Mary Shelley's much celebrated novel, Frankenstein was published in the early 1800's. The novel established the birth of a new genre of writing, known as Scientific Horror; this form of horror was greatly welcomed during the early 1800's scientific breakthroughs and technology was seen as unfamiliar and thus left room for a lot of uncertainty and suspicion to dwell in the hearts and minds of the general public. She wrote Frankenstein while she was on holiday in Switzerland with her husband Percy Shelley and some friends. At the time when she was writing the novel the weather was very bad; so to pass time they wrote horror stories.
In the novel Frankenstein at first goes to a scientific school to educate himself about how to create life. In the scientific school he meets a doctor who carries out many illegal experiments such as trying to create life (which was illegal). The doctor showed him all his experiments. Frankenstein found a book at the doctor's place which was all about creating life. However the jigsaw of creating life in the doctor's book was not complete and it was left to Frankenstein to complete the jigsaw as the doctor had been murdered by one of his patients who was later hanged for his horrendous deed.
Frankenstein decided to begin his experiments in creating life. Frankenstein began to collect bits and pieces from dead bodies. Frankenstein eventually succeeded in creating life. However his creation turned out to be something totally different to what he expected.
It had turned out to be an ugly monster. It had yellow skin, black lips and watery eyes. Frankenstein was frightened about what he had created and abandoned him. Moreover, the monster had found Frankenstein's diary. Everybody began to reject the monster and he was abused a lot. The monster than decided to go into the woods and decided to stay in a pigsty.
This was the only place he felt safe. The monster felt he had been created for no reason and felt worse when society rejected him. He felt he had to avenge Victor Frankenstein and the monster began his mission of tracking Frankenstein down. The monster knew he was in Geneva as the name of his diary was 'Victor Frankenstein of Geneva'. In the novel before the monster narrates his own story the readers only have Frankenstein's opinion on the monster. Frankenstein's opinion is very negative and conveys the monster in such a way that the readers begin to feel that the monster is some horrendous creature which everyone would be afraid of.
After Frankenstein creates the monster he says 'breathless horror and disgust filled my heart'. These are Frankenstein's first impression on what he has created. He also calls the monster words like 'wretch', 'devil' and 'vile insect'. This shows the reader that Frankenstein has very negative opinions on his creation and thoroughly regrets creating him.
One other thing he says about the monster is 'A thing such as even Dante could not have conceived'. Frankenstein calls the monster a 'thing'. This shows that Frankenstein does not value his creation at all and sees it as an object.As the novel progresses beyond chapter 11 the monster begins to tell his own story and the hardships he is facing because of Frankenstein.
When the monster begins to narrate his own story the readers opinions change dramatically and the monster is seen in a totally different light. The monster says 'I felt tormented by hunger and thirst'. This tells us that the monster is like every other human but only because of his horrid looks he has been rejected from society. This proves the saying 'don't judge a book by its own cover'. This is what exactly happens to the monster.
Every one rejects him because of his personality.Only once in the novel an old man accepts the monster to his own house. This is mainly because he saw the monsters personality before his looks. The monster saved the old man when he was getting beaten up. Another way we know that the monster is like every other human is when he says 'I felt overcome by sleep'. This shows that the monster gets tired like every other and feels the urge to sleep.
Also the monster says 'I sat down and wept'. This shows us that the monster has emotional feelings like every other human. This also shows that the monster is like a kid and cries like a kid.The readers begins to feel sorry for the monster Throughout the novel the monster presents himself as being intelligent. He is learning new things each time. This shows us that he is still in a learning process like kids.
He says 'my mind received everyday additional ideas'. This shows that he was receiving a lot of new ideas and was educating himself more about the world each day. Especially with no teacher teaching him. This shows he was intelligent. Also his ability to survive so long conveys that he has learnt many survival skills in a very short amount of time. He also begins to reckon with himself.
