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Representation Of Some Characters In Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein".

3869 words - 15 pages

The creature in the tale of Frankenstein, the Modern Prometheus, is an intriguing character who possesses both human and monster traits. He is loving and gentle at the beginning of his life, but after several nasty encounters with humans, he becomes bitter and seeks revenge on Frankenstein. Frankenstein, his creator, comes across as the protagonist of the story at first. The reader learns of his heroic quest to find and understand the secret of life. But when his most prized possession, a huge human being created from dead body parts, comes to life, he is repulsed by its hideousness and disowns it. Throughout the novel, we see the true nature of the creature caring and innocent, but Frankenstein's negligence makes the creature bitter and angry and he retaliates by murdering his close friends and relatives.In the beginning of his life, the creature is represented as a newborn being who is as innocent and confused as a baby is. He experiences strange senses, which he could not distinguish at first, but gradually is able to separate and act upon them. Childlike in his curiosity and experiences, he gradually comes to understand and appreciate the beauty of the world. He is an intelligent being and is always seeking to learn new things. From the De Lacey family, the creature learns to speak and he teaches himself to read from three novels. This education gives the creature the chance to fit into society. However, when he does try to make contact with humans, he is abused for his terrifying form. This causes a bitter reaction from the monster and he seeks Frankenstein to confront him.Frankenstein is represented as a 'mad scientist' whose obsession causes his demise. He starts out as a passionate, young science student who is always seeking for knowledge on what creates life:"The world was to me a secret which I desired to divine. Curiosity, earnest research to learn the hidden laws of nature, gladness akin to rapture, as they were unfolded to me, are among the earliest sensations I can remember."(p. 36)This passion became a deadly obsession when Frankenstein tries to seek hidden and secret knowledge of life. So absorbed in his 'heroic' quest, Frankenstein cuts himself from friends and family. Slowly, he becomes an egotistical, selfish man, whose interests are only of his own benefit. He creates life for his own research, but takes no responsibility for it. He abandons the creature, which stirs his hatred for humankind. He denies the monster the right to be happy by destroying a female of the same kind as the creature. His actions render him more a villain, than the hero he started out to be. The reader is presented with the question of who (if anyone) is the real hero in the novel. Is it the intelligent, benevolent, eloquent creature who was abandoned since 'birth' and just wants to be accepted:"I admired ... the gentle manners and amiable qualities of my cottagers, but I was shut out from intercourse with them ... which rather increased than satisfied...

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