Sympathy For Frankensteins Monster Essay

Sympathy For Frankenstein Essay

Sympathy for the Devil is a concept most people of lesser intelligence cannot comprehend. Sympathy should be the first thing one thinks when the primary character in Frankenstein, the unnamed result of Victor Frankenstein’s laborious task in the opening chapters of the novel, is mentioned. The “monster”, we shall call him, came into the world as innocent as a newborn babe; he had neither been corrupted by the wickedness of man, nor tainted by the animalistic savagery of nature. When the monster realizes the inherent destitution of the elementary components of human happiness he has been brought into the world with, his disposition is corrupted. It is because of his lack of the love of a family, the security of belonging, and a creator watching over him that he is driven to a bitter perspective towards his existence. Sympathy is warranted towards the monster’s plight, as any rational being can understand the misery of a creature in such miserable circumstances. The monster deserves our sympathy because he is a victim of circumstance.
Most humans now living were brought up by a parent or guardian. Rarely is a human left to his own devices to raise himself from childhood. It would certainly be an unpleasant experience, having no protector, no one to care for you, no one to help you discover the emotions humans are capable of feeling. Sympathy is well deserved to any creatures that are thrust into the world with no guidance, left to learn the cruelness of the world on their own. Victor abandons his creation, which is comparable to a mother abandoning her child. “Yet you, my creator, detest and spurn me, they creature, to whom thou art bound by ties only dissoluble by the annihilation of one of us.” (Shelley 89) The monster is saying to Victor that it is his responsibility to care for the monster as long as he is alive, comparable to a human child and parent’s bond. The miserable state of mind the monster is driven to is the same anguish felt by a human abandoned by their parents, mainly, loneliness, confusion, and he is certainly scared. He is lonely because he has no one to look out for him. Is sympathy not justified for he who is utterly alone in this world, who is scared and has no shoulder to lean on. Any decent person would see that the monster is clearly deserving of our sympathy. “I was benevolent; my soul glowed with love and humanity: but am I not alone, miserably alone? You, my creator, abhor me...” (Shelley 89) The monster was originally a kind, loving being with only good thoughts. He was driven to his condition through his miserable circumstances, however. Because his creator abandoned him, he seeks revenge, which snowballs into the perceived evils the monster carries out. You may say the monster killed William because the monster is evil; however, the monster only killed William to strike a blow at his creator, and he only wishes to bring his creator down to the misery the monster feels, because of his creator’s actions. “...from you I...

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Sample answer:

Most people who have not read the novel believe the Monster is evil, committing numerous crimes against humanity. However, Shelley (1 [1: Use of author's name shows awareness of the writer at work. ]) carefully makes the reader aware that the Monster can in part be excused for these crimes, and is at heart a decent, kind and good creature. Sympathy is created through its speech, its actions, and the mistreatment it suffers. Shelley ultimately shows how the Monster should be pitied, rather than criticised. (2 [2: The introduction addresses key words in the question, and suggests ways that sympathy is created. ])

We first see the Monster through the eyes of Robert Walton, who describes it as being "of gigantic stature". (3 [3: Evidence of knowledge of the whole text, and useful quotation embedded within a sentence. ]) This could arouse alarm rather than sympathy, and this alarm is reinforced when it is described in detail in chapter 5. Here, we find Victor call his creation a "catastrophe", "wretch" and "miserable monster" (4 [4: More textual evidence and indicating an alternative viewpoint - something that impresses examiners. ]). The Monster is hideous to look at and Victor feels he must run away to escape its clutches. All of this seems to indicate that it is, in fact, a true monster, something to be feared and capable of great harm. But Shelley is only allowing us to see it from Victor's biased point of view. When we hear the Monster's story, a very different impression is created. (5 [5: The paragraph ends by rejecting alternative viewpoint and indicating a shift to how sympathy is created. ])

It first speaks in Chapter 10, after Victor has called it "Devil" and threatened to kill it. Instead of reacting with similar venom, the Monster states simply: "I expected this reception." This is because it has grown used to man showing hatred towards it. Yet its calm acceptance of the fact begins to gain the audience's sympathy. This continues when you look at its language. Shelley gives the Monster a very powerful, persuasive speaking voice. It is highly articulate and shows obvious intelligence.

