Sympathy in Mary Shelley's Frankenstien

Topics: Frankenstein, Life, Mary Shelley Pages: 4 (1597 words) Published: May 5, 2009
The romantic writer Mary Shelley published Frankenstein, in 1818. Her novel encompasses sympathy between a tragic science creation of a monster and his creator, Victor Frankenstein. Frankenstein is written in two parts, first from the narration of Frankenstein himself, then from the view of the monster, which allows in depth analysis of the characters feelings. Shelly uses sympathy and beauty to illustrate the dynamic relationship between Frankenstein and his creation.

Shelley uses pathetic fallacy in chapter five when the monster is given life. Her use of the weather “It was a dreary night in November” (42) and “the rain pattered dismally against the windowpanes” (42). This scene alone makes the reader aware of a dark dismal, gothic environment in which Shelley uses when the monster is given life. In this same scene Frankenstein brings life to his creation: “With an anxiety that almost amounted to agony. I collected the instruments of life around me, that I might infuse a spark of being into the lifeless thing that lay at my feet” (42). The beauty in this passage is that Frankenstein was so excited to finally put life to his ‘perfect’ creation of a human life, but as he collected the parts for this body it was as if he look at each individual part as perfect, rather then the whole product. His reaction to the monster was unlike any proud parent’s reaction would be to welcoming a child into their lives. Instead his only reaction is pure disappointment. That’s the irony of Shelly’s words, because we as readers feel bad that he has dedicated so much of himself into bring life to this being. He says:

I had worked hard for nearly two years, for the sole purpose of infusing life into an inanimate body. For this I had deprived myself of rest and health. I had desired it with an ardour that far exceeded moderation; but now that I had finished the beauty of the dram vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart. Unable to endure the aspect of the...

Cited: Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft. Frankenstein, or, The modern Prometheus. New York: New American Library, 2000.
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