Implications of Human Nature on Shelley’s Frankenstein

Mary Shelley lived during a period of political transformation and at a time when she also witnessed some of the most powerful monarchies of Europe. Those monarchies fought each other and sent soldiers to war. While the war was happening on the streets of Paris, philosophers Thomas Hobbes and John Locke described the nature of humankind. All the atrocities of war inspired them to define our nature. According to their ideologies, humans are born selfish and have an intuitive ability and capacity of being evil. They also believed, alongside Mary Shelley’s mother, that the evil side of mankind was the result of socialization.

Does Mary Shelley agree to this? Not exactly.

Through her novel, Shelley offers a chance to develop and explore these controversial claims about human nature. Even though her mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, believed in those claims, Mary Shelley argues that the evils of humankind are not innate traits. In fact, as Victor Frankenstein’s creature was raised by society in the novel, the evil and the desire of revenge are explained and described by Shelley as being learned, and not innate and intuitive habits.

“I am malicious because I am miserable. Am I not shunned and hated by all mankind?” (Page 104) – The Creature.

Late in the novel, the creature explains to his creator that all the kind and good gestures of his were returned with beatings, gunshots, and rejection of the people he tried to be kind with. He also explains that nobody likes him, that they reject and hate him. The creature then states that all the physical and mental wounds that covers his body and mind are important factors that led to his malice and rage.

With that, Mary Shelley seems to argue that the humans do not have innate traits of revenge and evil. She also argues for a society in which all humans, and even Frankenstein’s creation, have basic rights and are treated equally. That is a society that she would have wanted in her time, a society that was not even close to reach that point and she used Frankenstein to explain it.

 

Source:

https://my.vanderbilt.edu/robot/2015/09/the-implications-of-shellys-frankenstein-on-human-nature-and-government-2/

Picture credit: ww.iaacblog.com

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Rant on De Lacey Post

The De Lacey Post. Explaining how De Lacey was able to interact with the Creature without being judgment by his looks.

[Continuation]

A lesson can be learned from this. What if we were all able to walk in the shoes of a blind man for a couple days and meet new people? Even people we absolutely loath. The power of words and bonding without sight can reveal something new in every conversation. By loosing our vision we actually see more then before. This is because our senses obscure our judgment on everything. We are quick to judge when we smell something bad or “feel” hostile presence. In reality we can’t know about any of those unless we encounter them and experience their true essence.

In reality, no one’s perfect. People are weak and unsightly. We grow jealous and try to kick each other down all too easily. Strangely enough, the greater the man, the more he suffers in life. Maybe De Lacey is better than all of us, not because he’s blind but because he knows what it’s like to suffer and loose everything.

Is De Lacey Nice To the Creature Just Because He’s Blind?

De Lacey originated from France, he lives in a cottage with his son and daughter. He’s a kind aged being. P.144 “descended from a good family in France” , he’s the only person we read who treats the monster kindly. But is this only because he’s blind?

His vision isn’t clouded by prejudice of the creature’s ugliness. He doesn’t see the outside of the creature only, his true self. Compared to every other character, he encounters with. Even animals are seen keeping their distance from him. As an example, when he saves the girl from drowning he is “rewarded” with a bullet shot at him.

p.175 “But that cannot be; the human senses are insurmountable barriers to our union.” This is saying that the Creature can never be accepted for the sole reason of his looks. Are people so shallow as to instantly reject and judge him straight away without even considering his story? The creature never asked to be created.

 

 

Foolish Mortals Beware… It’s the House of Frankenstein

Foolish mortals beware…

The summer is coming up and you may be looking for trips and activities to spend the lovely hot days of the summer season.

If you are fans of haunted houses and horror attractions, I suggest you visit the House of Frankenstein in Toronto. Yes, going to Toronto for a haunted house may sound crazy but it is worth the trip as you can also visit different attractions and haunted houses on the same street as the House of Frankenstein.

Your love for Frankenstein will be duplicated as you will encounter the famous creation as well as many “monsters” inside of this terrifying house. Be prepared to face and see the abominations that will make you scream!

Be warned guys… this is not for the weak of heart!

Click here to have more information about the House of Frankenstein.

Are you considering visiting this house this summer? Let us know in the comments!

Picture’s credit: House of Frankenstein, http://www.houseofrankenstein.ca

The creature IS Bigfoot!

There is a mythical creature that is said to live in the Americas called Bigfoot and also known as Sasquatch. This is the same creature as the one made by Victor Frankenstein because the creature told Victor his plan for when he would be done with him.

“I will go to the vast wilds of South America. My food is not that of man; I do not destroy the lamb and the kid to glut my appetite; acorns and berries afford me sufficient nourishment.” He said this on page 176 of the novel. At the end of the story, the creature says it will make a pyre and burn itself to death but we have no way of knowing if the creature really does this as he “was soon borne away by the waves and lost in darkness and distance.” Since the creature struggles to stay alive for the whole story, we have no reason to think it will actually kill itself but instead it most probably went south to the New World (the Americas). As for it surviving all these years, the answer is simple: the creature can’t die from old age because it is already dead.

