The Themes Of Good And Evil In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

1234 words - 5 pages

How are the themes of good and evil explored in Chapters 16 and 17 of
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein?

Not only does the idea of ‘good vs. evil’ have relevance in today’s
society, but some of the ideas behind the medical advances shown in
‘Frankenstein’ and the moral issues of creating new life in unnatural
ways such as cloning, should we really be making life for scientific
advances or should we be leaving to nature?

During Chapters 16 and 17, Frankenstein is telling the sailor what the
Monster had told him when they met. He recounts the misery the Monster
felt after the family he’d been watching for sometime and had begun to
love, shunned him when he revealed himself to them, this id the loving
side of the Monster coming through. He tells of Frankenstein how he
felt when he burned down the family’s cottage in his rage; he’s evil
because he loves too much. He also tells Frankenstein about how he
saved a girl from drowning in a river, and how the father of the girl
shot him when he saw her in his arms. Lastly in chapter 16 he tells
Frankenstein how he killed his younger brother, William, and how he
planted the locket on Josephine in the barn, because he knew she would
never love him. Through most of Chapter 17 we see Frankenstein and the
Monster arguing over whether Frankenstein will make the Monster a
female for the Monster to have as a companion. Frankenstein feels it
is wrong to bring another Monster in to the world in case it has
devastating effects on the world. The Monster how ever blackmails
Frankenstein, saying that he’ll make his life a living hell if he

The relationship between the Monster and Frankenstein is a complicated
one. The Monster sees Frankenstein as his creator and his father, but
he hates him because he made him ugly and scary, this consequently led
him to be unwanted, unloved and angry, but he cannot kill Frankenstein
because he is relying on him to make him happy, by making him a
companion who will not shun him. ‘Cursed, cursed creator why did I
live?’ this shows that he hates Frankenstein and he would have
preferred it if he had never had been brought to life; the fact that
he exists makes him so unhappy. Frankenstein is angry at the Monster
for behaving the way he does and for demanding the things he does, ‘I
could no longer suppress the rage that burned within me.’ He is scared
of the Monster because he has the power to make his live miserable.
Lastly he is proud of the Monster because he is proof that He could
create new life from the dead and all his work over the last few years
hasn’t been a complete waste of time. Both characters can see the good
and the evil within one another however both characters concentrate on
the evil things they see in the other.

The setting for the most part of the book is very dark. The setting in
these two chapters is no exception; Frankenstein and the Monster are
talking in and ice-cave, on a glacier, which is a cold, dark, and

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