Free «frankenstein» Essay Sample
In this report, we will try to determine whether Frankenstein can qualify as a tragic hero. The tragic hero will most effectively evoke both our pity and terror if he is neither thoroughly good nor evil but indeed a combination of both. A tragic hero has the potential for greatness but is doomed to fail. He is trapped in a situation where he cannot win. He makes some sort of tragic flaw, and this causes his fall from greatness. Even though he is a fallen hero, he still wins a moral victory and his spirit lives on. Most tragic heroes if not all are born into a state of nobility, are responsible for their own fate and are doomed to make a serious error in judgment. Frankenstein is a remarkable book for its insights into human nature and human needs, especially as they are felt and amplified in the form of a gigantic creature from outside humanity. The novel touches several powerful themes: love and hate, beauty and ugliness, innocence and guilt, and compassion and hard-heartedness. As a product of the Romantic era, the book clearly focuses more on feelings and sensibilities than on thought or reason. Yet there is an underlying sense that many of the disasters in the book can be laid to reason: people losing their mind, feelings overindulged, and a loss of balance between head and heart. The monster is Victor Frankenstein's creation, assembled from old body parts and strange chemicals, animated by a mysterious spark. He enters life eight feet tall and enormously strong but with the mind of a newborn. Abandoned by his creator and confused, he tries to integrate himself into society, only to be shunned universally. Looking in the mirror, he realizes his physical grotesqueness, an aspect of his persona that blinds society to his initially gentle, kind nature.
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Seeking revenge on his creator, he kills Victor's younger brother. After Victor destroys his work on the female monster meant to ease the monster's solitude, the monster murders Victor's best friend and then his new wife. While Victor feels unmitigated hatred for his creation, the monster shows that he is not a purely evil being. The monster's eloquent narration of events, as provided by Victor, reveals his remarkable sensitivity and benevolence. He assists a group of poor peasants and saves a girl from drowning, but because of his outward appearance, he is rewarded only with beatings and disgust. Torn between vengefulness and compassion, the monster ends up lonely and tormented by remorse. Even the death of his creator-turned-would-be-destroyer offers only bittersweet relief: joy because Victor has caused him so much suffering, sadness because Victor is the only person with whom he has had any sort of relationship. Monster is born as a romantic, but because of the world's transgressions on him, he becomes an anti-Romantic and a Gothic character. The monster becomes dark, and wants to bring death and destruction to everything around him. Now, when he sees beauty, he becomes jealous. "But she shall suffer; the murder I have committed because I am forever robbed of all that she could give, had its source in her, she shall atone; be hers the punishment!" (Shelley 1994) When he first went into the world, all he desired was human interaction. After watching and studying a family of cottagers, the monster felt that he was part of their family without ever meeting them. Even after the cottagers rejection he still had hope that they would accept him.
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"But I did not believe my error to be irretrievable, after much consideration I resolved to return to the cottage, seek the old man, and by my representations win him to my party." (Shelley 1994) The monster had not condemned humanity until he saved the life of a young boy, and for a reward, he is shot. "I had saved a human being from destruction, and as recompense I now writhed under the miserable pain of a wound which shattered flesh and bone." (Shelley 1994) After this event, he condemned all mankind. "I vowed eternal hatred and vengeance to all mankind." (Shelley 1994) He wanted to be accepted and to be human, but everyone he sees scorns and hates him. Even an innocent child despises him. "You are an ogre" "Hideous monster, let me go!" (Shelley 1994) He now hates the world and himself. The monster has all the connections to Romanticism, such as his temper being parallel to the weather, his physical and intellectual abilities surpass those of a normal person, and he represents all of mankind: good and bad. The monster loves nature and its beauty, but when he is transformed into an anti-romantic, nature mocks him. "Nature decayed around me, the sun became heatless; rain and snow poured around me; mighty rivers were frozen; the surface of the earth was hard and chill, and bare, and I found no shelter." (Shelley 1994) By aligning his maliciousness with his misery, he is implicitly blaming Frankenstein for what he has become: such an accusation, however, is effective in evoking the sympathy of both Victor and the reader. The creature often refers to Frankenstein as "you, my creator": this doubled form of address does not only serve to remind Victor of the responsibility he bears for giving the creature life; it is also a complimentary title that implores him for help. As he speaks, the creature's syntax becomes almost Biblical in tone: he frequently uses the verb "shall," which has the ring of both prophecy and command. He is thus subtly informing Victor that he has no choice in this matter: his acquiescence is already a foregone conclusion. The monster requests from Victor to create for him a female counterpart. "You must create a female for me, with whom I can live in the interchange of those sympathies necessary for my being. This you alone can do; and I do demand it of you as a right which you must not refuse to concede." (Shelley 1994) The monster’s longing for a person he can communicate with is very important. It signifies that he wants to be included in some kind of family situation as he has observed from before with the DeLacey family. He wants a person who can understand the way he feels and why it is he feels this way. When a person usually has problems, he/she turns to family for help, but in the case of the monster he has no family and must ask his creator to make him one. Not a whole family but a single person who could be his companion for life. The way the monster wants a member is the same as Victor wanting to create a new member himself. By creating the female one, Victor is attempting to make a new family for the monster, but near the completion of the female monster, Victor decides to destroy it. He contemplates that making this female version of the monster will allow the male one to be able to produce offspring's and this he thought would be a horrendous idea, unleashing such a hideous and ill-feeling creation upon the world.
The monster is emotionally involved when he exclaims; "Once I falsely hoped to meet with beings who, pardoning my outward form, would love me for the excellent qualities which I was capable of unfolding". (Shelley 1994) He is not capable of going on living in total isolation because his life is unbearable. But the monster is not a mere object of repulsion and terror but a complex being with a profound psychological side. Some of its features derive from the heroes of Gothic novels, exemplified best not in a novel but in Lord Byron's poem Lara. The protagonist of this Oriental Tale is a pirate chief. He is a taciturn and brooding character who feels himself to be a stranger in the world. His life has been adventurous and wild and now he appears isolated from the rest of society, in his opinion a victim of fate and nature, not of his own faults. He lives among other people but as if he were alone. He perfectly embodies the Byronic hero, which is ultimately that of a tragic one. Those who see him can never forget his cold and mysterious aspect and behavior nor can they penetrate his soul to understand what lies below the aloof exterior. If Victor Frankenstein had been more like a parent to the monster, none of the treacherous events that took place would have even occurred. He instead showed hate, and prejudices towards his own creation, which he got in return from the monster. When you put some one in a bad environment with nothing but hate and violence that is what they will return to the environment. When you have someone in a caring and nurturing environment, that individual will show love and compassion for everyone around them. All Victor had to do was show a little compassion; that in its self would have saved four innocent lives.

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