The Analysis of the Monster of Frankenstein: Man or Brute
What is the difference between man and beast? The answer to that question is as grey as the gloomy clouds that constantly hang over Dr. Frankenstein’s head. Mary Shelley’s characters Dr. Frankenstein and his monster from her novel Frankenstein blur the lines between civilized and animalistic. Before chapter ten the monster is an ominous character, only being seen a few times. The true disposition of the character has yet to be established. Through the setting of the passage, and rhetorical questioning Mary Shelley builds on the motif of redemption and using invectives is able to build layers of depth and complexity of the character. Shelley characterizes the monster as isolated, self pitying, vulnerable, and aggressive.
Mary Shelley uses the dismal and frigid setting of chapter ten to indirectly characterize the monster as isolated and cut off. During the paragraphs preceding the meeting of the monster and Dr. Frankenstein, he orates the scene in great detail, saying that “A mist covered the surrounding mountains. Presently a breeze dissipated the clouds, and I descended upon the glacier” (Shelley 80). The description generates an icy and desolate ambiance surrounding the setting right before the entrance of the monster. By introducing the monster into a dismal and frigid atmosphere Shelley deepens the layers of the monster’s character by creating an indirect link between him and the setting. The setting is elaborated when the monster himself describes his habitat by saying, “dreary glaciers are my refuge” and “These bleak skies I hail, for they are kinder to me than your fellow-beings” (82). Shelley repeatedly uses the word “glacier,” first when Frankenstein describes the scene and again when the monster describes them as his “refuge”. The word glacial, which means of ice, or icy, builds the foundation to make the connection between glacial and the synonym frigid. Also, the utilization of...
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