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. This changed my opinion
greatly at first.
As the central characters were the narrators, they were obviously
going to be bias in their description of the novel. They would always
make themselves out as innocent or say that someone else was to blame.
For example Victor Frankenstein described the monster as 'the devil'
and 'a demon', whereas the monster describes itself as wanting 'to be
loved' and a 'benevolent soul', that is until he was rejected and
isolated. Also the characters will portrait their situations and other
characters to their advantage, making the text quite unreliable.
Frankenstein can also be 'melodramatic' and may be using this to evoke
sympathy for himself.
In this novel, I feel sympathy for both Victor Frankenstein and the
monster. I am sympathetic towards the monster as Victor Frankenstein
started this whole thing by creating it, although the monster killing
another that had not harmed him was unjustified.
When first created the monster is treated like an inhuman wretch.
Frankenstein was too swept up in the idea of bringing an inanimate
object to life to realise that what he was creating a monster.
'Unable to endure the aspect of the being I had created, I rushed out
of the room'
When the monster awoke Frankenstein ran from it and tried to sleep, as
if pretending nothing had happened, showing that Frankenstein had no
thoughts of taking this as his responsibility. As the creator and
father of the monster, it was Frankenstein's duty to teach it right
from wrong, to care and nurture it like you would a child, because
that is what the monster was inside- an unknowing child. As soon as he
was created, the monster had a need for love; it reaches an
outstretched hand towards Frankenstein showing a want for recognition
'A grin wrinkled his cheeks'
The monster even tries to communicate but it can only utter
'inarticulate sounds' as it was yet to be taught how to speak, which
should have been the task of Frankenstein. A grin is the first
expression of the monster, showing he was primarily looking for
companionship and affection from Frankenstein.
'Fearing each sound as if it were to announce the approach of the
Frankenstein fears the creature he has created and does not give him
the chance to become accepted.
Throughout the novel, the monster wants love and friendship but he
does not get...