The Themes Of Good And Evil In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
How are the themes of good and evil explored in Chapters 16 and 17 of
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein?
Not only does the idea of ‘good vs. evil’ have relevance in today’s
society, but some of the ideas behind the medical advances shown in
‘Frankenstein’ and the moral issues of creating new life in unnatural
ways such as cloning, should we really be making life for scientific
advances or should we be leaving to nature?
During Chapters 16 and 17, Frankenstein is telling the sailor what the
Monster had told him when they met. He recounts the misery the Monster
felt after the family he’d been watching for sometime and had begun to
love, shunned him when he revealed himself to them, this id the loving
side of the Monster coming through. He tells of Frankenstein how he
felt when he burned down the family’s cottage in his rage; he’s evil
because he loves too much. He also tells Frankenstein about how he
saved a girl from drowning in a river, and how the father of the girl
shot him when he saw her in his arms. Lastly in chapter 16 he tells
Frankenstein how he killed his younger brother, William, and how he
planted the locket on Josephine in the barn, because he knew she would
never love him. Through most of Chapter 17 we see Frankenstein and the
Monster arguing over whether Frankenstein will make the Monster a
female for the Monster to have as a companion. Frankenstein feels it
is wrong to bring another Monster in to the world in case it has
devastating effects on the world. The Monster how ever blackmails
Frankenstein, saying that he’ll make his life a living hell if he
The relationship between the Monster and Frankenstein is a complicated
one. The Monster sees Frankenstein as his creator and his father, but
he hates him because he made him ugly and scary, this consequently led
him to be unwanted, unloved and angry, but he cannot kill Frankenstein
because he is relying on him to make him happy, by making him a
companion who will not shun him. ‘Cursed, cursed creator why did I
live?’ this shows that he hates Frankenstein and he would have
preferred it if he had never had been brought to life; the fact that
he exists makes him so unhappy. Frankenstein is angry at the Monster
for behaving the way he does and for demanding the things he does, ‘I
could no longer suppress the rage that burned within me.’ He is scared
of the Monster because he has the power to make his live miserable.
Lastly he is proud of the Monster because he is proof that He could
create new life from the dead and all his work over the last few years
hasn’t been a complete waste of time. Both characters can see the good
and the evil within one another however both characters concentrate on
the evil things they see in the other.
The setting for the most part of the book is very dark. The setting in
these two chapters is no exception; Frankenstein and the Monster are
talking in and ice-cave, on a glacier, which is a cold, dark, and
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Good And Evil In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
Good and Evil in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
"Frankenstein" was written by Mary Shelley. She was born in 1797 and
died in 1851. Her parents were also progressive writers, and their
work would have influenced Shelley's work.
"Frankenstein" is written in the gothic horror genre. The idea of
Frankenstein actually came to Mary Shelley in a half waking nightmare.
She herself said,
"When I placed my head on the pillow I did not sleepâ€¦â€¦â€¦
My imagination, unbidden possessed and guided me, gifting the
successive images that arose in my eyesâ€¦"
Shelley felt possessed by the novel. She wanted to write a story to
frighten the reader, as she herself has been frightened the night of
the horrific nightmare:
"Oh! If I could only contrive one which would frighten my reader as I
myself had been frightened that night".
She does not just imagine the horror of her story; her imagination is
possessed by this story; just as Frankenstein is possessed by his
horrific activity of making a monster or a new species.
In gothic horror novels there is usually a scary setting, frightening
weather, and a monster or a monstrous character. Frankenstein in this
respect is no different, for instance the first meeting of the monster
and Frankenstein on top of the mountains; there is the lightening; the
monstrous character. But, as the novel goes on, we, as the reader,
discover that there is a difference to this story. There is more than
one monster there is in fact two. Not just the monster himself, who
never gets named, but also his creator Frankenstein he is not a
monster by appearance, but by his actions. He created a monster,
because of him people were murdered and lives wrecked but most ironic
of all is because of his own actions his own life is wrecked. He
became obsessed with making a monster, and then leaves it and tries to
kill it. But it turns out than that this monster ends up controlling
Frankenstein's life, not the other way around.
While Frankenstein is making his monster nothing else matters to him.
He has a thirst for knowledge beyond human knowledge. This is seen as
evil but it is a contrast, as the experiment did not start as evil it
started as eagerness to conquer death, a favour to human beings. But
it did not turn out like that as Frankenstein was driven by ambition
so he did not notice the evil in the experiment. This a contrast as
Walton, at the beginning of the novel, is also driven by ambition to
obtain information that know other human would know.
This story is about morality. It explores different ides of good and
evil. This is shown in the way that the monster's physical appearance
is supposed to be evil as every one runs form him. But we find out
that all he wants is love, someone to love him, and someone for him to
love. So this shows that he has a good...
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