"Frankenstein" By Mary Shelley: A Literary Analysis

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Frankenstein is a ghastly story written by Mary Shelley in 1818 about a lonely scientist obsessed with natural philosophy creating a being that soon turns into an enemy. Abandoned by Victor Frankenstein, the Creature tries his best to blend in but keeps getting rejected. As a result of this, he turns into a revenge-seeking monster. Despite this, the Creature is the victim in this story. Frankenstein failed to take care of him, hence the creature becoming evil and killing everyone in his way. Frankenstein was reckless and consumed with the secrets of Nature, that he completely lost it and this led to tragedy. Through this, Shelley reminds us about the dangers of loneliness in people's lives, it can end in death and we can lose ourselves in the process, along with that she demonstrates the importance of communication in shaping someone's identity. Robert Walton, a young explorer, yearning to set foot on the North Pole and discover a passage to the Pacific is the first person introduced to be lonely when writing letters to his sister.“I have no friend Margaret: when I am glowing with the enthusiasm of success, there will be none to participate my joy;”. Walton is going after what he wants but being all alone is not enough, he needs someone to celebrate his accomplishments and share his point of view not like the sailors with him. He writes letters to his sister to somehow try to relieve himself of that feeling of loneliness, but it doesn't help. Here Shelley begins to introduce the point that words on paper are not as powerful as proper face-to-face actions and emotions. In another letter, Walton states, “I shall commit my thoughts to paper, it is true, but that is a poor medium for the communication of feeling.” Walton says that emotion right away is better than writing something and just waiting for that person to feel anything back. He also had no other companion to write to. Interestingly, Walton wants the same as Frankenstein to find and be known for something great. “There is a love for the marvelous, a belief in the marvelous, intertwined in all my projects, which hurries me out of the common pathways of men, even to the wild sea and unvisited regions I am about to explore.” Here Shelley, shows how passionate Walton is but also how alone he feels that he is not doing what most “men” do and has an urge to become someone honorable. And Victor is not too far from that, his tale is ironically similar. Victor too had a passion but it all came crumbling down.

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After spending much time alone, Frankenstein finally created a being out of nothing. Although this feeling of excitement doesn’t last too long. The creature awakes and right from the beginning, he is exposed to literal seclusion right from the moment he is created. Frankenstein responds “I had desired it with an ardor that far exceeded moderation; but now that I had finished, the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart.” Frankenstein is shocked by what he created and abandons the creature leaving him alone, therefore being significant because the first interaction the creature gets is someone leaving his side, which at birth should be the opposite. Frankenstein trying to escape this misconduct feels alone again after his brother William passes away and a close family member Justine is blamed for it making him feel as if he made a mistake in forming the creature. “I shunned the face of man, all sound of joy, or complacency was torture to me; solitude was my only consolation.” Victor was filled with guilt, and his whole world was falling. His only place where no one could say or do anything was being alone, but this is a very negative way of wanting space because he is not experiencing any human bond. It's broken now, he could have tried to make the creature feel better about himself but resorted to closing himself in.

As for the creature he is born very lost and confused. Narrating his own story he describes how he felt seeing his true self. “When I became fully convinced that I was, in reality, the monster that I am, I was filled with the bitterest sensations of despondence and mortification.” The creature grew up knowing he would never be normal and was constantly down, he understood that he is alive, but doesn’t know what for. And this is significant because When they reunite he gives Frankenstein an ultimatum, “Your purpose to kill me. How dare you to sport thus with life? Do your duty towards me, and I will do mine towards you and the rest of mankind.” The creature says this because if Victor doesn’t comply he will kill, but all he wants is for Victor to give him life and not hate him so much, because he is all alone. This is notable because that is ultimately the one thing driving the creature to keep going is the hope that he won’t be alone, though that quote it is shown that he thought that Frankenstein was supposed to love and care about him. But the best line that truly reveals the creature's feelings about the world he is living in, “I see bliss, from which I alone am irrevocably excluded. I was benevolent and good; misery made me a fiend. Make me happy” shows the creature feels that he is a good person but everyone treats him like an invisible ghost that shouldn’t face the earth, which is very sad. Here Shelley is trying to say he has no interaction and some people need someone almost the same as them to relate to feeling feel accepted. The creature also notices that he created life no matter how ugly he is. He should not just leave it.

Continuing with the Creature, he tries to make a deal with Victor so he can be with someone, and He requests a female mate after being rejected again by his adopted family. He says, My companion, must be of the same species, and have the same defects. This being you must create.” The creature is so lonely because no one is like him, no one understands him and no one is as horrid as he is. The Creature says, “ I am alone and miserable; man will not associate with me, but one as deformed and horrible as myself would not deny herself to me.” This is important because The creature wants a friend at the end of the day, it’s all he needs with the same defects and same species as him, Here Shelley wants to explain to others like Victor that people who are more like you, are more likely to understand you for who you are, and see beyond appearance, but personality, hence why in the creature's mind he is treated horribly and starts to get upset and isolate himself to avoid rejection from other people, which in turn makes him feel even more alone, explaining the effect of people on one’s identity. Once the monster sees that Frankenstein destroys the mate in front of his face, he is filled with rage. “He says, “It is well, I go; but remember, I shall be with you on your wedding night.” Victor again uses his loneliness to not socially interact with anyone because of the creature haunting him gets this message from the creature and thinks that this meant he would be killed at the Wedding, but it was Elizabeth the creature killed. The creature wants Victor to feel how it is to be in constant agony. This would be Shelley showing the importance of communication, Victor thought he would die but the creature would never do that to him, Victor continues to go after the creature. After all of his loved ones die his feeling of loneliness drives his urge to get revenge on the creature. “I will exert myself; and if it is in my power to seize the monster, be assured that he shall suffer punishment.” This quote is a breakthrough for Victor to finally want to stand up to the “monster” because now he has nothing and has no connection with anyone. Remoteness makes them become the worst version of themselves.  

Their loneliness drove both Frankenstein and the Creature to be miserable for most of their lives and in the end, leads to death. After Walton’s ship rescues him, Frankenstein asks Walton to kill the monster once and for all. Their ambition destroyed everything around them and finally themselves. As for the Monster, he was mad at himself for harming his final scene he is crying over his creator which leads to his suicide. “I shall die, and what I now feel be no longer felt.” The creature suffered pity for Victor, because even after all he was the one that created him, The creature wanted to go away peacefully along with Victor so then he won’t be alone anymore. Contributing to the final idea that loneliness can be deadly. Shelley is proving the power of interactions, that even the creature which experienced a lot of misfortune, would rather suffer along with his creator than alone and have this feeling of loneliness attached to him. It all came full circle Their passions led to loneliness, which led to vengeance, and finally death. They all ended up being alone, they didn't belong and had problems being accepted. The characters that felt lonely were often depressed because of their lack of interactions with others which eventually shape our lives.    

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“Frankenstein” By Mary Shelley: A Literary Analysis. (2022, August 16). WritingBros. Retrieved October 2, 2023, from https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/frankenstein-by-mary-shelley-a-literary-analysis/
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