Frankenstein II Essay, Research Paper
The gothic novel Frankenstein, by Mary Shelly shows how constant rejection can cause someone to become a monster. After working for years on the creation of life, Doctor Victor Frankenstein realizes that he has messed with power that doesn’t belong in the hands of humans. The creature that he creates does not come out with the expected beauty and perfection that he had envisioned, but rather with a wretched and monstrous appearance. When the creature comes to life the first thing that he witnesses is his creator’s terror. Victor runs out of the room and is later awakened in the night by the monster and is forced to scramble out of bed and away from his creation. The creature is forced into a solitary life of alienation and rejection. The creature becomes more violent and vindictive throughout the novel and gets into many conflicts with the people that it encounters. The climax of the story occurs when Victor Frankenstein agrees to create another monster to be his first creation’s companion. The creature agrees that if
Frankenstein succeeds in his promise that he and his companion will retreat into obscurity and never cause any more destruction. Although Victor agrees to
go through with the plan, he decides to abort the procedure because he realizes that he is just making the same mistakes over again. The second monster is destroyed before the first creature’s eyes, and he swears revenge on the doctor. Shortly following Frankenstein’s wedding the creature sneaks into their room and murders his new wife. Eventually the creature gives up on life and decides to cremate itself. The creature grows up feeling alienated and unwanted in society. These cultural influences, along with his constant rejection drive the creature to become a true monster and to cause the damage that he does.
The monster is created with a gentle and playful spirit, but through cultural influences it changes into a destructive and violent demon. When the creature first comes to life it glares up at its creator only to see his terror and disgust. As Doctor Frankenstein’s monster came to life “the beauty of the dream vanished” (Shelly 58). He no longer loved his creation or what he was doing. Instead of caring for the monster by raising it and helping it, he abandoned it. During the night of the monster’s creation, he visited the doctor at his bed. As the creature stared at his creator “His jaws opened, and he muttered some inarticulate sounds, while a grin wrinkled his cheeks” (Shelly 58). When the monster first comes to life he is infantile and stupid, and does not have the evil intention that he has later in the novel. As he looks into the face of his creator he feels the same joy and warmth that a newborn baby does as it looks into its mothers eyes. Through being rejected and forced into a life apart from people, the creature becomes a monster.
The creature becomes violent and destructive after constant alienation from society. Mark Edmundson describes this in his essay when he writes, “The creature begins life as a surpassingly sensitive being, a Rousseauian child of nature. It’s only after
being repeatedly humiliated, rebuffed, and mistreated by humanity in general and his maker in particular that the creature runs amok.”(Edmundson 24). The creature does not enter the world with any of the thoughts and motives of the people from which he was created. On the contrary he is ignorant and gentle and does not even know that he is disgusting. When the creature ventures into the world he finds that not only is he not wanted, but also he is a monster and even his creator dispises him. This along with the evident pain of knowing that his own creator has no love for him transforms him from the gentle giant into a violent monster.
The creature that Doctor Frankenstein created was too hideous to fit into society, and therefor became a violent outcast. The monster despiratly tried to fit in and find someone to be its companion. “Wherever the monster goes, people reject him immediatley because of his monstrous appearance. It seems he will never be anything but this horrible apparition from another psychic space, this embodiment of what everyone represses in order to enter society: the archaic, physical, nameless mother” (Collings 252). The monster is not monstrous on the inside. When he attemps to converse with a blind man he is temperarily successful, but that triumph is later thwarted by the blind mans nephew who walks in on him and panics. The creatures terrifying appearance causes society to reject him. These cultural responses create the monster that the creature becomes.
Frankenstein’s creature was not created as an evil monster, but rather was created innocent and then was transformed into a monster due to his cultural influences. He was created as a gentle and harmless creature without any knowledge that he was unwanted in
the world. Soon he realized that he was a mistake and didn’t fit in with the rest of society. Even his creator, a man who should have put as much work into him after bringing him to life as he did prior to bringing him to life, did not love him. The constant rejection and feeling of alienation received by the monster cause it to become destructive and evil.
Collings, David. “The Monster and the Imaginary Mother: A Lacanain Reading of
Frankenstein.” From Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein. Boston: Bedford Books of St. Martins Press, 1992.
Edmundson, Mark. Nighmare on Main St.. Cambridge. Harvard University Press, 1997.
Shelly, Mary. Frankenstein. Boston: Bedford Books of St. Martins Press, 1992.