More Sympathy For The Creature Than Frankenstein

1321 words - 5 pages

The novel, Frankenstein was written by Mary Shelley and was first published in the year 1818. Although it was supposedly a failure at the time it was released, (a time of many scientific advances, especially in human anatomy), the novel has never gone out of print and certain questions about the book have never, and most likely, will never be answered. In the essay I hope to give my view on the question: which of the two characters does the reader have most sympathy for, Frankenstein or the creature.
Victor Frankenstein’s narration of the novel immediately puts the reader into his exclusive mindset, and therefore we are only given his feelings and his perspective on the events. This being so, we are more easily able to sympathise with his predicament. For instance, we are able to find sympathy for him at the news of his brother’s death, and indeed the rest of his family. The suffering that Victor goes through here is characteristic of this type of gothic novel, and is common in romantic fiction. We also feel sorry for Victor as he had “worked hard for nearly two years” in the process, ruining his health and depriving himself of rest, only for the “beauty of the dream” to vanish with the animation of the creature. He uses personification to make his “dream” seem more important, and to make his loss more sharply felt.
Of course, Victor’s narration adds emphasis to his suffering, something that he does not do when referring to the creature, or if he does it is to emphasise the creatures “inhumanity” etc. If it were the creature narrating, I believe that the events would be given in a more two sided fashion.
Victors narration changes the perspective in which we perceive the novel. Victor is constantly seeking to gain more sympathy with his listener, Walton, through his telling of the events. He exaggerates the creatures ugliness, ‘abhorred wretch’, so that Walton views Victors involvement in a better light than he would have, had the creature been narrating, although the creature would probably have given a more truthful account that that of Victor.
In the build up to the creation of the creature many techniques are used to build up the level of tension in the atmosphere. Pathetic fallacy is used to bring a layer of apprehension, as Victor prepares to give life to the creature, “It was a dreary night in November that I beheld the accomplishment of my toils” this description of the weather, or environment, helps to describe the mood of the characters, and gives a hint as to the context of the coming events. The line “dreary night in November” makes us think that something unpleasant is about to happen. Shelley has used words like “toils” which give the reader a slight sense of foreboding, if Shelley had, instead of using “the accomplishment of my toils” used “the accomplishment of my adventure” then the effect on the reader would have been different. Shelley then increases the sense of foreboding by using more pathetic fallacy, “the rain...

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