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Comparing Mary Shelley's Frankenstein To John Milton's Paradise Lost

1244 words - 5 pages

In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Victor Frankenstein and his creation are both symbolically comparable to that of God, Adam and Satan as characterized in John Milton's epic poem Paradise Lost. In Frankenstein, Victor is the one who wants to be the first man to be able to give life. Even though Victor is successful in his creation, just as God is in Paradise Lost, he is a self-absorbed man who takes it upon himself to discover the truths of morality and to obtain more knowledge. Victor’s creation, the monster, is symbolic to both Adam and to Satan in Milton's epic poem. The monster created by Victor was created in the image of man and he was not created to be evil to have the intention of harming others. However, the monster is eventually overwhelmed by his emotions and he is driven to commit violent acts. Victor’s monster is also symbolic of Satan. In the beginning, Satan was created by God to be just and serve faithfully; however Satan too fell out of God’s favor. Both the creature and Satan are rejected, not only from their creators, but also from other people and both are given no chance of redemption. Both the character’s of Victor Frankenstein and his creation are symbolic to the characters of God, Satan, and Adam in Paradise Lost.
In Mary Shelly’s novel, Victor Frankenstein has a few unique traits that allow him to be comparable with the God’s figure in Milton’s Paradise Lost. The main connection between Victor and God is that both beings wanted to create a “first” man. God was the creator of Adam and later, Eve, just as Victor was the maker of his man, or monster. The two characters also reject the product of their “experiments”. God banishes Adam from the Garden of Eden for disobeying him and eating the forbidden fruit from the Tree of Knowledge. Frankenstein rejects his creation due to the dreadful appearance of the creature. Victor says "No mortal could support the horror of that countenance" (Shelley 57). Victor does not give his creature a chance for a “normal” life. Instead, out of fear, he decides that he wants nothing to do with it. God rejects Adam and Eve because they had disobeyed his one rule, to not eat from the “Tree of Knowledge.”
Victor Frankenstein’s creation, the monster is representative to the first man, Adam in Milton's Paradise Lost. Both creatures were created in the image of their creator. Both the monster and Adam never had a real opportunity to meet their creator. Frankenstein’s creation was pushed aside and Victor wanted no relation with it. Even though God was satisfied with the creation of Adam, Adam was also cast aside after he had gone against God and ate from the tree of knowledge. Like Frankenstein’s monster, Adam never had a real chance to know his creator, God, since he was cast out of Eden. The second relationship between Adam and the monster is that they both are alone and wish for a companion. The monster says, "Like Adam, I was apparently united by no link to any other being in existence" (Shelley 124)...

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