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August 20th, 2012


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02:59 pm - Essay for F&
"No one is an unjust villain in his own mind. ... We're all the hero of our own story." - Jim Butcher, author.

Frankenstein the novel supports this statement in how it's presented. At various times in the book the monster, his creator, and the polar explorer all give a declaration of their view of what happened in the narrative, though the monster's point-of-view is each time filtered by being reported by the other two characters. Each one expounds on how he is only doing what he must. It seems to me that much of the book is spent in each character explaining the choices they made.

The captain of the ship trapped in the ice sends letters to his beloved in which he spells out what he intends to do, and why. He goes on about this completely ignoring, or oblivious to, the ramifications of his enterprise on his darling. It's only after hearing Frankenstein out, and a lucky break in the ice, that changes his mind about continuing to the Pole at all costs, especially as he's already lost several of his crew.

Frankenstein, as revealed in his soliloquy, tells a tale of woe caused by his own choices, which at every step he had made in what he thought was the best intentions. Create life? What an achievement! He chooses to pursue it ignoring all else in his life, to the point of collapse from nervous exhaustion. It is his hubris that leads to his own destruction, and those around him who he values.

Frankenstein's monster tries to join society, but as he is abandoned by his creator he is taught fear and violence by those he meets. Therefore, it is always someone else's fault that he slays so many people. For example, Frankenstein's brother dies because of his kinship, and for no other good reason.

(4 comments | Speak, or forever hold your peace)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:sarahmichigan
Date:August 20th, 2012 04:15 pm (UTC)
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I found Frankenstein to be more montrous than the monster, but you're right that the monster does his share of rationalizing his bad deeds.
[User Picture]
From:mycroftca
Date:August 20th, 2012 10:27 pm (UTC)
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No argument, and that's probably why the book is called Frankenstein, after all.

[User Picture]
From:ellakite
Date:August 20th, 2012 06:22 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I wrote a piece this past year that's exactly on point:

http://ellakite.livejournal.com/316298.html
[User Picture]
From:mycroftca
Date:August 20th, 2012 10:28 pm (UTC)
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Absolutely.
Essay for F& - This ain't no party, this ain't no disco... — LiveJournal

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