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How does Mary Shelley create sympathy for the monster in chapter 15 of Frankenstein?...

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xoxoxoxoxo | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 4, 2010 at 11:55 PM via web

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How does Mary Shelley create sympathy for the monster in chapter 15 of Frankenstein? Use quotes

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mkcapen1 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted April 5, 2010 at 12:03 AM (Answer #1)

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In chapter 15 of the book Frankenstein the reader gets to hear the story from the creature's perspective.  The creature has had to live alone.  He has collected food and made himself shelter to hide away.  He comes across books and teaches himself to read.  Reading helps him to develop new insight.

Shelly creates in her creature a man who has wisdom and a desire to learn.However, the more intellectual the creature becomes the more he feels dejection and isolation.  He begins to recognize that he has no place to really have come from, and that he will always be alone. 

He had finally reached out to the cottage people only to be rejected again.  He begs the old man to accept him and his family to be there for him.

"You and your family are the friends whom I seek.  Do not desert me in the hour of trial."(142)

He is rejected and alone once again after his plea.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted April 5, 2010 at 12:07 AM (Answer #2)

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In this chapter, the author is showing the monster at its most human.  She is showing how the monster has feelings and she is showing how it aspires to be a good "person." When she does this, she is trying to make us identify with the monster.  She is trying to make us see that it is like us -- it has good intentions and the same kinds of desires that we human beings have.

She shows us this by having the monster read from classic books and by having it try to apply those books to its own life.  She is showing that it is intellectually and morally similar to human beings.

Here's a long quote showing this sort of thing:

"I endeavoured to crush these fears and to fortify myself for the trial which in a few months I resolved to undergo; and sometimes I allowed my thoughts, unchecked by reason, to ramble in the fields of Paradise, and dared to fancy amiable and lovely creatures sympathizing with my feelings and cheering my gloom; their angelic countenances breathed smiles of consolation. But it was all a dream; no Eve soothed my sorrows nor shared my thoughts; I was alone. I remembered Adam's supplication to his Creator. But where was mine? He had abandoned me, and in the bitterness of my heart I cursed him.

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