The Developments And Changes The Monster Undergoes In Frankenstein By Mary Shelley

8976 words - 36 pages

The Developments and Changes the Monster Undergoes in Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Frankenstein is a classic novel by Mary Shelley, published in 1818. It
recounts the life of Victor Frankenstein; Victor is a young,
idealistic student of natural philosophy whose aim is to discover the
elixir of life. He succeeds in his aim and consequently brings into
existence a monstrous creation. However, he abandons his creation,
which is then forced to discover the complicated ways in which society
and the world works, in a very cruel but candid and unequivocal
manner.

The novel begins in the epistolary style, presenting the story in a
series of letters. These letters are from Robert Walton, a British
sailor who describes and communicates to his sister, though
correspondence, his search for fame and glory by exploring the North
Pole. More importantly, his letters also announce the discovery and
rescue of a stranger, Victor Frankenstein. Consequently, Victor tells
the story of his life to Robert Walton, who then includes it in his
letters home to his sister.

Therefore, Frankenstein is essentially an account of the life of
Victor Frankenstein as related to him by a British sailor, Robert
Walton, by whom he has been found on the ice floes of the Arctic
Ocean. However, Frankenstein's story contains yet another narrative,
that of the monster he has created. Furthermore, the monster includes
within his narrative the story of the De Laceys, the family of exiles
whom he unsuccessfully tries to make contact with.

To synopsize, Frankenstein is one novel, but within it there are
several narratives and consequently it contains several contrasting
points of view. These points of view are stories told in the first
person, initially starting with Walton, then Victor Frankenstein and
finally that of the monster. Walton's narrative is the frame in which
the other narratives are embedded. However, the monster's narrative is
structurally central to the novel; without the monster's narrative
there is less sympathy for his character, because within his narrative
he shares his experiences and the reader can obtain a different
perspective of the characters. Each narrative consists of the
thoughts, views, emotions and experiences of solely, the character
that it belongs to.

Victor begins with an account of his early family life and background
in Geneva. He tells Walton of his tranquil and serene domestic life
and of Elizabeth, the young orphan who at a very early age became part
of his distinguished family. He remembers how his mother died of
scarlet fever, which she caught from Elizabeth, and that his mother's
dying wish was that Elizabeth and Frankenstein would one day marry.

"She joined the hands of Elizabeth and myself. 'My children,' she
said, "My firmest hopes of future happiness were placed on...

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