What could be the most significant word in Mary Shelley's novel, Frankenstein in relation to theme?As part of a thematic assignment that was assigned to me, I must find the most significant single...

What could be the most significant word in Mary Shelley's novel, Frankenstein in relation to theme?

As part of a thematic assignment that was assigned to me, I must find the most significant single word in Frankenstein, (that is able to be cited from the text) and explain why the word is important and can relate to the passage. I must also relate this word to objects or symbols inside the novel and consively put together quotes that support my ideas. This word should also be used to form thematic statements of which I must write three and relate back to the symbols I previously used to describe the importance of that particular word.

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kiwi | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

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This is quite a profound question. I would simply use the word 'monster'. Ii would then be appropriate to consider the use of the word 'monster' by Victor, and whether the scientist deserves the epithet more than his creation.

An exploration of chapter 5, where the creature comes to life, could provide a context for close analysis.

I beheld the wretch—the miserable monster whom I had created. He held up the curtain of the bed; and his eyes, if eyes they may be called, were fixed on me. His jaws opened, and he muttered some inarticulate sounds, while a grin wrinkled his cheeks.

In this passage we see Victor facing his creation and its attempts to smile and communicate with him. It is Victor's callous actions as he rejects the new being he has made which mean he is more deserving of the term 'monster' than the being he imbued with the term.

Frankenstein is ashamed and embarrassed by his creation largely because of its ungainly appearance. This shows the scientist to be shallow in the extreme. Here he seeks to conceal the being from Henry Clerval

I dreaded to behold this monster; but I feared still more that Henry should see him.

He is so terrified by his own work that he imagines it overwhelming him - a foreshadowing of future events:

I imagined that the monster seized me; I struggled furiously, and fell down in a fit.

Victor, the giver of life, becomes incapacitated by the enormity of his responsibility and has to be nursed back to health; all the time brooding on his creation:

The form of the monster on whom I had bestowed existence was forever before my eyes, and I raved incessantly concerning him.

 

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