English Paper: Rhetorical Analysis of Frankenstein

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Mary Shelley makes us question who really the “monster” is. Is it the creature or Victor? While the creature does commit murder, he does not understand the consequences of his actions. He is like an infant who is unfortunately left to learn about the workings of society, and his place in it, on his own. He has no companions and feels a great sense of loneliness and abandonment. The creature voices his frustration and anger and seems to try to project his feelings of guilt onto Victor, as if to show him that he is the ultimate cause of the creature’s misery while he is simply the victim of Victor’s manic impulse. Shelley utilizes words, phrases, and specific tones when the creature vents his misery to Victor and this evokes, amongst the readers, a feeling of empathy towards the creature and makes us call into question our definitions of what monstrosity really is. The creature is miserable and hurt and this can be seen through the way he speaks to Victor. The creature wonders “why did [he] live?” and why “in that instant, did [he] not extinguish the spark of existence” (160) which Victor had bequeathed upon him. The creature’s tone exemplifies his rage about his existence and how he really wishes he could simply perish and not have to live with this life that Victor has given him. By addressing his creator, in this way, the creature seems to be trying to put the blame of his cursed and wretched life upon Victor. This makes the reader wonder as to who really is the monster in this novel: Victor or the creature? The creature’s tone almost seems filled with desperation and almost like a plea to get Victor to see what a dismal life he has led so far and that he too desires love and companionship. Similarly, the creature tells Victor that “[he] is malicious because [he] is miserable that that he is “shunned and hated by all mankind” (169). It seems that the creature is trying to impose guilt on Victor, so that he can take pity on the creature and ultimately bestow him...
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