This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Sympathy In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Essay

2696 words - 11 pages

Sympathy in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

In her novel, 'Frankenstein', Mary Shelley employs many innovative
literary techniques to invoke feelings of sympathy for the monster.
Sympathy is created by the author both by making the readers pity the
monster’s loathsome existence and by leading them to understand his
violent and cruel actions. We pity the creature because of the way he
is treated by mankind and we can identify with his feelings and
reactions and understand why he behaves as he does. Shelley uses
different narrators throughout the novel and the reader sympathises
with the views of these people to differing degrees. The language
used when describing the physical appearance of the monster and his
feelings is very strong and evocative. The settings and motifs with
which the monster is associated are very dramatic and add to our
sympathy for his lonely existence. The monster’s use of rhetoric is
effective and his speech is eloquent, this is a strong technique by
which the reader is drawn in. Commentators have often compared the
monster to Adam, or to a newborn baby, this challenges the reader’s
view of him. Another technique employed by the author is to lead the
reader to draw parallels between the characters of Victor Frankenstein
and his creation.

The novel is told from the viewpoint of various narrators, a technique
explored by Emily Brontë in Wuthering Heights, which was popular with
writers in the nineteenth century. In Frankenstein, like in Wuthering
Heights, the first narrator is an outsider - Robert Walton - but as
the novel progresses the narrative moves in closer - to Victor, then
to the monster. Each narrator contributes their own feelings and
descriptions of both Victor and the monster. The book begins with the
letters of Robert Walton to his sister Mrs. Saville; this style of
narrative serves to make the story seem more realistic and credible.
The setting in the Arctic wastelands is harsh, cold and alien. Walton
appears to be a very decent and trustworthy person and the reader is
led to believe his initial impressions of Victor Frankenstein as the
innocent victim of terrible circumstances to be correct.

Later Victor Frankenstein tells his story to Walton and the reader is
introduced to the world of Victor, the privileged child of loving
parents who goes to university and becomes a passionate, introverted
young man. He became utterly single-minded in his quest to create ‘an
animal as complex and wonderful as man’. We feel his sense of despair
and horror when he first views his creation, which he calls a
‘catastrophe’. The descriptions the author uses are very strong and
powerful, ‘yellow skin’, ‘watery eyes’, ‘dun-white sockets’,
‘shrivelled complexion’ and ‘straight black lips’. This truly seems
to be a horrific sight. Victor tells of the ‘demoniacal corpse to
which I had so miserably given life’. Yet we know that this is indeed
Victor’s creation and we feel sympathy for the...

Find Another Essay On Sympathy in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

Revenge in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Essay

795 words - 3 pages PAGE 2 Corra English 11 Period 2Revenge in Mary Shelley's FrankensteinRevenge, some say, is a "dish best served cold". In Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley, the main character, Victor, creates a monster that terrorizes his life. Victor and the monster go at it the entire novel, with the monster winning almost every time. Throughout the book, the monster kills mostly everyone close to Victor. He kills his brother, wife, best friend, and indirectly

Friendship in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Essay

1114 words - 4 pages Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein';      Through the exploration of value attached to friendship in Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein';, it is found that Victor, Walton, and the monster each desire a companion to either fall back on during times of misery, to console with, or to learn from. During various periods throughout the novel, it is found that Victor depends heavily on friendship

Good and Evil in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

1418 words - 6 pages Good and Evil in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein "Frankenstein" was written by Mary Shelley. She was born in 1797 and died in 1851. Her parents were also progressive writers, and their work would have influenced Shelley's work. "Frankenstein" is written in the gothic horror genre. The idea of Frankenstein actually came to Mary Shelley in a half waking nightmare. She herself said, "When I placed my head on the pillow

The Historical Perspective in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

1031 words - 4 pages The Historical Perspective in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is an early product of the modern Western world. Written during the Romantic movement of the early 19th century, the book provides insight into issues that are pertinent today. Similar to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Faust, Shelley's Frankenstein concerns individuals' aspirations and what results when those aspirations are attained irresponsibly. While

The Monster in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

2189 words - 9 pages The Monster in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein The novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley was written in 1816 and published in 1818. During this time this time there was social revolution and major scientific changes throughout the world. In 1789 the French revolution took place. This is where the peasants revolted against the lords and the royal family; they stood for liberty, equality and fraternity. (Shelley was born into

