In Frankenstein, how does Mary Shelley blur the line between man and monster?I have an essay to write on this, and I have my basic idea of my view on the question. I figured for a proper and...

 In Frankenstein, how does Mary Shelley blur the line between man and monster?

I have an essay to write on this, and I have my basic idea of my view on the question. I figured for a proper and unbiased view, I would get some other opinions.

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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The line between man and monster is blurred in Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein.

Victor as a Monster

Victor, given readers can immediately identify him as a man, can be defined as a monster. It is Victor's creation of a "monster" which can parallel him to his monster. Some may think that through his creation, Victor has "crossed the line." Throughout history, the privilege of giving life has been given to woman. By Victor, a man, "birthing" a "son," he has taken away the one thing with which God allotted women to differentiate them from men. Outside of that, Victor brought into the world a monster which wreaked havoc on humanity. The monster, directly responsible for four deaths (William, Clerval, Elizabeth, and Victor) and indirectly responsible for two deaths (Justine and Victor's father), is a murderer. Therefore, given Victor brought the monster to life, he can be regarded as a monster himself.

The Monster as a Man

The monster, on the other hand, is responsible for many deaths (as detailed above). That being said, the monster does have many moments where his humanity is apparent: taking care of the De Lacey family, saving the little girl from drowning, desiring a companion with whom he can love (and be loved in return), and the asking of forgiveness from Victor all prove the monster to be human.

By making the monster human, and Victor into a monster, the lines between the two are blurred. This blurring also speaks to the theme of Appearances and Reality as seen in the novel.

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