Mary Shelley writes a classic novel, Frankenstein, which brings up many controversial ideas and beliefs. Mary Shelley hits the nail on the head on how man should act and his responsibilities. Man's responsibility, Fall from the Grace of God, and man's right to interfere with creation come up in this English Gothic horror novel.
The Birth of the Creature involves many things that happens before, during, and after the actual creation this hideous Monster. Frankenstein's obsession in making the Monster starts years before the Thing comes to life. His teachers and educators get this disciple's mind to think the same way these alchemists do. By following the teachings of Albert Magnus and Paracelsus, Frankenstein starts down a path which "the ancient teachers of this science promised impossibilities and performed nothing"; after all by going by their teachings the Doctor creates life. (Shelley 46). Then comes the next event, the actual creation of the Thing. The book does not say much about the actual creation except that this event takes place on a dreary night of November. Frankenstein becomes as happy as a little boy does at Christmas time when the spark of life goes into the creature. This scene sort of reminds my mind of Genesis when God breathes the Breath of Life into Adam's body which gives Adam a soul and a way to live, but Frankenstein's creature does not have a soul because the Doctor does not posses the power of God. Although Victor becomes happy of his life's work that, "2 years of work has deprived his body of health and rest", Frankenstein runs out of the after the sight of the yellow skin body comes to life. (Shelly 56) This even affects the Doctor while his body rests, for his dream portrays a nightmare of his Elizabeth who walks in good health and transforms into the hue of death. This event hits Victor and all of a sudden the horror sinks in, and Frankenstein realizes what his deeds do. Soon after all of his agonizing and trying to rest the next part comes. After Victor creates the inanimate creature, reality sticks the Doctor in the head. Frankenstein never thinks whether or not his work should take place. Victor does not think about the deed until the deed takes place. The "creator" never becomes responsible enough to wield the power that he now possesses. The only connection the Creature has belongs to his master. So where does the Monster go to ease his mind of the yearning of a lady monster? "Remember that I am thy creature; I ought to be thy Adam, but I am rather the fallen angel, whom thou drivest from joy for no misdeed." (Shelley 95) The Monster knows his master and treats Victor with respect, but the Doctor never becomes ready or mature enough to take the role of the Monster's master thus making the Monster more of a man than Frankenstein.
The Monster, which Frankenstein leaves out in the wilderness with no experience of living, goes through the learning process, as does Frankenstein and the reader of this wonderful novel. The Creature does not remember anything of his creation, and if something pops up, the Monster has considerably difficulty thinking of the incident. This Adam runs around in the woods where the moon marvels his mind. His brain does not find out how to use his senses and some body movements yet. Fire has always fascinates mankind, and it ends up fascinating the Monster as he "thrust my hand into the live embers, but quickly drew it out again with a cry of pain.", but fire can provide heat and light but like anything else, consequences come with luxuries. (Shelley 100). The Student after awhile of practicing learns to speak which will provide him with many ways to communicate with the outside world, just like all little children do in their elementary school days. Finding out that humans hate and ridicule almost anything that looks different than themselves or belongs to a class under them, becomes one of the last things that the Creature learns and probably will never forget. While all of this goes on, Frankenstein himself happens to go under some education. Victor learns one of the hardest things that man even today pays a price for, because that man can not become God or even come near to posses the power of the Heavenly Father. Man does not usually think about doing something before they do it, but usually after like the Doctor does soon after his inanimate creation comes to life. Man always pays for their deeds of trying to act higher than God, just like all the people at the tower of Babel who paid dearly by bringing racism into the world does. As Victor finds out "The different accidents of life are not so changeable as the feelings of human nature."(Shelley 56) To fix the desire of the hate of people, he decides to eventually to create the Thing a female partner and then they "will go to the vasts wild of South America." (Shelley 139) The Monster and Frankenstein go through the learning experience, as does the reader while they enjoy this book. The quote that what goes around comes around becomes one of the most important things that anyone should learn from this novel. The villagers as they stone and beat the Creature, just shows that humans still do not understand that God creates everyone in his own image. Although God does not really create the monster, he does create all of the parts the Doctor uses to make him. Thus in my mind making the Monster one of God's creatures. Even the cottagers, who seem so great to the Thing, do not have this lesson under their belt as Felix "struck me violently with a stick." (Shelley 129). The Creature goes through an abomination that almost anyone today and probably in the past could never endure which makes this Man more human than most of the people that hate him, even Frankenstein.
