The or something as a monster –

Themisuse of power and the spiritual downfall into becoming a monster C?lu?eriu Andreea-IoanaFI-EN Abstract:Nowadays we live in a highly modern society, where science improves daily andwe are currently faced with issues such as artificial intelligence, cloning,genetics, neuroscience and stem cells, which question the limitations ofscience and its possible complications. Since its apearance in 1818, MaryShelley’s Frankenstein  has been relevant as a beautiful work onmorality, ethics and temperance. Many critics have discussed the nature ofVictor Frankenstein’s monster, or the fact that the creator and the creationare sometimes seen as a single being, but in my essay I will analyze them in anobjective manner to see what influences them in their choices and if The Creature is actually a monster. Ialso discuss the implications and the dangers of getting involed in things thatoverpower us, and I examine the reasoning that it takes to turn a human beingwith good intentions into a monster.

              Keywords: science, monster,power, societyThe purpose of this paper is to take a closer look atwhat exactly is a monster, and who is capable of  creating one. In Merriam-Wester dictionary, amonster is “one who deviates from normal oracceptable behavior or character” and in The Oxford Dictionarythe monster is defined as “a large, ugly, andfrightening imaginary creature. ” The question is now  “what exactly construe someone or something as a monster- its character or physique?”, and there is no better example to study than thenameless creature of Victor Frankenstein, a being of repulsive appearance witha powerful body capable of destruction, but also smart and keen on learning andsharing human affection. Frankenstein’s Being is very complex, and unlike themonsters in many other literary creations, who commit crimes for pleasure, theCreature in Mary Shelley’s Frankensteinpossesses the same emotions and feelings as human beings, and turns to murderas a last resort, after going through intense suffering and rejection.

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The novel also explores the search for intellectualpower through science in the period of the industrial revolution, focusing onthe religious and moral aspects that this process implies.The abuse ofpower is seen throughout the novel and it starts with Victor Frankenstein’sdream: he is a young man coming from a good family, with a devotion towardsscience and knowledge, but his story soon turns into a tragedy for him notbeing well-balanced in his scientific experiments. The creation of Frankenstein’smonster is not seen as a revolutionary moment in the history of sciences, butrather as a terrible burden the creator has to carry; he has to endure sorrow becausehe disturbed the natural order of this world.Victor Frankenstein’s creation is often referred to asa monster and is constantly cursed by his creator and the people who come incontact with him, even before he starts committing crimes: “How can I describemy emotions at this catastrophe, or how delineate the wretch whom with suchinfinite pains and care I had endeavoured to form?”1  .WhenVictor brings his creation to life, he is horrified by the appearance the beinghas, and instead of facing his actions, he decides to run away. He goes ondescribing the being saying that “hislimbs were in proportion, and I had selected his features as beautiful.Beautiful! Great God! His yellow skin scarcely covered the work of muscles andarteries beneath.”2 .

Frankenstein judged hiscreation from the moment he made it purely based on the appearance, and henever gave him a chance: as a creator, he should have been there for the beinghe gave birth to.  Startingfrom Anne Mellor’s statement, that “Mary Shelley saw the creature aspotentially monstrous, but she never suggested that he was other than fullyhuman.” 3, we can see that VictorFrankenstein fails again. He is disappointed with the creature’s height anddecides to build it of giant proportion, thus making it much stronger.Frankenstein is naive and selfish, for he wishes to become powerful and praisedas a God, when in a moment of thrill he states that “a new species would blessme as itscreatorand its source” 4.  He is completely blinded by ambitions and dreams, that hefails to comprehend all the implications that it takes to create a new species;he also fails to realise that his creation would indeed be of hideousappearance, its body being made from horse remains: “the dissecting room andthe slaughter-house furnished many of my materials.

” 5,and through the novel, he is given several names by Victor, who either callshim ‘fiend’, ‘daemon’ or ‘monster’.Victor forces the creature to survive by itself in the cold winter and decidesto run away so he cannot be blamed for his actions.The’monster’ is rejected by its makerand is leftall alone. He has to take care of himself and learn how the world works; he issmart, he has consciousness and feelings, and he tries to do anything possibleto be accepted. When he gets attached to the De Laceys, he educates himself andhelps the family from distance.

He shows compassion and sensibility. The onlyperson who doesn’t judge him based on appearance  is the old, blind man, De Lacey. The creatureconfesses to the man, who tries to encourage him: ”Do not despair.

To befriendless is indeed to be unfortunate, but the hearts of men, whenunprejudiced by any obvious self-interest, are full of brotherly love andcharity.” 6 When his children, Felix andAgatha, return home and find the creature in the house, they attack him. TheCreature loved these people, yet they were terrified of what they saw, eventhough his intentions were far from evil. When the Creature heard someonescreaming for help, he rushed and saved a girl from drowning, but the girl’sfather attacked him and even shot him.

No matter what he did, he was stillhorribly treated. Truly heartbroken, he promises revenge on the humanity, andspecifically on his creator , who abandoned him.He goes to find Frankenstein, andon the way catches and murders William Frankenstein, Victor’s younger brother.William is, as all the other characters, prejudiced and is terrified by thecreature, even though the monster approaches him in a friendly manner, hopingthat the child  “had lived too short atime to have imbibed a horror of deformity. If, therefore, I could seize him,and educate him as my companion and friend, I should not be so desolate in thispeopled earth” 7. William proceeds insulting theCreature, which loses his grip and murders the little child.  The horrible act of the Creature has terribleconsequences: Justine Moritz, a close friend of the Frankenstein family isframed with the murder.

Victor is tormented by guilt, but yet he doesn’t takeresponsability for the murder and lets Justine die for a crime she did notcommit: “Justine also was a girl of merit and possessed qualities whichpromised to render her life happy; now all was to be obliterated in anignominious grave, and I was the cause!” 8.Victor is again selfish in this statement – he blames himself for creating themonster, not for running away, leaving the creature roaming freely. Afterthe tragic incident involving William and the rejection he faced once again,the creature realizes that the only living thingthat would accept him would be another creature similar to him. He seeksFrankenstein in the mountains and asks him for a female companion. At thispoint, after hearinghis story, Victor feels empathy for his creation, but only for a short periodof time because he is once again overwhelmed by hostility and hatred.  The monster’s supplication is refused andVictor is to blame for dispossessing a human being from love and affection, andalso for being in total control of someone else’s existence.

At this point,seeing that he is condemned to a life of total solitude, the creature threatensVictor telling him that “I shall be with you on your wedding-night” 9.  Victor marries Elizabeth, but loses her atthe revenge of his creation, as a result of the monster losing his only possible companion. The Creature in Frankenstein is a reject, brutallyalienated by a society that is not ready to accept the consequences of itsdeeds. In this book, Mary Shelley shows that every action has a consequence andthat people should take full responsability for what they do, not only fortheir own good but also for their families and for the people they love. AsMartin Tropp has stated, “the Monster’s agony as the hideous product of ascientist’s flawed vision gives it no place to turn but to Satan for a mirror.The goal of its existence becomes the damnation of its Maker.” 10 It can also show that amonster is not characterized by the way it looks, but by its actions.

VictorFrankenstein is a human, therefore he is flawed, but because of his impetuouspursuit of knowledge, he unleashes a force that he is not able to control: hecreates a human being much stronger than any other human, and before he gets achance to see what this creature is like, he and everyone else mistreats thisbeing, turning it from a good-hearted creature into a monster ready to kill;society turned Frankenstein’s creature into a monster.