable are our feelings, and how strange is that clinging love we have of life even in the excess of misery!”
Although the story has been written a long time ago, it is still clear for contemporary readers because it can be related to scientific advancements, human relations, and AI. In a certain sense, it is the beginning of scientific fiction and the subject of "playing God". Mary Shelley's book is a warning to humanity and the scientists about responsibility with the main message being that science and technology can go way too far beyond the limitations. It proves that human beings must believe in the sanctity of our own being.
This book represents an essay topic for numerous academic fields from Data Science to Nursing and Education. Since it deals with ethics, responsibility, and being conscious about one's creations, it acts as the symbolic reflection of being the monster that we fear. The life of Victor Frankenstein is an example of scientists through decades, different countries and fields. It is a great warning for us all that we should not go too far.
1. Shelley, M., & Bolton, G. (2018). frankenstein. In Medicine and Literature (pp. 35-52). CRC Press. (https://www.taylorfrancis.com/chapters/edit/10.1201/9781315375670-4/frankenstein-mary-shelley-gillie-bolton) 2. Gigante, D. (2000). Facing the Ugly: The Case of" Frankenstein". Elh, 67(2), 565-587. (https://www.jstor.org/stable/30031925) 3. Sherwin, P. (1981). Frankenstein: Creation as catastrophe. https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/pmla/article/abs/frankenstein-creation-as-catastrophe/40AFBF23476041ECF8A55827303A3D43 PMLA, 96(5), 883-903. 4. Heffernan, J. A. (1997). Looking at the monster:" Frankenstein" and film. Critical Inquiry, 24(1), 133-158. (https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/abs/10.1086/448869?journalCode=ci) 5. Guzman, A. (2013). International organizations and the Frankenstein problem. European Journal of International Law, 24(4), 999-1025. (https://academic.oup.com/ejil/article/24/4/999/606374) 6. Kunich, J. C. (2000). Mother Frankenstein, Doctor Nature, and the Environmental Law of Genetic Engineering. S. cal. L. rev., 74, 807. (https://heinonline.org/HOL/LandingPage?handle=hein.journals/scal74&div=42&id=&page=) 7. Ginn, S. R. (2013). Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein: Exploring neuroscience, nature, and nurture in the novel and the films. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/B9780444632876000099 Progress in Brain Research, 204, 169-190. 8. Holmes, R. (2016). Science fiction: The science that fed Frankenstein. https://www.nature.com/articles/535490a 9. Barns, I. (1990). Monstrous nature or technology?: Cinematic resolutions of the ‘Frankenstein Problem’. Science as Culture, 1(9), 7-48. (https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09505439009526278?journalCode=csac20) 10. Brooks, P. (1978). Godlike Science/Unhallowed Arts: Language and Monstrosity in Frankenstein. New Literary History, 9(3), 591-605. (https://www.jstor.org/stable/468457)
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The science and integrity in frankenstein and dr. jekyll and….
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Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
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Victor Frankenstein character analysis
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Frankenstein literary analysis
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Frankenstein analytical essay
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Frankenstein is a gothic science fiction novel, quite famous in the United States. The book is about a huge monster that doesn’t know how to interact with humans. Writing essays about Frankenstein can be daunting for many learners. From complicated topics to a busy schedule, composing a well-researched essay is difficult.
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A+ Student Essay: The Impact of the Monster's Eloquence
The monster in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein lurches into life as big as a man but as ignorant as a newborn. He can’t read, speak, or understand the rudiments of human interaction. When he stumbles upon the cottagers, however, he picks up language by observing them and studying their speech. It is this acquisition of language, along with the eloquence it brings, that turns the monster from a mysterious nightmare into a sympathetic and tragic figure. By showing how language transforms the monster, and by contrasting the well-spoken monster with his equally articulate creator, Shelley argues that verbal communication—rather than action or appearance—is the only way through which people can truly understand one another.
