Mini-Literary Analysis on Frankenstein by Mary Shelley 1818

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Mini-Literary Analysis on Frankenstein by Mary Shelley 1818

Human beings are all born innocent. However, the activities and experiences of life dictate whether we maintain this innocence or lose it. Mary Shelly’s novel “Frankenstein,” depicts victor Frankenstein as a demigod for the creation of a being. The scientist thirst for absolute knowledge and stretching his abilities to the limits, results to him creating a monster that he later rejects. His attitude towards the monster leads to the monster’s despicable rage on humans. The theme of loss of innocence is detailed in the novel’s plot setting and characterization. This is through the various ways the characters in the novel lost their innocence.

The plot is centered on the conflict that haunts Victor Frankenstein, the scientist who creates a monster. Immediately after laying sight of his creation, he feels disgusted and rejects it. “I had gazed on him while unfinished; he was ugly then, but when those muscles and joints were rendered capable of motion, it became a thing such as even Dante could not have conceived”(43). After Frankenstein rejects his creation, he gets to meet with a family that highlights his sensitive side. The family also rejects the creature leading to its utter destruction of the entire surrounding. The monster narrates of the destruction saying he acted as an enraged beast that had broken free off its shackles busting everything else standing in the way and scampering through the woods with haste like a stag (121).

An innocent Justine is accused of a crime she did not commit. This crime was however, committed by the creature in the process of adding to Frankenstein’s misery. Frankenstein changes his mission to eliminating the creature he had earnestly created. The monster’s decision to attend Frankenstein’s wedding is construed as an opportune time for the creature to attack him. Instead of being attacked, he later finds his wife murdered. He describes the scene by saying that she lay there still and cold, strewn across the bed with her head dangling form the bed with her hair providing cover for her disfigured facial appearance (179).

When Frankenstein is a mere seventeen years old, he undertakes the mission of creating a monster. This is after undertaking six years of study at the University of Ingolstadt. The creation is done in an old deserted room in the city of Ingolstadt. Frankenstein’s loss of innocence is initiated the moment he rejects his creation. He narrates how he felt after he saw his creation saying that he detested returning to the deserted house he was staying. He felt the urgency of hurrying on forward even though it was raining given a “black comfortless sky” (44).

From the onset, Frankenstein harbors the admiration of traveling abroad. This leads him to his travel to England. This is how he gets to meet with Henry at Strasbourg and together they travel to RhineRiver and then to London. Frankenstein goes to the north and locates a remote island where he undertakes to create the female that the creature had demanded. By agreeing to create a female for the monster, he continues to lose his innocence. The creature requests, “Oh! My creator, make me happy; let me feel gratitude towards you for one benefit! Let me see that I excite the sympathy of some existing thing; do not deny me my request”(131). However, this mission is short-lived since Frankenstein later abandons the project and returns to France where he spends time with his wife Elizabeth to enjoy their marriage. The abandonment of the project enrages the monster even more and pursues Frankenstein. The monster attacks his family and kills the wife, Elizabeth. In the process, the monster loses some of his innocence. After the loss of his love, Frankenstein laments that virtue has twisted its form and become a shadow in his life. The affection and happiness that he knew and experienced have disappeared and now is engulfed with bitterness and loathing despair and comes to the point that he cannot find a soul from which to seek sympathy.

Loss of innocence is also depicted by the characterization in the novel. The loss of Frankenstein’s father marks his loss of innocence. Frankenstein narrates of the loss that he no longer is aware of what has become of himself. He says that he lost all sensation with the chains of darkness being the only things he now identifies with. When the authorities accused Justine for the murder of William, Elizabeth lost her innocence as her faith had been betrayed. Elizabeth had all the time believed on the innocence of Justin. However, the felt betrayed after the judge pronounced her guilty of the murder and the latter confession by Justine. This leaves her downcast as she says the she no longer knew of how to have faith on human goodness, because the Justin she had so passionately loved and taken as a sister become the source of her pain through her betrayal. However, it is later indicated that Justin had not committed the offense. Justin’s innocence is lost after she confesses to the crime and is convicted.

In conclusion, we find that many of the characters in the novel end up losing their innocence. The loss of innocence in part of Frankenstein is highly important of all the other characters. This novel attempts to highlight the consequences of our actions whenever we undertake to pursue an activity that has not been clearly thought through.

 

Works Cited

Shelley, Mary W. Frankenstein Mary Shelley. New York: Best American Life Institute, 2010. Print.

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