Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Essay

1244 words - 5 pages

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

The creature of the novel Frankenstein is intelligent, naïve, powerful and frightening. He seeks vengeance, kills three people, and haunts his creator to the end of his (Frankenstein’s) days. Why? What inspired and what enraged the creature so much so that he felt this was the only path to pursue?

When we first meet the creature (truly meet him, that is), he shows his intelligence through speech. One must certainly expect him to be a drooling, dumb and violent creature, but he is, in fact, quite the opposite. He is violent, yes, but he does not show his violent physical side unless provoked to anger. More often than not the creature is full of self pity, cursing his existence and his creator for bringing him into it. When the creature and Frankenstein speak to each other (though the creature is doing most of the speaking), the creature does so fairly calmly, and relays his side of the story -- where he had been, what he had done and, most importantly, what he had read. When taking a close look at the creature’s behavior and story, it is impossible to ignore the fact that the two works that seemed to have the greatest affect on him were Paradise Lost and the notes that he had found in his pocket concerning his own creation.

Though each work that the creature read is important in one way or another, these two were the works that helped to shape his personality and change how he felt about himself and his plight. Perhaps the most interesting thing about the creature’s reaction to Paradise Lost is that he identified not with Adam, but with Lucifer. This explains quite a bit about the creature and a bit about why he acts the way he does throughout the novel. The creature himself even states in chapter fifteen:

Many times I considered Satan as the fitter emblem of my condition; for often, like him, when I viewed the bliss of my protectors, the bitter gall of envy rose within me. Another circumstance strengthened and confirmed these feelings. Soon after my arrival in the hovel, I discovered some papers in the pocket of the dress which I had taken from your laboratory… It was your journal of the four months that preceded my creation. (117)

From this statement by the creature it can be seen that the papers he discovers and the book Paradise Lost are linked to each other, in a way. The key line that proves this is, of course, “another circumstance strengthened and confirmed these feelings.” After discovering and reading the papers, it was strengthened and confirmed in his mind that he is, indeed, far more like Lucifer than he is like Adam. This strange link in his mind to Satan (and, to a lesser degree he still links himself to Adam as well) could very well be another reason why he told Frankenstein to make another creature (a female creature) for him to pass his days with. The line to be considered as proof of this thought is found on page 117, where the creature states, “Satan had...

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