Before the monster learns to express himself, his actions are no less than terrifying. His escape from Victor’s workshop seems sinister and his murder of William apparently confirms the notion that he is a powerful, malignant beast capable of unmotivated violence. His shocking appearance does not help matters. Victor assumes, and Shelley invites us to assume along with him, that this being, with his patched-together body, his yellow skin, and his black lips, must have a soul that matches his hideous appearance.
When the monster speaks, however, he throws his actions into a different light. He explains that Victor’s desertion left him alone and frightened. He conveys how hurt he was when he realized that his appearance scares normal people. His stories about sympathizing with and secretly helping the cottagers show that he has an empathetic nature, and his tale of rescuing a young girl and getting a bullet for his trouble demonstrates his instinct to help those weaker than himself, sparking our outrage at society’s unwarranted cruelty toward him. Even the monster’s description of William’s murder makes the convincing case that fury at Victor drove the monster to violence—not an excuse, by any means, but certainly an explanation that is understandable and psychologically credible. By giving the monster the power of oratory, Shelley forces us to consider his behavior from an entirely different angle and to sympathize with his plight.
Shelley bolsters our sympathy for the monster by comparing his words to Victor’s. Frankenstein is Victor’s story; he has countless opportunities to argue his case and cast himself as the tragic hero of the tale. Despite his earnest—and long-winded—attempts to put himself in the right, however, Victor’s words only alienate us as they pile up. He feels little besides relief when the monster escapes; he lets Justine go to her death rather than risk his reputation by telling the truth; he whines and prevaricates; he heartlessly abandons and scorns his own creation. Ironically, Victor would be more appealing were he to lose the power of speech. Unlike his monster, he is no murderer. By themselves, his actions might seem reasonable. But because he bares his soul by communicating verbally to us, the readers, he reveals the unappealing motivations behind those reasonable actions and loses our trust and sympathy.
The monster’s eloquent words do not have the effect he intends: They fail to win Victor’s approval or gain his affection. They do have an effect he cannot foresee, however. By explicating himself and his actions, the monster gains our favor and turns himself into the hero of Victor Frankenstein’s narrative. And by pulling off this neat reversal, Shelley demonstrates the overwhelming importance of language in shaping individuals’ identities—as well as the perception of those identities by others.
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The all-too human monster: Examining sympathy for Frankenstein's creation
“Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley Essay
A summary of mary shelley’s “frankenstein”.
“Frankenstein” is a science fiction novel written by Mary Shelley. It revolves around a young boy named Victor Frankenstein who had an obsession with death and through this obsession he was able to create life from nothing. After creating life he is however terrified and disgusted of how it looks and he decides to abandon it without giving it a name as its physical appearance is scary and nothing at all as he expected.
He therefore tries to live a normal life and makes an effort to forget his own creation. Due to the abandonment the monster is left perplexed, annoyed and frightened. After his tiring work of creating human life, Victor falls ill and it takes four months for his youth friend to nurse him back to health. The monster then travels to Geneva and meets a little boy called William in the woods, where he hopes that the young boy who is not yet corrupted by the views of older people and the world will accept him as he is.
The monster is however wrong and when the Frankenstein sees it; he hurls invectives infuriating the monster. The monster however tries its best to talk to the boy but falls on deaf ears, the monster then covers the boy mouth to keep him quiet but this ends in the boy suffocating. Frankenstein receives a letter from his father stating that his younger brother is dead and that he was murdered. Despite the fact that this act was not intended, the monster took this as the first act of revenge towards his creator.
He places a necklace the boy was wearing on a sleeping girl, the nanny to the boy. Justine the boys nanny was tried and found guilty fro the murder and executed. When Frankenstein arrives he saw the creature in the woods and knew that the monster had killed his brother and placed his mother’s locket on the sleeping nanny.
Frankenstein, troubled and heavily burdened by anguish and self reproach for creating the monster that caused so much devastation, he flees to the mountains to find peace. After a while alone, the monster approaches Frankenstein, who tries to kill it. But the monster being physically bigger, stronger and more alert than his creator gets away and gives Frankenstein some time to cool off and compose himself.
The monster tells Frankenstein of its encounters with humans and how terrified it was of them. He spend a year observing a family from a cabin he was living in, this gave him more knowledge and self conscience concluding that his physical appearance was very different from the humans he was observing.
