Frankenstein - Explain how the character of the monster develops
throughout the novel. How does Shelley use features such as language
and structure to create and destroy sympathy for it?
The novel I have been studying is Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. It is
a story that makes the reader vary their feelings from pity to anger
and disgust. The novel is about a scientist called Frankenstein who
creates a monster using the limbs of corpses. He later learns that the
moral issues behind creating the monster were unjust as it comes back
to slowly destroy him and his life. It is told through the letters
that R.Walton sends to his sister. Walton is sailor who is sailing to
the North Pole and meets Frankenstein on his way and listens to his
The book was written in 1817 when Shelley had run away from home and
controversially eloped with the already married Percy Bysshe Shelley.
In Frankenstein we see the monster being hated and abhorred by humans.
Here we see humans having prejudice as everybody attacks him. He runs
away because no one will give him a chance, similarly, Shelley left
home because no one gave her a chance as even her own father never
truly forgave her. From this we may conclude that Shelley wanted to
put across the point of society having the lapse of prejudice,
pre-judging people even if they mean well and are sincere. Although
the modern world is very different today from that of Shelley's day,
human nature has not changed as prejudice and discrimination are still
At the time when Frankenstein was first written books were very good
forms of entertainment. The young and the old together would read the
book as to be scared by the horror in it. Today, with the introduction
of television, radio and varies game consoles, the idea of reading for
pleasure is dying out within the younger generation. Therefore
Frankenstein may no longer be read for pleasure, as it was, but may be
studied in schools or only read by the elder generation.
We first see the monster he has been created. The room is lit with
nothing but an almost burnt out candle and the night is described as
"dreary" because it is passed midnight and there is a storm outside.
This creates tension within the reader as we contemplate on what is
about to be done. We feel fear, as Frankenstein is isolated with this
monster that is about to become animated.
Shelley uses descriptive words for the monster to help the reader
imagine it. She contrasts his good features with his bad. She says he
has lustrous black hair and his teeth are pearly white however his
eyes are white and watery, his skin is yellow, his lips were straight
and black and his "complexion shrivelled". Shelley deliberately makes
the description unbalanced so that the bad points overlook the good.
She does this to try and make the monster look hideous and because she
does it makes the reader feel disgusted and fearful of the monster.
Shelley makes the...