Everything in this novel evolves around Frankenstein or shares a relationship with him such as the Fallen Angel's relationship, Clerval's relationship, and Frankenstein's relationship with his family. The Creature's relationship belongs to the group of the biggest and probably the most important one since the whole story evolves around it. The creator and servants relationship becomes Frankenstein's main connection to the Thing. Most servant's obey their creators and give them their ever most gratitude since their creator provides them with life. The fact that Frankenstein hates his creation, and that the Monster learns to hate his creator, "Cursed, cursed creator! Why do I live?" becomes the one major thing that provides problems in this relationship. (Shelley 130). This relationship ends with a little of agony as the Monster torments Frankenstein then jumps off the boat in hope of killing himself. Among the huge groups of relationships that surround Victor, a man and his best friend make up one of the most important things that anyone can posses. Henry Clerval and the Doctor develop a trust that can only exist in a best friend's relationship. Henry stays around even when Frankenstein losses a couple of his marbles and becomes deathly ill after the "incident". Henry stays around and helps nurse Victor back to health when he tears up the female creature and the Monster threatens his life. Clerval also keeps Victor in company until eventually the Fallen Angel kills this companion. Not everyone has a chance have a friend like Clerval to whom Frankenstein's point of view belongs to that group of friends that seems like family "and Clerval had always been my favorite companion". (Shelley 67) Last of all but not least, comes the relationship with Victor's family. The Doctor's family belongs to a place in his heart where nobody but family members can exist. Elizabeth gets real close to Frankenstein even as close as a sister mainly basically his parents adopt her at the beginning of the novel. This soon to become groom also becomes close to his father and only marries Elizabeth to make her happy and his father happy for "your marriage with our dearÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ stay of my declining years."(Shelley 144) To please his father and Elizabeth becomes why Frankenstein even thinks about marrying Elizabeth. Victor always plays a role in his family and thus makes himself a pretty good family man.
Frankenstein and the Creature go through the Fall from the Grace of God as does the villagers in this epic novel. Frankenstein's Fall from the Grace of God happens when his dear Elizabeth dies, and Victor refuses to provide his Adam with a female creature. The Doctor's obsession with killing the Monster takes over his life and Frankenstein loses track with time. Victor makes a vow that he "will exert myself, and if it is in my power to seize the monster, be assured that he shall suffer punishment proportionate to his crimes." (Shelley 190) This obsession drives him to chase after the monster through the snow and ice until finally his dogs die, and Robert comes to pick him up and restore his health. The Monster also goes through the Fall from the Grace of God. His begins as soon as his hands strangle the life out of William. This event just starts his Fall from the Grace of God and hits its low when Elizabeth dies in his hands. The Creature ends his misery and kills himself and plans to die with his crimes for "I shall ascend my funeral flames." (Shelley 211) Killing himself and completing his revenge on Frankenstein becomes the only way for this Malignant Devil to rest at peace, but he finds out that revenge does not taste sweet but sour. The villagers that stone and faint at the site of the Creature becomes the reason for this Fallen Angels Fall from Grace of God. The villager's Fall starts when they become frighten at something hideous who just wants something to talk to and something to care about him. The Monster never fights back for he sees why they stone him and beat him and does not blame them for their actions. The incident with the cottagers causes this Creature's rage to go out of control so he goes to Victor in talks about making another hideous monster which he could live with in South America. God does not like people who judge people on the outside and the villagers do this thus making them Fall from the Grace of God. The villagers cause great harm to the Monster and his "heart sank within me as with bitter sickness and I refrained." (Shelley 129) Judgement of others will probably always live in this world until people can start to look at the inside of someone not the outside.