On revealing himself however, the humans rejected him and were horror struck by his appearance and reacted ferociously, a reaction that made the monster angrier and he seeks vengeance on his creator.
The monster demanded that Frankenstein create a female companion for him as it had the right to be happy. The monster promises that they will vanish into the wilderness and not bother any more about humans. Frankenstein however does not create a companion for the monster and destroys all the work he was doing.
The monster witnesses Frankenstein destroying his creation and vows to revenge on it. The monster murders Clerval and implicates Frankenstein. Frankenstein is acquitted and he returns home to marry his cousin Elizabeth, who is murdered on their wedding night by the monster as part of the monsters revenge.
Frankenstein father dies after this tragedy as he could not handle the tremendous loss of William, Justine, Clerval, and Elizabeth. Frankenstein vows to go after the monster and destroy it. They chase each other for several months and they end up in the North Pole where Frankenstein dies form illness and the monster mourns for Frankenstein justifying its revenge and expressing remorse. Afterwards, the monster travels further towards the pole to destroy itself so that nobody never finds out of it existence.
Comparing Shelley’s portrayal of the natural sciences in “Frankenstein” to her portrayal of other types of knowledge in that novel
According to Shelley, Frankenstein believed more in science than he did in humanity. His obsession with death from the time he was a young boy made him believe that he could eliminate death through science. This passion led him to pursue chemistry which became almost his sole purpose in life to use chemistry to create life and eliminate death. In the university, Frankenstein attempts to create life from nothing and he surprisingly manages to do so.
The only thing is his creation turns out not differently than he expected, the creature if gigantic and it horrifies him to look at. He sees it as an eyesore, a disgrace and the creature escape into the society leaving it at the mercy of humanity. The point at which the creature escapes brings in the humanity aspect in the novel (55-56).
However, after escaping into the society the creature is met with human hostility and feels rejected. The rejection forces the creature to vow revenge on his creator by killing all his close and loved ones (97). The creature carries out its vengeance on Frankenstein by killing his brother William, his friend Clerval and his wife Elizabeth (116).
The creature also mourns for Frankenstein after his death showing that it has a sensitive human side and then it goes of to kill itself as it terms and takes responsibility for causing the death of its creator. This shows that science and humanity came together in the creation and shaping of the creature. Science was used to bring the creature to life while humanity was used to shape how the creature interacted with people and how it handled its feelings and emotions. (173)
In Shelley’s view, science and humanities are separated by how they are carried out and how one comes into contact with them. Humanities take root when the creature observes a family from the woods learning to speak and also develop emotionally. If the creature had not observed the family then nurturing of the creature may have not taken place.
Science is preserved and maintained in the laboratory to make life from scratch while the humanities come into play as soon as the creature comes to life. Humanities take centre stage when the creature is first of all rejected by its creator and all other people follow suit.
This makes the creature feel as if he is not good enough and that it is its destiny to be alone without any companionship for eternity. This humanity in the creature forces it to go back to his creator to demand that he creates a companion but this turns out badly as Frankenstein does not go through with it (114). Humanity in this novel is also seen when Frankenstein experiences death of his loved ones that eventually pushed him to the scientific notion of creating life.
Frankenstein’s mother’s death and his father’s professor rebuking him fro reading trash which was in essence lightning that had destroyed a tree, pushed him to learn more about science becoming obsessed with it. If these events had not taken place maybe the creation of the creature would not have taken place leaving a very different story in its place.
In reference to Shelley, sciences have an effect on the people who study them. This is simply because the book shows us how one person’s irresponsibility and ambition can harm other people who are not directly involved on eh science project. Science made Victor Frankenstein create a monster and on realizing that the creature did not turn out to be how he expected, he abandoned and rejected it (73).
This rejection made the creature go on a rampage and kill innocent people related to the creator. The innocent people did not have to die but they lost their lives because of one Victor Frankenstein’s obsession and ambition to create life. Life is scared and surely to attempt to create it from dead body parts of other human beings is most likely than not expected to bring havoc and misery on unsuspecting individuals.
