Frankenstein Character Empathy Essay, Research Paper
Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley, is a novel, which explores many of the characteristics of gothic romanticism. Dreary gothic settings, a focus on the supernatural, love, and nature, are all key elements of this novel. It also delves into the topic of the human emotion, bringing the reader to a closer understanding of each character. Shelley often relates the depression or burdens of the characters so well that the reader feels pity for them. As I read this novel, I was compelled to empathize with each of the major characters.
Robert Walton is the first character in the novel for, whom I felt I could relate to sympathetically. Through his letters to his sister in the beginning of the novel, Shelley illustrates his feelings of loneliness. Robert writes of his desire for companionship in each letter and with each, his anxiety is shown to be increasing. He tells Margaret things like, I desire the company of a man who could sympathise with me but I bitterly feel the want of a friend (Pg. 4). The reader is eased into empathizing with Robert, as Shelley clearly depicts the emotions that he is feeling. Closing sentence
The monster is another friendless character that Shelley compels the reader to feel for. There are many more aspects about the monster that can be pitied than of Robert Walton. His hideousness, failed attempts at human interaction, and primary desertion by his own creator all make excellent avenues for Shelley to bring the reader to terms with the monster s afflictions. A choice example of this is when the monster attempts to befriend a young boy and receives only hurtful remarks from him, monster! Ugly wretch! You wish to tear me to pieces you are an ogre and loaded me with epithets which carried despair to my heart (Pg. 102). When the monster says, that despair is brought to his heart by the boy s hurtful expressions, I immediately comprehended his emotions. Although he is a monster , I was able to empathize with his anguishes.
Victor is an even more complex character than the other two, offering even more motives for the reader s sensitivity to him. His anguishes are always brought about by his own creation, which plagues him so arduously, that his mental and physical health is impacted severely. After the monster murders his wife, Shelley demonstrates Victor s sorrows, Could I behold this, and live? Alas! Life is obstinate, and clings closest where it is most hated (Pg. 144). This is Shelley s paramount of her generation empathetic emotions in the reader. At this point in the novel, Victor has lost nearly all that he cares for. Not even Adolph Hitler himself could pretend to feel no emotion for Victor after this.
Shelley s story is one that seizes upon the reader s emotions, drawing tremendous empathy for the characters. By tapping the reader s feelings and bringing him to a comprehension of what the characters are undergoing, the author has strengthened the value of her characters emotions. Any novel that can claim the reader s sentiments with as much force as this one, is destined for success.