He asks himself questions like, 'who was I? ', and 'what was I'. This shows that he is slowly realising what he was and what his origin was. Since he is presented almost as if a new born baby in the novel, it shows that he is extremely intelligent for a new born baby and he is almost like a superhuman. He says that 'I distinguished the insect from the herb, and, be degrees, one herb from another. This also presents the monster as a very intelligent person. This is because it takes a long time before babies can distinguish between things whereas the monster is being able to distinguish between things almost immediately.
In the novel the monster also presents him as being extremely lonely, alone, isolated and treated with no respect wherever he goes. The monster says 'no father had watched my infant days, no mother had blessed me with smiles and caresses'. This shows that the monster is still like a baby. He feels extremely lonely and wishes he had a father to care for him.
He also calls smiles a blessing. Not many children feel that there mother smiling at them is a big blessing. However, the monster shows how much of a blessing it is for children to have a mother and father caring about them.Because of his isolation he realises things that many children do not realise.
He also says 'sweet looks directed towards me was the utmost limit of my ambitions'. When the monster says this it makes the reader feel very sorry for him. This just shows how lonely and sad he feels about being rejected from society. He says that his ambitions were for people to look at him in a good manner with affection. Not many people have ambitions like this, so this portrays to us how lonely he feels.
We also find out in the novel that the monster is very kind and caring and able to empathise with humans.The Monster says 'I often took his tools and brought home firing sufficient for the consumption of several days'. When he says this we know he is caring, kind and able to empathise with humans. This is because he knows that the man is old and the man would have the ability to bring home enough firing and therefore he feels that he has to help him out. This shows he is caring and able to understand how difficult it is for the man to bring his own firewood home and knows it is a duty for himself to help the man out.
We also that the monster is able to empathise with humans is when he says when they were unhappy, I felt depressed; when they rejoiced, I sympathised in their joys'. This shows he is very much like a human and is not in a good mood when the people in his surrounding are unhappy and when they are happy he feels happy as well. The monster presents him as being attracted to women. 'The monster says the gentle manners of the girl enticed my love', this shows that the monster felt attracted to the women and loved the way she done certain things which made him love her.
'He also says I beheld a countenance of angelic beauty and expression'.At some points in the novel the monster also presents him at turning violent and being filled with hatred. This happens to him when society rejects him and treats him badly. He says 'for the first time the feeling of revenge and hatred filled my bosom, I bent my self towards injury and death'. This illustrates that after society treated him so badly he slowly began to get a felling of hatred towards his creator and take revenge on his creator who is Frankenstein. He also wishes he was never created and was dead and an idea of suicide was slowly creeping into his head.
He also says 'towards you I felt no sentiment but that of hatred. Unfeeling heartless creator'. When he says this we know that he if full of hatred and utterly hates his creator. When he says towards you 'I felt no sentiment' shows that he has no sympathy for his creator.
As we know from before the monster feels for other people and is caring. However when it comes to his creator he will show no mercy and compassion towards him. This shows that the monster is slowly becoming violent and cannot live with himself and beginning to be filled with hatred.Throughout the whole novel the monster presents himself in many different ways.
The first impression we get of the monster is extremely negative and the reader begins to feel that the monster is going to be some horrid creature. However when the monster begins to narrate his own situation the reader begins to feel sympathetic towards the monster and all of a sudden the reader's first impressions of the monster have been changed and they begin to feel sorry for the monster. The reader also discovers that the monster is like every other human but with different characteristics which make him look like some other creature.Most of the people in the novel judge him on his characteristics. Mary Shelley could have been giving out many messages throughout the novel.
One message that she could have been trying to give out throughout the novel is that 'Man should not play God or he will suffer for it'. Mary Shelley lived at a time of rapid scientific discovery and perhaps she is a fear of science and its powers. Another message she maybe tried to give throughout the novel is parents should look after their children and children need love and support if they are to grow into responsible humans.