Mary Shelley uses many language devices to portray conflict in the novel Frankenstein. In chapter 5, Mary Shelley uses alliteration to convey to the reader the emotional conflict the monster is forced to face. Victor finally finishes his creation and observes its appearance: “I beheld the wretch -- the miserable monster who I created”. This suggests to the reader that Victor is not pleased with his creation as he calls him a “monster”; the word “monster” makes the reader visualize a horrendous, spine-chilling, eerie creation creating a dark ambience. Furthermore, the author uses feelings to describe the monster.
Shelley portrays the desire of knowledge as lust which, if left unhindered, can drive a man to peril. Although Frankenstein's initial intentions were to exceed the boundaries of science the over ambitious nature led him to be 'hidden in darkness' and 'locked up from nature' leading the monster to Frankenstein's peril. A feature of the gothic genre is Victor's psychotic nature which emphasizes the dark side of the human psyche in emotional and physical form. Some critics such as Rebecca Wallis have argued that the 'dark Sid elf the human psyche' can be found within victor's sexuality. The point in the novel which this critic focuses on is the moment before intercourse between Victor and Elizabeth when Victor states ' this night is dreadful, very dreadful'.
It is said that the monster’s ‘hideous looks’ represents Victor’s abnormal personality. The theme of isolation also represents doubling between Victor and the monster. Although Victor appears to be surrounded by a loving family, he ‘shuns the face of man’ and decides to become isolated from his family and the world and is trapped in a bubble of science and galvanism. Similarly, isolation is shown through the monster. He is rejected by the De Laceys and Frankenstein and ponders the question: ‘Am I not alone, miserably alone?’.
However, the creation of the monster did not have to result in such horrific acts. Victor was mortified by his creation, and immediately rejected and abandoned it to face the world of judgmental people alone. “Was I, then, a monster, a blot upon the earth, from which all men fled and whom all men disowned?” (Shelly, 108) It is believed that this irrepressible feeling of abandonment and the continuous rejection angered the monster so intensely that he sought to soothe his revengeful soul by murdering those closest to the one whom he felt responsible for
To the reader, it seems that Shelly consistently reminds us of the lack of responsibility on the part of Frankenstein, and the monster’s inherent innocence, who is only made evil by his circumstances. But like the reader, Shelley too, is unclear about whose behaviour is most unjustifiable and unpardonable. With reference to David Punter’s essay “Gothic and Romanticism”, Victor Frankenstein can be compared to the ‘Wanderer’, the Wanderer’s essential characteristics being that he is hero and victim both, who defies God by crossing the laws of mortality and dares to touch the untouchable. The Wanderer is never satisfied with the restrictions placed on him by an ordered society, and he ultimately suffers for his disobedience. Victor clearly fits the description of the Wanderer, as his obsessive need to create life and be its sole creator has a hint of an unnatural desperation to satisfy his ego and attain gratitude.
It is Frankenstein’s responsibility to teach the monster and see it as a friend. It’s because Frankenstein rejects his creature that causes it to become evil. “Oh No mortal could support the horror of that countenance. A mummy again endued with animation could not be so hideous as that wretch. I had gazed on him while unfinished; he was ugly then, but when those muscles and joints were rendered capable of motion, it became a thing suck as even Dante could not have conceived.”(pg.49) Each time the monster killed it was a consequence of Victor’s actions.
Victor waves his fist around and threatens to attack the monster, but is able to avoid Victor with his speed. The monster claimed to be a virtuous creature, until the actions of humans made him miserable. “All men hate the wretched; how then, must I be hated, who am miserable beyond all living things! Yet you, my creator, detest and spurn me, thy creature, to whom thou art bound by ties only dissoluble by the annihilation of one of us.” (Vol. II Chapter II, Page 117).
Frankenstein wanted to recreate his mother, but instead he made a creature comprised of the socially repressed elements of Frankenstein (the monster) and his wish for his mother. Frankenstein's creature comprises all of the unacceptable traits of humans, those we usually suppress. These traits may actually be a representation of those traits that Frankenstein wishes he had. Mary Shelley tries to humanize the position of the impossible monster to imagine what it would be like for a monster to sustain personhood when everybody around him treats him as an utterly outcast to society. Shelley is trying to show that the creature is not inherently monstrous, but
His very complex duality. He is at once man in his pure state before the Fall (the Fall = evil), and yet the incarnation of evil itself (what with all his murdering and such). Hmm…this is starting to sound a little like Victor Frankenstein. Complex duality…conflicting characterization…could it be that the monster resembles his maker in his duality? Let’s talk about his name, and how it isn’t Frankenstein.
Frankenstein was not a good creator, he was actually trying desperately to kill his monster he made. Frankenstein said, “I devote myself, either in my life or death, to his destruction” (Shelley 191). In a movie version of this story, the monster asks, “Did you ever consider the consequences of your actions? You made me, and you left me to die” (Frankenstein). Here the creature shows his feelings about his creator.