The main point in this book is every person should take responsibility of their actions and not expect other people to pay for their shortcomings. Science is something that every person who practices it should be aware that there is a probability of an experiment going wrong and therefore amply and adequately prepare for the outcomes of the experiment whether good or bad.
Humanities on the other hand are portrayed as how one builds his own personal character among the people around him and the people he encounters. In this novel, humanity is depicted in the loss of loved ones that makes Victor Frankenstein to be obsessed with death and try to find a cure for it.
Humanity is also seen whereby Frankenstein is anguished by the death of his brother, friend, Justine and Elizabeth that he vows to kill or be killed by the monster (Shelley 86). This shows that however much Victor was obsessed with science he also had strong feelings for the people around him and it tore him apart when the creature he created killed them.
Humanity in the creature is shown when he feels dejected by his creator and very other human who sets eyes on him and when he observes a family from a distance learns how to speak and develops emotionally.
The fact that everyone showed a hostile human side to the creature made the creature vulnerable and it went on a rampage killing innocent people (Shelley 208). In this novel the creature displays humanity when he demands for a companion to be created so as he can have someone to share his life with and also when he mourns over the death of his creator and implicates himself as the cause of the death of his creator.
In her novel Shelley portrays the knowledge of humanity more as compared to the knowledge of science. This is seen when she portrays that young Victor Frankenstein got an interest in science after experiencing the trauma of losing his mother. This loss made Frankenstein obsessed with death and he tried to find a cure for death.
Through his quest and ambition to cure death he created the Frankenstein monster from dead decomposing body parts of other human beings that were sewn together and brought to life with the help of science (Shelley 73). Humanities is shown as more valuable and ethical as it forms the basis of how one will be portrayed by the society and how one will react to different things and people in society.
Humanity is portrayed as better than science in this novel as it shows different relationships between different people and how actions of one person adversely affect other people. For example, the decision by Victor Frankenstein to create life from dead body parts that brought for the creature termed as a monster brings serious effects and consequences to his family members not to mention the monster itself.
Humanity allowed the creature to develop emotionally and learn how to speak trough observation and experience kindness from a blind man and while saving a young girl form drowning, however in both instances the creature was reprimanded and driven off as people were not welcoming enough. Science only creates that creature but it is humanity that the creature has to deal with and understand why humans are so hostile towards him.
Similarities between science and humanities in this novel are brought out in that both concepts are interdependent and both of these concepts aim to bring improvements to the society as a whole and reduce human misery. The fact that humanity pushed Frankenstein to look for scientific ways to eliminate death from the society after his other loved ones died shows that these two concepts are correlated and work hand in hand with each other to make the society a better place to live in.
The differences on the other hand are that ethics or the pillars of humanities while blind innovation and creativity is the pillar of science. This is to say that scientists do not take into consideration the effects and consequences of their experiments that at times may have a negative effect in humanity.
This is seen when Frankenstein’s ambition makes him create a monster that is much bigger than the human race that caused havoc and misery among human kind. Humanity is seen when Frankenstein is haunted by his conscience after the monster goes on a rampage killing his loved ones. This shows that humanity has consequences and that people should take intro consideration the feelings of other people before they make decisions.
In conclusion, “Frankenstein” tells of a young boy named Frankenstein who attempted to create life, though he succeeded the experiment turned out to be scary and wrecked havoc.
The novel shows as much as science is innovative and interrelated with humanity, ethical issues should also be taken into consideration for most so that innocent people do not suffer. One man’s decision caused the death of three individuals this is not justified. If Victor Frankenstein had thought of the ethical issues of his creation a lot of suffering, misery and death would have been avoided.
Shelley, Marry. Frankenstein . New York: Norton, 1996. Print.
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Click on the links below for examples of essays that have been written by students studying Frankenstein:
Essay 1 - How are female characters portrayed in the opening chapters of Frankenstein?
Essay 2 - ‘Originally conceived as a ghost story, Frankenstein is far more – it is a story of alienation.’ Examine Shelley’s portrayal of the Creature in the light of this comment.
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