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Frankenstein By Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Essay

1347 words - 6 pages

“Abhorred monster!” screams out Victor, In Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, passionately as he is confronted by the most detestable thing in his entire existence (Chapter 10). Thurston analytically states “A monster of vaguely anthropoid outline, but with an octopus-like head” while looking at a sculpture of Cthulhu. The word monster is used in both the above quotes, yet one is used as an insult about evilness, and the other is used as a descriptive word about the physical appearance. The same word is used two different times with different definitions bringing up the question of what makes something monstrous. Both Shelley’s Frankenstein and the Lovecraft stories feature ...view middle of the document...

The ugliness of the creation did not make him a monster, the ugly actions that Victor partakes in makes him a monster. This theme reoccurs in Lovecraft’s stories. ”The Outsider” feature’s a main character whose inner attributes are very human-like. He recognizes the beauty in the world around him, he craves to “gaze on brilliance and gaiety at any cost”, and goes through a series of emotions ranging from curiosity to horror. For most of the story readers are led to believe he is a normal human only to find out he is not. The narrator describes himself as a monster after seeing his reflection for the first time, yet acts nothing like a monster. After seeing the terror he caused the people at the party, he swears that he should remain lonely for the rest of his existence to prevent the trouble he caused from happening again. He selflessly sacrifices his old desires of “brilliance and gaiety” to spare the feeling of others. He gives up the light he craved, to live in the darkness .He acts nothing like a monster, yet is ugly. His ugliness does not make him a monster just like Frankenstein’s creation’s ugliness did not make him a monster. In “The Shadow over Innsmouth” the villagers of Innsmouth give the narrator the creeps. When he looks at the bus driver, he states “The silent driver’s bent, rigid back and narrow head became more and more hateful” (page 232). The narrator starts hating the bus driver solely based on his looks and nothing else. While the townspeople are allegedly guilty for making sacrifices, their ugly looks are not at fault for their monstrosity. If they had been a town full of gorgeous people who made sacrifices their status of a monster would have been just as valid.
Shelley was born August 30th 1797 at the start of the romantic era, which influenced her definition of “monstrous”. All around her revolutions were happening and new governments were forming. People were fed up with being used for the profit of already rich people; France decapitated their king for taxing the already poor, America gained independence from the England, and Great Britain was dealing with the industrial revolution. Before romanticism was popular, neoclassicism was the predominant viewpoint, which stated that all things must be exact and follow strict regiments. Romanticism, a radical thought that natural emotion and imagination were more important than artificial organization, rose to popularity around the time Shelley was born. These two ideologies clashed and romanticism started to gain popularity while neoclassicism lost attractiveness. Romanticism offered the viewpoint that one’s soul, emotional well-being, and imagination were replenished by the natural world, which complemented the ongoing resentment towards the cold mechanical world that was growing in cities.
Victor’s creation himself shows many romantic attributes; he is emotional, feeling loneliness without a companion, resentment towards...

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