Narration In Frankenstein Essay

1513 words - 6 pages

Mary Shelley’s use of a frame story in her novel “Frankenstein” generates the problem of reliable narration as many narrations do. However unlike most novels, this story is told through three different narrations allowing much room for bias and a slight change in the tale. The title character, Victor Frankenstein, is not trust worthy due to his deep personal loathing for his monster or another narrator. This narrator cannot be taken as an accurate depiction due to its lack of empathetic behavior and constant vying for pity but also acts in a manner that is gruesome. The last narrator proves to be most reliable because he has the least amount to do with the actual story other than to pass along Victor’s story and to carry on what happens when one is tainted by science and the pursuit of too much knowledge.
Although “Frankenstein” is the story of Victor and his monster, Walton is the most reliable narrator throughout the novel. However, like most narrator’s, even his retelling of Victor’s story is skewed by prejudice and favoritism of the scientist’s point of view. Yet this could be attributed to the only view points he ever gets to truly hear are from Victor himself and not the monster that he only gets to meet after he comes to mourn his fallen master.
Victor himself is the most biased out of the three narrators based on the pure hatred he holds for the monster. Constantly, he is describing the monster in vivid detail of its grotesque nature, drawing light to its indescribable obscene features. One can only question whether or not he is exaggerating the atrocity of the monster with his own extreme disdain for the creature. “He approached; his countenance bespoke bitter anguish, combined with disdain and malignity, while its unearthly ugliness rendered it almost too horrible for human eyes,” is Victor’s reaction to the reappearance of his creation on page 118 shows to what length Victor finds his monster to be revolting.
Through his consistent and growing hatred of the monster, Victor becomes more of a less reliable narrator and more of a vengeful one. Asking Walton to carry out his quest of destroying his own aberration shows that he is less inclined to depict a story of truth but rather paint a picture of a horrendous killing machine. He entreats Walton to fulfill his final wishes despite any kind of persuasion that the monster is able to offer in order to maintain his life. This begs the question of the monster’s innocence. Could Victor’s portrayal of an evil monster overshadow a creation who desires to be a good person dupe all be to dupe Walton into promising to destroy his monster?
As Victor’s narration makes one question the monster’s true intentions, the creation’s narration also makes us question his actions. On page 143, the monster likens himself to Adam for the way the two came into being however on the next page he also makes the comparison of himself to Satan. “Many times I considered Satan as a fitter emblem of my...

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