“Frankenstein is a novel written by Mary Shelley in the year 1816. It is a gothic fiction novel and one of the first sci-fi novels of its kind. At the time, Mary Shelly had many influences such as the “Monk”, written by MG Lewis and “Vathek” by William Beckford. Some other influential factors were the scientific developments going on at the time the book was set, such as scientists were running electricity through a dead frog, trying to bring it back to life.
In this essay I will raise key points and themes that Mary Shelley uses to evoke the readers sympathy for the creature, such as the use of language and how the setting of the novel makes the reader feel sympathetic towards the creature. The novel “Frankenstein” is based on a professor called Victor Frankenstein who makes a big mistake and creates a creature that slowly destroys Victors life. Victor abandons the creature who is an affectionate character to begin with. However, the creature then feels isolated and therefore turns evil and wants revenge.
Throughout the novel the intelligent creature becomes troubled because of being isolated and lonely therefore torments Victor for creating him. The creature has many characteristics and feelings, just like any human has. The creature is very affectionate, benevolent and intelligent to start with but begins to become troubled, misunderstood and tormented. Near the start of chapter 15 of “Frankenstein” the creature says “brought home firing for my protectors”. This shows the creature is very benevolent as it shows he cares about the family. At the beginning of chapter 16 however, the creature begins to change.
He says “my feelings were those of rage and revenge”. This shows the creature is starting to become troubled and tormented because of being lonely and isolated for so long. The creature has typical human characteristics and differentiates from any other gothic – horror character as normally the creature is evil but it is nurture that changes the creature. At the start, he’s a very benevolent creature but, the way people stereotype him and the surroundings he lives in change the type of person he is. The villagers were all frightened off him and treated him badly, just because of his looks.
This is an example of how the creature is stereotyped in the novel. Another theme in the novel is isolation. When you are lonely, it changes the type of person you are. The creature doesn’t even have an identity and no one knows who he is or where he’s from, including the creature himself. He says “who was I? , what was I? , whence did I come? , what was my destination? “. This shows the creature has no identity as he is so isolated from everyone. This evokes sympathy for the creature as he’s abandoned by Victor. Mary Shelley uses many other ways to create sympathy for the creature.
The way the creature is perceived and stereotyped create sympathy as well as the way he is treated like an animal. He says “I quitted the cottage and in the general tumult escaped unperceived to my hovel” This makes the reader feel very sympathetic towards the creature, as he has no home to retreat too, and after the way he is treated he has to go back to a “hovel” which he doesn’t deserve to do. This is an example of animal imagery as animals are known to live in hovels. When the creature meets De Lacey he feels he has made a friend and he is very happy at this time.