Loss of Innocence in Frankenstein

Topics: Frankenstein, Mary Shelley, James Whale Pages: 3 (1168 words) Published: December 30, 2005
Loss of Innocence in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

Innocence, throughout time it is lost, varying from who and how much. Throughout the novel Frankenstein there is a central theme of loss of innocence, cleverly instilled by the author, Mary Shelley. This theme is evident in Frankenstein's monster, Victor Frankenstein himself, and three other minor characters that lose their innocence consequently from the two major characters loss.

Frankenstein's monster is destined to lose all innocence as he spirals downward into evil. When the monster is first "born" he can be compared to a baby, young and unknowledgeable to the ways of the world and in need of a caring parent and mentor. Unfortunately his foolish creator neglects the creation and in doing so sets the foundations for the monster's evil. The monster then flees the city and ends up taking refuge near a cottage where a family is staying. He exhibits gentle and caring feelings for the cottagers; he even came to help them out. "I had been accustomed during the night to steal a part of their share for my own consumption but when I found that in doing this I inflicted pain on the cottagers, I abstained, and satisfied myself with berries, nuts, and roots" (Shelley 78). He knew what he was doing to was hurting the cottagers indirectly so he stopped; he just wanted to help and have friends. Unfortunately his naivety and innocence would soon come to an end. In a brief tussle the owner of the cottage assaults the monster and gathers his family to run away. The monster was left alone wallowing in his feeling of betrayal and anger. His emotions take hold and just like that he gives up his innocence in a rage fueled vow. "I vowed eternal hatred and vengeance to all mankind" (Shelley 81). His new found lust for revenge leads him to Geneva, the one place he knew his creator called home in hopes of quenching his bloodlust. Upon arriving in Geneva he stumbles upon a young boy. He brashly decides to take the boy for a...
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