What are the confusing parts in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein?

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Although dependent on the reader, some possible areas of confusion in Frankenstein include Victor's character inconsistencies and ignorance. Victor's ambition to recreate life dominates his mentality until he succeeds, then he wants nothing to do with his creation. The Creature is left without any instruction and is freed into the world without thought to the consequences.

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The concept of "confusion" can take many forms and is open to a wide range of interpretations in its application to Mary Shelley's masterpiece. For the purpose of your question, it might be best to focus on those aspects of Frankenstein that are perhaps "questionable" in terms of the characters' behavior. The expectations of even a rudimentary type of "realism" Mary Shelley's first readers would have had is relevant as well to your question.

Victor Frankenstein's mindset in both creating life and in reacting to the results of his creation are somewhat confusing because the inconsistencies in his character are largely unexplained. This is part of the general theme of irrationality at the heart of the novel. Not only does Frankenstein abandon the Creature, but at first he gives the impression of not even being curious or concerned about where the Creature has disappeared to and the danger this is going to create for the surrounding population. The short answer as to why Frankenstein behaves this way is that he's in denial. It's as if he suddenly wishes to wipe his memory clean of the whole situation, even though the project of creating life has been his raison d'etre to this point. The long answer probably involves issues of mental illness, cruelty, and a host of psychological mechanisms that were not to be studied systematically until long after Shelley's pathbreaking bookwhether in the work of Freud and others.

The Creature himself is a symbol of Otherness, but it is unclear how or why he immediately recognizes himself as such and does so in such an unforgiving, self-loathing manner when first seeing his own reflection. Obviously he has observed the difference between himself and the De Lacey family, but this extremely limited exposure to what "normal" humans look like doesn't seem sufficient cause for him to be so repelled by his appearance.

Shelley's point is, of course, that the Creature has already assimilated the prejudicial human notions of "normality" and "beauty." Nevertheless, one wonders if the arguable lack of "realism" with which this occurs is an allusion to the general absurdity of bigotry in any form, or is it simply an instance of the extravagant and exaggerated plot points in many novels of the period? As with the inconsistencies in Victor's character, it is difficult to tell how deliberately Shelley injected these elements into the story. In any event, they don't detract from the power of Frankenstein as an enormously vivid and forceful parable of man's inhumanity and self-delusion.

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What are some areas of confusion in the book Frankenstein by Mary Shelley?

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley published her classic work Frankenstein in the early nineteenth century, and it became the prime example of the gothic novel. The book features picturesque settings, gloomy atmospheres of terror and mystery, violent events, and a psychological plot, all of which have become standard elements of the genre.

As brilliant an example of gothic literature as it might be, the book is not without its confusing elements. In order to make her characters more convincing, Shelley uses an epistolary style to tell her tale. The narrative is conveyed by an exchange of letters, or epistles, used to carry the plot of the story. This is not the preferred writing style of later novelists, since it fails to limit the point of view, causing some confusion for the reader.

In Frankenstein, the readers are introduced to three separate narrators, each of whom is explaining a portion of the tale from a particular perspective in the first person. All of these vantage points are framed within the larger story. In other words, the novel presents a story within a story.

For example, in one narration, Arctic explorer Robert Walton advances the plot through a series of letters written to his sister, Mrs. Saville, about his polar exploration. Four of those letters appear in the prologue to the story, while five others appear in the epilogue. It is somewhat perplexing that Mrs. Saville plays no role in the story other than being the recipient of those letters.

So strange an accident has happened to us that I cannot forbear recording it, although it is very probable that you will see me before these papers can come into your possession... Such is my journal of what relates to this strange occurrence up to the present day.

In a second narrative voice, Victor Frankenstein relates his fantastic story about the creation of a monster. Walton and the readers of the novel become aware of Victor’s ambition, which is summed up for the reader in chapter 2:

It was the secrets of heaven and earth that I desired to learn; and whether it was the outward substance of things or the inner spirit of nature and the mysterious soul of man that occupied me, still my inquiries were directed to the metaphysical, or in its highest sense, the physical secrets of the world.

In the third narrative voice the author uses to spin her tale, the monster reveals his feelings to Victor. He tells of loneliness and his resentment toward humans who refuse to accept him:

I am malicious because I am miserable. Am I not shunned and hated by all mankind? You, my creator, would tear me to pieces and triumph; remember that, and tell me why I should pity man more than he pities me?

By choosing the technique of multiple narrators, Shelly infused areas of confusion into her novel. While her work is classic and one of the finest examples of the gothic genre, she does leave room for improvement in the area of narrative technique. Future authors favor singular narration.

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