Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

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The work of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley addresses various themes throughout the novel. The themes are portrayed through numerous characters such as Victor Frankenstein, Elizabeth Frankenstein, The Monster, Felix, Agatha, Safie, and The Old Man. Through the character of The Monster, Mary Shelley develops the theme of an outsider. Shelly uses the monster, to demonstrate the societies rejection of an Outsider.

The creator of Victor Frankenstein created the Monster. Victor Frankenstein made The Monster by relentless experimentation at a graveyard house. Frankenstein inspiration came from the works of the 2,000-year-old books, which had helped him conduct his experiment. The old books consisted of procedures that were outdated, which talked about magicians and the natural laws without any science based knowledge or concrete evidence of how things were made. “It was on a dreary night of November … when Frankenstein saw the dull yellow eye of the creature open; it breathed hard, and a convulsion motion agitated its limb,” (pg.35). As Frankenstein had just watched his own creation come alive he became scared and of his creation. Frankenstein had led the monster down by not being there for The Monster. This event in the lab had marked the first of his unhappiness. Instead all he got was the sense of being an outsider no matter what society he went to they rejected him because of his physical appearance. All the Monster had ever wanted was to be accepted, to be loved, and to be happy no matter what the consequences are. Basically, Frankenstein was the first person that made The Monster an outsider.

The Monster feeling unhappy walked unwillingly to a destination that would accept him for who he is. “It was noon when I awoke; and allured by the warmth of the sun, which shone brightly on the white ground, I determined to recommence my travels … I proceeded across the fields for several hours, until at sunset I arrived at a village … The whole village was roused; some fled, some attacked me,” (pg. 73-74). What The Monster had yearned for was the affection of people, however this was exactly the opposite. When The Monster walked into the pub, the people that were in there started to scream and use physical force to try to get The Monster out. The people rejected The Monster because of his menacing features. This is an incident that should have never happened and this would have never happened if Frankenstein did not abandon and made him into an Outsider. The first feelings he ever had were fear, jealousy, revenge, unhappiness, and lonely.

The Monster feeling the pain through the rejection of the society walked to another destination in hope for happiness. “I cannot describe to you the agony that these reflections inflicted on me: … For so I loved, in an innocent, half-painful self-deceit, to call them,” (Frankenstein, page 87-89). The Monster is talking about the feelings The Monster was yearning for love, for care, and to be someone other than the invisible Outsider. Seeing the affection that the cottagers had and the love towards each other, made the Monster jealous because he never had any of those emotions. The Monster never had relationships with anyone, never had affection, never had father to son love, and never had a father in his childhood.
As you can see, The Monster wanted all of these things that he would go to great depths to try to win the cottagers affection. However what he got in the end, by trying to please the cottagers was completely not what he had expected. “Felix darted forward, and with supernatural force tore me from his father … I quitted the cottage, and in the general tumult escaped unperceived to my hovel,” (pg.97). This goes to show the rejection of the monster by the people, the three cottagers had formed a little society where they had lived. Safie and Agatha were scared of The Monster and ran off while Felix ran to his father’s aid and tried to loosen The Monster’s grasp from The Old Man.
Through the character of The Monster, Mary Shelley develops the theme of The Outsider. The society rejects the monster because of the physical appearance. The Monster became an outsider due to his creator. On top of that the villagers had treated The Monster like an Outsider. On topping that, Felix’s actions towards seeing The Monster for the first time reinstated that The Monster was an Outsider. Basically, The Monster was always an outsider from birth to his present. What I learned is that you shouldn’t judge a person by its cover. This means you shouldn’t always judge someone based on his or her looks. You should base a person on what they have inside, what they have in their heart, not the vice versa.





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