Mary Shelley's Presentation of the Relationship Between Frankenstein and the Creature
'It was on a dreary night of November that I beheld the accomplishment
of my toils.' These are the famous words of Mary Shelley that foretold
the birth of Frankenstein's monster. A tale of catastrophe, love and
endless yet hopeless toil; the tale of Victor Frankenstein is a
perfect example of early gothic literature. Born on a dreary summer in
1816, his story has been immortalised in not only the pages of many
books but also on the silver screen.
Like many of its genre, Frankenstein is a terrifically dark yet
pioneering story. Its graveyard settings, the persecuted maiden, and
the seemingly forlorn character that excels at melancholy, are all
signs of a gothic influenced novel. Yet it still contains that spark
of creativity that sets it apart from the rest of the genre.
Written at a time of great scientific discoveries, Frankenstein pushes
at the boundaries of medical theories. Like many of the scientists of
the time, Victor Frankenstein's efforts, although frowned upon as to
their base fundamentals were still admired and held readers for
centuries to follow.
Frankenstein (or The Modern Prometheus) tells the story of Geneva born
Victor Frankenstein and his never-ending efforts in the search for the
gift of life. Following his mother's death during childbirth he began
to strive to find an answer to the finality that is death. It was
through his experiments that he came to create the creature that would
forever haunt his life.
One of the more appealing aspects of the book is the most unfortunate
relationship between Frankenstein and the creature. Like the creator
and creation that they are; they can neither live with or without each
other. Time and time again throughout the book this is proven through
not only Frankenstein's ever-persistent hunting of the creature but
also the creatures need to be close to Frankenstein. It is this
relationship that Mary Shelley exploits, through the use of language,
which keeps the reader interested throughout the book.
It is not until the fifth chapter that Frankenstein's lust for the
creature, and ensuing obsession for the gift of life is quite
realised. Set on a 'dreary night of November', as 'the rain pattered
dismally against the panes', Mary Shelly immediately provides the
reader with a classic gothic scene, readying them for the obvious
catastrophes that are about to ensue. The addition of the tension
provided by Frankenstein's comments as he 'collected the instruments
of life around him', and suffered 'with an anxiety that almost
amounted to agony' stand well in giving the reader some idea of how
long this moment has been in preparation.
Shelley goes on to provide a gruesome description of the creature:
'His yellow skin scarcely covered the...