One of the key features Mary Shelley explores in her novel 'Frankenstein' is the dark side if the human psyche. This can be demonstrated through the characters of Frankenstein, Elizabeth and the monster via the desire for forbidden knowledge of science. Shelley also explores the sexual repression of Victor Frankenstein which could ultimately lead him to a 'dark side' of his human psyche. Therefore it can be said that Mary Shelley does explore the latter to a large extent. One of the ways Shelley explores the dark side of the human psyche is the suppressed and forbidden knowledge which Victor Frankenstein is hungry for.
In the novel Frankenstein, author Marry Shelley depicts character Victor Frankenstein as a scientist with a strong passion for forbidden knowledge and finding the answers to life through science. Though his intentions are good this leads him to the creation of a monster. Throughout the novel Frankenstein is constantly encountered by obstacles that test his passions for science and responsibility for his creation. For Victor it seems that the choice to abandon the monster is the easier path, rather than taking care of his creation. In the beginning of the book, right after the creation of the monster, Victor fled his home to get away from the creature, only to return and find that it had escaped.
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).
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.
Victor represents society intent on pushing the boundaries and themonster represents the product of this curiosity; of technology gone wrong;technology without ethics. “Accursed creator! Why do you form a monster so hideousthat even you turn away from me in disgust?” The monsters constant rhetoricquestioning addresses these ethics and illuminates the monster as a symbol of innocence in the face of corruption. Victor’s relationships also allow insight into themoral dilemma of creation. Victor’s positive family relationship is juxtaposed againsthis spite for the monster, a somewhat child of his.
Primarily it is not Frankenstein who has to suffer the consequences of his creating life, it is the Creature. But for this suffering he makes Frankenstein notice the pain he has caused the Creature by taking revenge and killing the people Frankenstein most cares about. In Frankenstein, the neglect of duty never leads to anything good. Having abandoned his duty of care towards the Creature, Frankenstein then has to learn from his mistakes by suffering the consequences of this
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
“Gothic and Romanticism” – David Punter Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus and a Monster’s inevitable doom In Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein, it appears that Shelley attempts to draw an important analogy between the lone genius Prometheus, the archetypal seeker after forbidden wisdom, and her own protagonist Victor Frankenstein, who also dares to transgress boundaries in order to create life. Thus the subtitle The Modern Prometheus. However, it is crucial to note the invariable difference between both old and modern Prometheus. Whereas old Prometheus suffers alone for his sin, in the case of Shelley’s Prometheus, Frankenstein, the monster involuntarily partakes in the sin, by being its final product, and therefore has to suffer too. 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.
Inhumanity and monstrosity is depicted in Frankenstein, through the characters of Victor and the creature, whom can be perceived as doppelgangers. Initially the creature is seen as physically horrifying, which is expressed through description, the hyperbole “his face was wrinkled into contortions too horrible for human eyes to behold,” but is initially benevolent until contact with civilisation transformed him into a vengeful murderer. This also evokes Rousseau’s Romantic theory of the noble savage; that man’s existence is superior amongst nature, when he is not exposed to the malicious influences of society. Towards the end of the novel, Victor is also seen to be a monster, as he did not take responsibility for his creation, which leads to his realisation, “I, not in deed, but in effect, was the true murderer.” This is also a similar case for Tyrell in Blade Runner; however, he does not feel guilt for the treatment and injustice of his replicants. “Commerce is our goal,” is his slogan, depicting his greed and inhumanity, which is reflective of the economically driven 20th century.
The Oxford Dictionary of English states that “monster” is an inhumane, cruel, or wicked person; or a thing or animal that is excessively or dauntingly large; how about to criticize or reprimand severely; or the Latin word “monstrum” meaning portent, omen, or well monster. The purpose of my research here is to show the similarities between us and those infamous creatures that we’ve feared since childhood. All monsters share some character flaws like greed, envy, recklessness, obsession, and the urge or need to cause destruction. Humans share these flaws with monsters. We share greed, greed sadly is what drives and motivates all of us someway or some how Van Fossen Most if not all monsters are characterized by being gross, large, crude.