Sympathy For The Devil Essay

2310 words - 9 pages

The gothic novel is previously associated with being a ‘rebellion against constraining neoclassical aesthetic ideals of order and unity, in order to recover a suppressed primitive and barbaric imaginative freedom.’ (Botting, 1996: 98) It is often considered a premature manifestation of the emerging values of Romanticism. Although the gothic genre is somewhat shadowy and difficult to define it can be seen as having a number of characteristics or conventions. This can be observed in Frankenstein including the ‘stereotypical settings, characters and plots, an interest in the sublime, the production of excessive emotion in the reader, an emphasis on suspense, the notion of the double and the presence of the supernatural.’ (Botting, 1996: 102) The genre develops more than an understanding of the various modes of destructive violence, social repressions, and disturbing sexual energies characterizing particular moments of modernity. It begins to be integral to the formation self-representation and maintenance of the modern world we inhabit. The degree in which the protagonist characters in the novel portrayed as either innately virtuous or evil and its contribution to their identity. The novel Frankenstein finds itself a victim of psychoanalytical criticism. The purpose of this essay is to investigate the identity of Frankenstein and his relation to the creature using the psychoanalytic theory.

This essay will discuss the evidence showing the reason why the creature is a more appealing character by observing closely the relationship between Victor Frankenstein and his monster. In addition, the epistolary form used in the novel as well as character development will also be referenced. The monster represents a part of Frankenstein's fractured psyche as well as a symbol and foil of Frankenstein's phallic desires.

This section will observe how Mary Shelley presents the structure and form of the novel and how it relates to being one of the vital points in concluding the creature is a more appealing character than Frankenstein. Shelley presents her monster within a series of retrospective embedded narratives, framed by Captain Walton’s letters to his sister, and includes not only Frankenstein's first person narration of his life but also a long section in which the monster himself is allowed to relate his experiences from his own subjective stance. Shelley uses a vital literary device known as the epistolary form. This is when a novel uses a series of documents usually in the form of letters that tell the story; using letters between Walton and his sister to frame both Victor's and the creature's narrative. The creature speaks of 'the deformity of my figure' (Shelley, 1818: 90) and most poignantly when he sees himself reflected in a pool, he says 'I became fully convinced that I was in reality the monster that I am' (Shelley, 1818: 90). He fits the parameters of "monster" in his not truly human status, his murderous crimes, and his size, and...

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