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Transcript of Frankenstein
Cursed, cursed creator! Why did I live? Why, in that instant, did I not extinguish the spark of existence which you had so wantonly bestowed? I know not; despair had not yet taken possession of me; my feelings were those of rage and revenge. I could with pleasure have destroyed the cottage and its inhabitants and have glutted myself with their shrieks and misery.
(Protagonist)- The antihero, fascinated with the “secret of life” brings a hideous monster to life. He changes from a fascinated, young scientist to a brooding, guilt-ridden man determined to destroy his arrogant scientific creation to right a wrong.
(Antagonist)- An eight-foot-tall, hideous creature, assembled with body parts from cadavers and reanimated by electricity. Abandoned by his creator, he tries to integrate himself into society only to be rejected again.
- An artic seafarer who finds the moribund Victor Frankenstein on the ice. Victor tells him of his story and Walton records it in a series of letters addressed to his sister, Margaret Saville, in England. He also serves as Victor's foil.
Time: 18th century
Place: Geneva; the Swiss Alps; Ingolstadt; England and Scotland; the northern ice
By Mary Shelley
Henry Clerval- A childhood friend of Victor who nursed him back to health in Ingolstadt.
Elizabeth Lavenza- An orphan whom the Frankensteins adopt as a child, later becomes Victor's wife.
Alponse & Caroline (Beaufort) Frankenstein- Victor's parents, who end up dying because of insurmountable grief and a sickness.
William Frankenstein- Victor's younger brother who is murdered by the monster.
Justine Moritz- The Frankensteins' servant, who is wrongly accused of William's murder and gets executed.
The point of view shifts with the narration. . .
The main conflict is internal and external. Frankenstein is initially sickened by the appearance of his creation and the fact that he made it. Later on, he is plagued by the chaos that ensues after he rejects it.
The conflict of
reflects the conflict ongoing in 18th century European society when the novel was first written- the world of advancement in science and rational progress versus the world of faith and tradition.
By creating a being, Frankenstein is attempting to be like God. He abandons his creation and does not take God-like responsibility for the care of his creation. In doing so, Frankenstein unleashes what becomes a force of chaos and terror to himself, his family and the world.
It can be argued from this conflict that, if humanity leaves God (morality, responsibility) behind in the search for knowledge and progress, his efforts are ultimately doomed.
"Thus strangely are our souls constructed, and by slight ligaments are we bound to prosperity or ruin."
Role of Society
The Ending (cont.)
The eighteenth-century society had numerous societal standards. Men and women had to dress a certain way and exhibit proper etiquette. Victor Frankenstein may not have violated these social standards, but has violated human moral standards by creating life through science and abnormal conditions. Shelley imposes the societal standards in the novel to shed a light on the age of discovery and science. The monster is alienated by the society portrayed because of its grotesque and terrifying appearance. Victor and the monster have inner conflict because of how society treats them. Frankenstein's monster feels that he does not belong in the world and projects his anger through acts of violence. Victor feels immense guilt for his mistakes, such as the murders committed by the monster and the secrecy he keeps. The conflict has affected society as innocent people have been killed due to Victor's carelessness.
Questions as in- Why was the monster crying? Was he dissatisfied? Do the things you pursue in your life end up consuming you and leaving you with guilt/regret? Did he pursue to ruin and end Victor’s life because of revenge or because he had nothing to do or live for? Was he dissatisfied because he no longer has anything to live for?
The function of this untidy ending is that it makes the reader think about the circumstances under this conclusion. It may often leave the reader unsatisfied due to the lack of knowing what the real ending should have been; the feelings, purpose, and motives of the characters. It leaves the reader with their own assumptions.
The significance of the closing scene: It portrays an example of irony, the reader may have assumed that the creature would have been relieved and satisfied that his creator has finally died; but he isn’t. Instead, the monster cries over the corpse of his creator. The question that this leaves the reader is what was the creature, crying over?
. . . with a few digressions in the form of letters.
Sometimes the things you pursue in life will consume you, until you realize, that it is not what you wanted.
Victor's obsession with science
The monster's revenge
Revenge seems reasonable at the moment, but in the end, it does not solve anything and will not bring peace.
The monster's murders
Frankenstein's death & the monster's response
These themes are important to the story because without them it would not have meaning or depth.
The novel does not exactly tie up loose ends. It ends with Victor Frankenstein dead as the creature is crying over his dead body. This does not add up because the creature has spent most of his time threatening his creator, Victor. It leaves us with the question “Is Frankenstein's monster satisfied?” and if he isn’t, then why? After this scene, the creature vanishes into the Arctic to die.
The author chose to end the novel in an untidy way. This ending was chosen because it forces the reader to ask a serious of questions and allows the reader to come up with their own conclusion to how the monster felt or why things ended the way it did. There is a significance to this type of ending because it allows each reader to personally reflect among the story and relate themselves to it.