Bigfoot is said to be around 8 feet tall, have a pronounced brow ridge, have black hair and a strong unpleasant smell. It is also said that Bigfoot is omnivorous and nocturnal. All of these things are true for Frankenstein’s creature as well. This is why Frankenstein’s creature is still alive and is no other than the mythical Bigfoot.

Frakenblog Quiz: How well do you know Frankenstein? Part II

Quiz.png

In response to all the positive comments on the first quiz, I have made another one since many of our readers have asked for more. Enjoy!

1.    How does Victor Frankenstein’s mother die?

  • She is sentenced to death
  • The monster chokes her
  • She is shot
  • She dies of a disease
  1. How does the monster learn to speak?
  • His creator instructs him by reading to him and daily lectures
  • His creator enhances his human like capacities with the help of alchemy
  • By learning from Walton
  • By listening to Felix teach Safie his language
  1. In Paradise Lost, to which characters does the monster relate to?
  • Adam and Satan
  • Adam and Eve
  • The son of God
  • Raphael
  1. Which of the these is NOT one of the famous alchemists of which Victor studies in his youth?
  • Hydrargyrum
  • Alain De Lille
  • Lucretius
  • Chymes

5.    Which of these books is NOT of those read by the monster?

  • The inferno
  • Paradise lost
  • The Odyssey
  • Eumenides

6.     What does Walton do after Victor dies?

  • He doesn’t care, he laughs and continues with his work
  • He leaves Geneva and with his painful memories
  • He moves to the south where he changes careers and tries to forget his past life
  • He swears vengeance upon him and plots to slay the monster

7.    After successfully saving the girl, what event takes place right after?

  • The girl, frightened by his looks, shrieks for help and kicks the monster
  • He is awarded and given a home and promised safety
  • He is shot
  • He is damned and hunted away

8.    In chapter 6, Justine Moritz confesses the murder of William, what is her consequence

  • She is banned from the town for five years, she must come back a new person
  • She is legally condemned to execution
  • She is condemned to life imprisonment
  • She is lynched before her trial, her body hanging from a tree

9.    What is the monster’s motive when he kills Victor’s brother?

  • He decided to kill everyone he is associated with and then end his own life
  • He was cursed into doing so with dark alchemy
  • This is his reaction when Victor attempts to create something else
  • He is sick of all people relate to Victor in any way

10.  What happens on Victor and Elizabeth’s wedding night?

  • The monster assaults Elizabeth and slaughters her
  • The monster assaults Victor and slaughters him
  • The monster is intimidated and does not take his revenge
  • Victor knew the monster would come so devises a plan to capture and kill him

 

answers
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Answers: 1:a  2:d   3:a   4:c   5:a   6:b   7:c   8:b   9:d   10:a

 

(Questions and answers inspired from Sparknotes.com)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SparkNotes’ Summary Video

Hello guys! Today I give you the best summary video on Mary Shelley’s novel that I have been able to find on the Internet.

The SparkNotes team has done an impressing work producing this summary video. The video covers the important parts of the novel while offering a quick synopsis, analysis, and discussions about the major themes and characters of the novel.

I hope you guys enjoy the video and may it help you understand the novel even more!

Credit: SparkNotes, channel: VideoSparkNotes

Epic Quotes from Frankenstein, What Could they Mean??

No human being could have passed a happier childhood than myself. My parents were possessed by the very spirit of kindness and indulgence. We felt that they were not the tyrants to rule our lot according to their caprice, but the agents and creators of all the many delights which we enjoyed. When I mingled with other families, I distinctly discerned how peculiarly fortunate my lot was, and gratitude assisted the development of filial love.”

-Frankenstein, Chapter 2

Could there be a different meaning behind Frankenstein’s childhood? One that contrasts directly with his creation? Victor’s childhood life was distinguished by his parents who cared and loved for him. In a sense, the monster’s “childhood” if we may, antitheses with his own.


One man’s life or death were but a small price to pay for the acquirement of the knowledge which I sought, for the dominion I should acquire and transmit over the elemental foes of our race.”

-Walton, Letter 4

Here Robert is writing to his sister about how important his goals are. Could he possibly be saying that it’s ok of if a man dies in the name of science as long as he fulfills his principles of scientific achievements? Walton is starting to go some-what mad. Is there possibly a foreshadowing effect?

 


When night came again I found, with pleasure, that the fire gave light as well as heat and that the discovery of this element was useful to me in my food, for I found some of the offals that the travellers had left had been roasted, and tasted much more savoury than the berries I gathered from the trees. I tried, therefore, to dress my food in the same manner, placing it on the live embers. I found that the berries were spoiled by this operation, and the nuts and roots much improved.”

Just like his creator, is he attempting to comprehend the existence of acquiring scientific results by repeated, varied attempts which are continued until success?