The Real Monster in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

1930 words - 8 pages Frankenstein is a classic horror novel, but with a twist of many other genres. Written by Mary Shelley, it was a novel which mixed many exciting elements, such as horror, drama and romance. The story follows a young doctor named Victor Frankenstein, who has an obsession to reincarnate the dead, but his attempts at this fail horribly, and Victor finds himself in deep peril, as the monster stalks him throughout the world. I aim to

Victor's Destruction in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

936 words - 4 pages Victor's Destruction in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Mary Shelley, in her book Frankenstein, makes several allusions to the fact that Victor Frankenstein is usurping the role of God in bringing his creature to life. The point of the book seems to be that a human who attempts to usurp the role of God will be heavily punished. Victor Frankenstein is severely punished. He loses everyone he loves before perishing himself in the arctic wastes

Blind Ambition in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

830 words - 3 pages Blind Ambition in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Mary Shelley, the renowned author of Frankenstein, explores the consequences of man and monster chasing ambition blindly. Victor Frankenstein discovered the secret that allowed him to create life. His understanding of how bodies operated and the science of human anatomy enabled him to make this discovery and apply it to the creation of his monster. Walton wished to sail to the arctic

Fear of Pregnancy in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

2103 words - 8 pages monster, discusses child development and education and how the nurturing of a loving parent is extremely important in the moral development of an individual. Thus, in Frankenstein, Mary Shelley examines her own fears and thoughts about pregnancy, childbirth, and child development. Pregnancy and childbirth, as well as death, was an integral part of Mary Shelley's young adult life. She had four children and a miscarriage that almost killed her

Romantic Themes in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

1179 words - 5 pages Natural and Supernatural in Shelley's Frankenstein and Poe's M.S. Found in a Bottle." The Relationship between the Natural and Supernatural in Shelley. GRIN Publishing GmbH, 2006. Web. 19 Mar. 2014. Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein Or, The Modern Prometheus. New York, NY: Signet Classics, 2013. Print. Smith, Nicole. "Elements of Romanticism in Frankenstein by Mary Shelley." Article Myriad. N.p., 6 Dec. 2011. Web. 16 Mar. 2014.

Psycho-Analysis in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

2368 words - 9 pages Psycho-Analysis in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Sigmund Freud's studies in psychoanalysis are uncannily fore-grounded in the late romantic period. The works of William Wordsworth, Percy B. Shelley, Lord Byron, and Mary Shelley, all function as poetic preludes to Freud's 18th century field. Particularly, it is Mary Shelley's Frankenstein that creates a fictional rendering for psychoanalyst. In Frankenstein, Victor's rejection of the Monster

Similar Essays

Sympathy In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Essay

1526 words - 6 pages Sympathy in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Frankenstein for many people is a huge fiendish monster, a brainless oaf with a couple of neck bolts, who is a horrible murderer. This image has been created by Boris Karloff and other television/film images. I also thought like that, believing Frankenstein to be a monstrous murderer, so when I was met with the text I was surprised to find as a mad scientist who creates a monster

Sympathy In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Essay

3050 words - 12 pages Sympathy in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Mary Shelley was born in 1797. She had a difficult life with many family upsets’, miscarriages and suffered personal depression; she died aged 53. Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein firstly as a short ghost story but it was published as a novel in 1816. Frankenstein is a Gothic novel and it deals with two genres, Gothicism and science fiction. Gothicism is part of the Romantic Movement that

In Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" Essay

1117 words - 4 pages 1"Frankenstein"Through the exploration of value attached to friendship in Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein", it is found that Victor, Walton, and the monster each desire a companion to either fall back on during times of misery, to console with, or to learn from. During various periods throughout the novel, it is found that Victor depends heavily on friendship when tragedy occurs to keep him from going insane. Walton desires the friendship of a man

Romanticism In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Essay

2514 words - 10 pages Mary Shelley, with her brilliant tale of mankind's obsession with two opposing forces: creation and science, continues to draw readers with Frankenstein's many meanings and effect on society. Frankenstein has had a major influence across literature and pop culture and was one of the major contributors to a completely new genre of horror. Frankenstein is most famous for being arguably considered the first fully-realized science fiction novel. In