In my assignment, I am going to discuss the beliefs and attitudes of the time in which Frankenstein had been written and discuss the ways in which Mary Shelly made us sympathise with the creature. In 1818, novels had been written for entertainment, as the public of that time would read as they had no other entertainment but this was for only the upper class people. The upper middle class were the only people who had access to education and they were the only ones who were literate. At the beginning of the 19th century, biology was the new science.
People believed that electricity and magnetism could bring dead beings back to life. An example of this is Galvani, in 1802 showed that if you allow electricity to flow through the body of a frog its legs would twitch and it would appear to use life like qualities. An other example of this is that of Aldini, he used the idea of attaching a battery to a dead human being. Surging the energy through it would contort the body and would begin to have movement this is like our defibrillation that we use now. The society of Mary Shelly’s time had an interest in the supernatural and terror horror theme that was in Frankenstein.
Frankenstein also involved Gothic Romance, A Gothic novel or Romance is when you use dark terror and death and gothic settings. Frankenstein has many of these techniques that include graveyards moonlight, dissecting rooms that were used to create an eerie monstrous atmosphere. I am going to discuss the ways in which victor becomes too obsessive in the creation of his creator to in the end to leave him abandoned and to make him feel unwanted. He shows this by going away from his family and just concentrating on the creature instead of his own family and wife to be Elizabeth.
He finds away so he must off known that this was uncalled for and in the way Mary shelly wrote this it makes us think that Victor must of known, it would be inevitable, it would all end badly. She also make us feel sorrow for the creature when he is called ‘wretch ‘ he is not even wanted after all the destruction of soles. Victor was crude the way he abandoned his creator that he had made. I feel this was uncalled for it is like a mother rejecting a new-born just because of the looks. I believe that life is not all about looks, I believe that it is what is inside that counts, I think the creature was just misunderstood.
You can tell this when the creature goes towards his ‘father’ for reassurance whereas Victor reacts as he thinks the creature was going to kill him. I think the ways Mary Shelly uses the First Person Narrative for the creature to make us feel deep sympathy for him as we get to know how and the ways he is thinking and learning. I think the creature was like a young infant. A child left to grow up alone, I think that this was appalling before Victor went along with his actions he should have thought long and hard before creating the creature.
I think this was effective as it shows the true feelings the creature has and how alone and the way he learnt by his mistakes. It seems so cruel to have happened then you have to tell yourself its not real but the way Mary shelly described this it makes you feel as if its really true. We see the nice, childlike qualities of the creature in chapter 11 onwards and this make us feel emotions for the creature that will soon turn to other strong emotions. I think she has given us a chance to feel how the creature was feeling as she gives us a rolercoaster of emotions.
That turn from sympathy to hate but finally sympathy and sheer loss for the creature, he did not know how to be anything else or any better he could only assume his role. We feel disgust with the creature in chapter 15 when he reads the journal of victor Frankenstein, and realises how he was made. The reason we feel disgust for the journal is the way Mary Shelly describes things like the way victor used other peoples bodies to make the creature it make us sympathise because you think how would I feel if I wasn’t just one person, I was made up from different soles and beings.
It make you also feel sorrow because he was on his own when he found out the awful truth. In the novel, the creature experiences a lot of prejudice from villagers and fellow human. I feel if this happened now, the other people would be in trouble for racism of some sort just because he was different, you don’t see people doing this to other humans so just because he was different I don’t believe he should have been discriminated. I think the way Mary shelly did this it was to feel the feelings that I just expressed. In the novel when the creature meets the de lacy family, I thought he had finally found happiness.
But they deserted him too when he needed them this made me sad but also angry because of the way the creature had helped the family. I feel understanding with the creature so that’s another emotion Shelly makes us feel for the creature. I have an understanding why the creature revolted as he didn’t know any other way to be so that’s the only reason he did what he did. Although I feel it was wrong for what the creature did I still had full sympathy for him because he was trying to let his emotions out and he didn’t know any other way other than with anger.
The creature’s final decision to kill himself after the death of his father was very understandable and I felt more involved as I was experiencing feelings of depression and I knew how he felt and this sort of gave me a closeness for the creature even though he was fictional this is how Mary shelly achieved her goal to make us feel sympathy for the creature. Although I found this novel upsetting I though there was truth behind the gothic genre and I enjoyed Frankenstein it take the reader on a rolercoaster of emotions.