Frankenstein posses different forms of mankind such as a working man, family man, and man whose ever-growing obsession starts to run his life. Victor goes through the working man stage at the beginning of the novel where his studies push him into making a lifeless creature come to life. For several years Victor works on his experiment not even talking to his family with who he usually stays in contact with. When the Doctor has his mental and physical breakdown Clerval comes to his rescue. Frankenstein's work deprives his body of health and rest. When people work their heart out, these kinds of things happen, and it becomes a hard lesson for the Doctor to learn. Victor probably would do a better job of taking care of the Monster and probably would not have put his family into such distress for as soon as Frankenstein could he "wished to hurry on, for I longed to console and sympathize with my loved and sorrowing friends." (Shelley 71) The family man part of the Scientist comes forth here. Frankenstein loves his family very much and that becomes the reason why a couple of his "marbles" start missing when some of his family die. To protect his family Victor decides to make another monster, hopefully please the Monster. His love for his father obliges the Doctor to marry Elizabeth "My dear father reassure yourself. I love my cousin tenderly and sincerely." (Shelley 144) The idea of not creating a female creature causes for Victor's bride to die which brings the obsession part of Frankenstein to come out. This disease plagues this man who goes to the ends of the Earth to hunt down the Monster. The obsession becomes so great that the Doctor loses track of time and extinguishing the flame of life out of the Thing becomes the only thing that he thinks about. This obsession like many other types of obsession takes Victor's life like it does to many people today. Frankenstein tries everything to get to the Creature even endangering his life, "he endeavored to spring from the bed, but the exertion was too great for him." (Shelley 205) All of these different types of mankind comes out of Victor and makes this novel one to remember.
The Moral Question of whether or not man should interfere with the plans of God or the creation of living things comes forth in this novel. Whether or not man should interfere with the plans of God comes up many times in this book. People who try to interfere with the plans of God usually suffer major consequences as the Bible shows people today. Victor tries to interfere with the plans of God by creating life to an inanimate body. Many of the consequences that Frankenstein suffers belong to the fact that he messes around with creating life and interfering with the plans of God. What seems great to the Doctor before he creates the Thing becomes a nightmare after "but now that I had finished, the beauty of the dream vanished." (Shelley 56) Frankenstein wishes he would never create the Monster that now haunts him in his dreams and life. The next question of whether or not man should create life comes up and seems to come up in today's society as scientists plan to clone life. The main problem with this becomes that man should never interfere with God's plans, even creating life. Frankenstein creates life and thus pays with his life and the life of his friends and family. This becomes one of the main reasons why the second female creature never comes to life, for Victor sees his first mistake of creating the first creature and does not want to make the same mistake again. By not creating the female monster he stops what he thinks would tear the world apart, "one of the first results of those sympathiesÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ man a condition precarious and full of terror." (Shelley 158) The Doctor learns his lesson but learns it a little to late that people do not need to try to create life and should leave all of that up to God. How people should treat other people the way they want those people to treat them becomes the last moral question that comes up in Frankenstein. The Monster goes into a murderous rage because the people treat him with hate and disgust. The way people treat other people or things can in the long run affect how people act or think. Frankenstein treats his creation with no kindness or anything of the sort thus causing the hate that exists between the two. The blind old man in the cottage becomes the only person, who does not hate and treats the Creature with kindness, "Heaven forbid. Even if you wereÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ not instigate you to virtue." (Shelley 128) Blind people become the only people who do not judge people or treat them badly cause of their outside appearance.
The novel Frankenstein allows people to enjoy a wonderful book while learning a few lessons. The Monster and Frankenstein will always have a place in society as it brings out the horrors of how mankind can act or think. "By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he is wrong."