Tuesday 19 May 2015

Frankenstein: Friend or Fiend? -RQK

So a lot of people have different opinions on whether Frankenstein is really a friend to people or a fiend. Here is a short essay styled post about my opinion on this topic.
Cite: Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein. London: Colburn and Bentley, 1831.

Frankenstein’s monster has a unique personality. In some ways his personality is very similar to a normal human, however it also does reflect certain things that are specific to him being the first of his kind. Similar to any human this monster has feelings and thoughts. He can feel things both emotionally and physically the same as any person. In the book the monster describes his physical pain, and the feelings that come along with it when he says, “Inflamed by pain, I vowed eternal hatred and vengeance to all mankind” (101). This monster also shows that he has similar cognitive abilities as man when he found delight in knowledge. This knowledge lead to him reflecting upon the nature of man, as well as the meaning of his existence (85). In many ways such as these the monster is the same as any other person, however the monster differs in that he is the first of his kind and has been continuously rejected. Unlike a normal human this monster didn’t have to physically grow up, but he did have to learn the ways of survival. Where we usually have a parent or somebody to teach us, this monster was left alone to fend for himself.
Frankenstein’s monster wants a companion who can accept and understand him. This is made clear when he makes his request to Victor, “My companion must be of the same species, and have the same defects” (104). The search for companionship is not an uncommon goal of humans, but for him this goal is much more difficult. He is the only one of his kind, therefore the idea of him having a companion who can really understand him isn't likely. As for Victor making him a companion, he went through a lot and felt an immense amount of guilt after making this monster. He won’t easily, if at all, be persuaded to do it again (104).
The monster started out like a child, slowly discovering the ways of life. I concluded this from when he first says, “A strange multiplicity of sensations seized me, and I saw, felt, heard and smelt at the same time; and it was, indeed, a long time before I learned to distinguish between the operations of my various senses” (70). At the beginning he started with a clean slate, but as time goes on his experiences cause him to reflect upon various things that later contribute to his opinion of himself. An example of an experience would be when he had stones thrown at him when he entered the village. This event caused him to feel disgust and resentful of his appearance (74). People assumed him to have evil intentions. They judged him based off his appearance and rejected him for it. He has the potential for good and evil. This monster was not created evil, but instead innocent, no different than a human child.
I think that Frankenstein's monster very well could have been good, but people's assumptions of him lead to him choosing to be evil. He tried to be kind, but all people ever saw was his outwards appearance. He collected and left wood for Felix on numerous occasions (80). THis so called monster chose to do this kind deed and was repaid by Felix attacking him when he saw him (97). THe cruel treatment and hatred towards him have contributed to him becoming so hateful that he chose to take on the role people assigned to him. Their quick judgement of his character based off his appearance made him into a monster when all he wanted to be was their friend.

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