One of the first gothic horror novels was written in 1818 but wasn’t published until 1831. It was called “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley. Mary Shelley based her novel on her debauched life and it was written because she was dared to do it. The novel was based upon sympathy; lots of different devices were used to create sympathy. The monster we know today is green, dopey, and gruesome and has a bolt stuck through its neck.
Frankenstein has gone from being a scary monster we dress up as at Halloween, to a cartoon character that little kids laugh at .But the novel is very different, he is very intelligent and kind just like a normal person. But he is not he is very different to everyone else, that’s why he is neglected, ridiculed and abused. He is very different because of his look. This eventually plays on him and makes him turn nasty the way everyone presumed he is. Mary Shelley exaggerates and uses devices that make the reader feel guilty for how people are treated for looking different.Order now
This makes us question ourselves and reflect on how we treat people or not falling into the typical stereotype of being normal and looking different on the outside. We would not like it if we were in their shoes, but why? Well we do it to cover our fear and how they are so different when infact they are jus same as us although that look different or do something different. Mary makes us think about equality and not to judge people by the way they look. By doing this she is trying to achieve our sympathy, and guilt for the monster.
In the novel Victor creates this monster and then abandons it, this leaves the monster confused, scared, and unaware of his true identity. Villagers reject him and curse him this makes him feel something that he never felt before, sadness and unwanted. This eventually makes him explore more feelings and he becomes the stereotype he is made out to be angry and vicious. This also brings up the moral issue and question of “Who is the real monster, Victor or the creature?” Is it Victor because he created the “monster” then abandoned it? Is it Victor, for “playing god” and creating a life, then instantly rejecting it to fend for itself or is it the so-called “monster” who is just a product of society?
In the novel Victor is dismayed with the monster; it is vile and he feels he has created something evil. He says “its unearthly ugliness rendered it almost horrible for human eyes “.sympathy is created through Victor’s focus on the monsters ugly appearance. The use of ‘unearthly’ gives a clear indication of how Victor/mankind views the monster. So from that you can predict the turmoil the monster is going to experience in the near future. So Victor is saying that it is so ugly, that it is no creation of his before giving it any chance. This creates sympathy from the focus of what Victor thinks of the monster’s appearance. Victor is very clear that his creation does not belong on earth; he is essentially an alien.
This creates sympathy as the monsters’ understanding of a creator’s duty to its creation is not met. Victor has played god and not met the needs for the monster this angers the monster. The monster says “how dare you sport thus with life? Do your duty towards me” sympathy is increased by the monsters disappointment in Victor.Shelleys use of the word “duty” introduces taking responsibility for your actions. Therefore the monster blames Victor for not being a good father by not looking after him. He is an irresponsible parent and scientist for abandoning his child/creation.
When the monster later on in the novel finds Victor, he is seeking for revenge but takes a different approach and breaks down. He remains calm and speaks as an intellectual to Victor. He is questions Victor saying “have I not suffered enough that you seek to increase my misery?” By saying this he is stressing how much pain he has been in both emotionally and physically: so why would he want his own “son” to endure more? This makes the reader sympathise with the monster because all he wants is for his “father” to love and care for him; not increase his suffering by having him hunt and destroy him.
Also in the novel the monster says “all men hate the wretched how then, must I be hated, who am miserable beyond all living things”. He says this to point out the fact that he is the vile one, and he created him then left him. Roles are reversal by this point; Mary Shelley compares and believes Victor is the real monster and makes the reader feel sympathy for the monster as he explains his fears.
Mary Shelley carefully chooses words with evil connotations to emphasise Victor’s hatred such as at their first meeting Victor name calls the monster, “devil”, “vile insect” and “fiend thou art, however this further heightens the reader’s sympathy. Also the quotation; to mould me man? Did I solicit thee? From darkness to promote me? By John Milton, paradise lost. This quotation is asking did I ask to be made at the same time saying there evil-the maker, like what the monster is trying to get Victor to see. Shelley chooses this metaphor to show that the monster wishes to belong his creator. The reader feels sympathy here because we get the impression that the monster is lost or unloved, longing for some sense of family.
The novel makes us think of how we do not have equality. We judge people for the way they look on the outside and take for granted how they are on the inside. From the nineteenth century to today the 21st century things have still not changed really, people still do not appreciate each other. If we aren’t the way a certain person or group expects us to be, we are bullied and mocked for it. This relates back to the nineteenth century, to the novel cause the monster is mocked, rejected and bullied, this makes the reader feel guilty for the way the monster is treated. But in today’s society two centuries later, we still prejudged each other on their characteristics. But not to the same degree, although people are discriminating each other, punishing each other and rejecting each other just for the way they look.