This is demonstrated in the following quotation:

"You purpose to kill me. How dare you sport thus with life? Do your duty towards me, and I will do mine towards you and the rest of mankind. If you comply I will leave them and you at peace; but if you refuse, I will glut the maw of death, until it be satiated with the blood of your remaining friends."

Here it rightly criticises its maker for threatening death, when he should actually be looking after his 'offspring'. The Monster offers a reasonable argument that if Victor does his duty it will not commit anymore crimes. The vocabulary is very sophisticated ("glut", "satiated") with almost poetic, if chilling, imagery ("the maw [stomach] of death"). The use of a variety of sentence types, punctuation and rhetorical devices reveals an educated being. The fact that the Monster is self-taught also gains our sympathy. (6 [6: Detailed analysis of language use, focused on the question, and following the Point, Evidence, Explanation structure for essay writing. ])

Shelley was very aware of the need for good parenting, since she was brought up by her father alone - her mother died in childbirth. (7 [7: Good, relevant reference to background context. ]) Victor chose to desert his parental duties, a fact the Monster is very quick to point out, meaning he is at least partly responsible for the Monster's actions. Furthermore, we feel sympathy for the Monster because of Victor's continued insults towards his creation ("abhorred devil… detested form") and his later destruction of the Monster's half-built wife before its very eyes.

The Monster begins life without an evil thought in its head. Despite the hardships it suffers - being attacked by townspeople, enduring severe cold and hunger, and being burnt when first encountering fire - it never gives up hope of a better life. Of course, these very hardships create great sympathy, as does its appreciation of beauty, nature, music, and the loving relationships it sees at the De Laceys.

It commits many acts of kindness, especially for the De Laceys, whom it loves. When Felix later beats it, thinking his father's life is in danger, the Monster is moved to tears of anguish and rage. After being forced out of its hovel through no fault of its own, it then rescues a peasant girl from drowning. Its reward for this utterly selfless and kind act is being shot. (8 [8: Numerous examples given of how sympathy is created. ]) Shelley tells us that only after this do the Monster's "feelings of kindness… give place to hellish rage and gnashing of teeth". Most readers would have sympathy with this, given what the Monster has suffered. (9 [9: The paragraph ends by reinforcing the idea of sympathy, using more textual evidence, and by referring to the author's name again. ])

Although the Monster goes on to commit some terrible crimes, Shelley often gives some justification for them - justification that leads to a feeling of sympathy. (10 [10: Acknowledgement that the Monster has an evil side, turned into a point about sympathy being produced. ]) Elizabeth is only murdered in revenge for Victor destroying the Monster's hope of future happiness, in the form of the second creature. The Monster knew it could never be loved by a human, only by one of its own kind, so it takes away Victor's hopes of future happiness in return.

The murder of William at first also seemed inexcusable. Yet when we learn that he had insulted the Monster using the same abusive language as his older brother ("hideous monster"), perhaps there is some sympathy for its response.

At the end of the novel, (11 [11: A phrase that suggests final evidence is about to be used and introduces the conclusion of essay. ]) despite being abandoned and mistreated by its creator, the Monster still feels compelled to grieve over Victor's dead body. This moment of dignified reflection and regretting of misdeeds lends more sympathy to the Monster.

Its final act is to commit suicide in "the agonies of torturing flames" rather than live without a father, companion and, worse still, hope of future happiness. This sacrifice is the final means Shelley uses to gain pity for the creature, reinforced by the fact that it is never even granted a name. (12 [12: The essay concludes with a further two ways that show how Shelley creates sympathy, focusing on the novel's end and making a final reference to Shelley by name. It's also a short, clear sentence that leaves the reader in no doubt that the question has been fully answered. ])

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