I was benevolent and good; misery made Frankenstein

I was benevolent and good; misery made me a fiend. Make me happy, and I shall again be virtuous.

Quote Analysis

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In Mary Shelley’s novel, Frankenstein; Or, the Modern Prometheus, Victor Frankenstein, a young scientist, assiduously accomplishes his animation project i.e. bestowing life to a human skeleton, the bones of which were collected from charnel houses and gives birth to a creature with gigantic stature, a ‘monster’ ( the title Victor Frankenstein himself ascribes to it).

Gradually, the creature performs one after another monstrous acts like killing William, Victor’s brother; Justine Moritz, a cousin sister of Victor; Henry Clerval, the friend; Elizabeth, the newly married wife of Victor in her bridal chamber, and leaves Victor an eternal pursuer of him in the Polar Regions until his death.

The paper seeks to study the alternating discourse within the narrative, which exposes the dichotomy between the monstrous nature of the ‘creator’ himself and the more humane instinctive drive of the ‘creature’, though traditionally, the latter is called a ‘monster’. Engaging multiple points-of-view in the narrative, Mary Shelley problematizes the character of the creature, underpinning the steady progression of the creature to be more humane and the creator to be more inhuman.