-The Monster, Chapter 11


Cursed, cursed creator! Why did I live? Why, in that instant, did I not extinguish the spark of existence which you had so wantonly bestowed? I know not; despair had not yet taken possession of me; my feelings were those of rage and revenge. I could with pleasure have destroyed the cottage and its inhabitants and have glutted myself with their shrieks and misery.”

The Monster, Chapter 16

The phrase “The spark of existence which you had so wantonly bestowed” ressembles a lot like a disapproval of people having babies, mainly taking into account that the word “wanton” is used when defining excessive sexual activity, which in the past meant that the family tended to have an”immoderate” amount babies.

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How Norse Mythology Influenced the Frankenstein Novel

While writing Frankenstein, Shelley drew inspiration (intentionally or not) from the vast repertoire of Norse Mythology. There are many parallels between the characters found within the novel, notably Frankenstein and his Monster. It could be argued that Frankenstein’s Monster is an adaptation of Loki, the Norse Jötunn god of Mischief, and Frankenstein is an adaptation of Thor, the Norse god of Thunder. Through extensive analysis, it is apparent that the climax of the story is very similar to the events leading to the Ragnarok, the Norse Apocalypse, all the way down to symbolic representations.

Firstly, it is important to understand the general context of the Ragnarok. In this case, a specific part of it is observed: when Thor ventures into Niflheim, an icebound wasteland, home to all the evil creatures conspiring towards the end of the world. Symbolically, Frankenstein resembles Thor as he is associated with lightning, adventurousness (through scientific exploits and breaking boundaries). The Monster, represents Loki, as he is quite similar to a Jötunn (Ice Giants) in terms of physique. His actions also resemble Loki as they are meant to cause chaos and lead to the demise of the Hero (Frankenstein).

Upon reaching the arctic wasteland in pursuit of the Monster, Frankenstein’s means of transportation (Sled-Dogs) fails him. This could be interpreted as a representation of Fenrir, Loki’s wolf son, being the first obstacle in his quest. Frankenstein then finds shelter on an expedition ship, thus conquering the sea, which could be interpreted as Jörmungandr (the Sea-Serpent). Unfortunately, as Jörmungandr’s poison kills Thor after the battle, the frostbite and illness claim Frankenstein.

The Monster, now in his solitude, is punished for his crimes in a similar fashion as Loki. The Norse Trickster God was bound by chains for eternity, where poison is dripped onto his head. His wife is there to collect the poison in a bowl before it damages Loki, but when she leaves to empty said bowl, Loki is left to writhe in pain as the poison drips onto him. Similarly, the Monster is left to writhe in agony as the absence of his wife renders him unable to mitigate the emotional pain caused by eternal loneliness.
Sources:

https://ojs.unbc.ca/index.php/joe/article/download/234/307

http://norse-mythology.org/gods-and-creatures/the-aesir-gods-and-goddesses/loki/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fenrir

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J%C3%B6rmungandr

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loki

Frankenstein’s Monster: An Archetypal Lover

To understand the content of this post, one must first understand the context and basic concepts of Jungian Archetypal Psychology. Carl Jung was a famous psychologist who believed that the human psyche follows archetypal patterns, and that personality could be predicted according to said archetypes. While the number of archetypes increases as we delve deeper into more specific psychological characteristics, for the sake of simplicity, this analysis will focus on the 12 major archetypes.

These 12 archetypes are divided into three sets of 4; The Ego, the Soul, and the Self. This gives a general understanding of where the interests of each archetype lie. It is important to note that one person may have an amalgam of different archetypal characteristics, however there is always one dominant one. It is also important to understand that the given archetype of a person may change after a life-changing event has occurred, as is the case for Frankenstein’s Monster.

From what is described in the beginning of the novel, where the Monster is introduced and has a chance to re-tell its experiences, readers can clearly see that, initially, it is not evil. Given the desires that drive the Monster, it is clear that he belongs to the Lover archetype. The Lover aims a sense of intimacy and belonging with others, and does so through passion, admiration, and selflessness. This is clearly visible when the Monster assists the family of peasants in their daily struggles. Completely altruistic in being, the creature merely wishes to be of assistance. However, the Monster’s personality directly clashes with his physical appearance. Though he has perfect white teeth and flowing black hair, his eyes remain pale and dead, which is a permanent barrier to his sense of inclusion.

After facing colossal rejection from the object of his admiration, the Monster’s personality consumes itself in chaos. His passion degenerates to rage, self-loathing, and vengeance. All the positive aspects of the Lover are warped into their negative counterparts. This follows the typical symbolism of the “Son eating the Father”, as is represented in Oedipus, as well as numerous myths throughout history. This leads to both the demise of the Father (Frankenstein) as well as Son (the Monster). The creature becomes essentially the antithesis of his own being.

Sources:

http://www.soulcraft.co/essays/the_12_common_archetypes.html