Why does Frankenstein’s monster kill in the novel? This is a deceptively simple question, so let me elaborate just a bit. What is his reason and motive for revenge? How does the monster admit that all of his killing could have been avoided? What moral burden does this place on us as readers?

Directions

Full-bodied entries—of at least ten sentences of writing from you (in addition to quotations from the text)—are more likely to receive full credit. Lesser credit will be assigned to work that is missing, brief, or clearly disengaged or sloppily produced such that miscues interfere with readability.

Questions (Film/Novel)

**Before answering this unit’s questions, you should view a Frankenstein film of your own choosing. IMDB.com lists over 385 choices, when you search by the title character’s name, so be creative in your choice.  Also, you should complete Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein.**

++Watch Both Videos++

“FRANKENSTEIN” (1931): The Infamous Censored Scenes

FRANKENSTEIN” (1931)

Develop and discuss with your classmates the differences between modern and contemporary interpretations of the Frankenstein plot in filmic terms

Why does Frankenstein’s monster kill in the novel? This is a deceptively simple question, so let me elaborate just a bit. What is his reason and motive for revenge? How does the monster admit that all of his killing could have been avoided? What moral burden does this place on us as readers?

Who is the real monster in the novel, Frankenstein, and why do you say so?

Answer

Initially, Frankenstein’s monster believed he was deserving of kindness and sympathy from the cottagers
or town’s folk that he observed. He he had a desire to live side by side with the cottagers as one of them;
he wanted them to express an array of positive emotional responses towards him. This can be seen
within the book with statements like, “I admired virtue and good feelings and loved the gentle manners
and amiable qualities of my cottagers, but I was shut out from intercourse with them, except through
means which I obtained by stealth, when I was unseen and unknown, and which rather increased than
satisfied the desire I had of becoming one among my fellows.” (Shelley, 2003, P.123). Furthermore, he
saw the cottagers bestow generosity to the poor that stopped at their doors and he desired this same sort
of kindness be bestowed onto him. Upon his observations of the cottagers, he was able to use the
observations of humanity to learn how to possess a sense of morality in himself; all he wanted was to be
seen as a human.

Clearly Frankenstein’s monster does not initially possess a vile thought process; his urge for revenge and
violence was developed over time with the the rejection that he experienced from the cottagers. This
rejection cut deep within his emotional thread and drove him to seek revenge by inflicting his violence on
humanity itself as seen with the following quote from the book. “My heart was fashioned to be susceptible
of love and sympathy, and when wrenched by misery to vice and hatred, it did not endure the violence of
the change without torture such as you cannot even imagine. When he sought his own enjoyment in
feelings and passions from the indulgence of which I was forever barred, then impotent envy and bitter
indignation filled me with an insatiable thirst for vengeance.” (Shelley, 2003, P.222).

We can start to sympathize with the monster as he is rejected and turns towards the act of violence. The
monster is painted as a unique spirit that just wants to join humanity and live as a man instead of a
monster. This desire for acceptance from humanity and the “town’s folk” rejection of him for being
different allows the reader to feel for the monster and to look at his reaction towards the townies as being
somewhat justifiable.

What do you believe the ultimate argument of the novel Frankenstein to be? How can we develop
this argument as part of a class in serial killer media? As this is the only novel that we’ll be
reading from the 18th century, how does this older work inform the writings that we have thus far
read in class?

Generally the main take away from this novel is with the “dangers of playing God”. While this might be
part of the message that is presented, I believe there is a deeper message within the writing. There is a
message about the morality or lack of morality within human nature, this lack of morality can be seen
with the disgust and rejection that Frankenstein and the cottagers have with the “monster”. It is obvious
that Victor Frankenstein’s creation ultimately turned into a killer but the violence that the monster
inflicted onto man was not due to the “unholy” nature at which he was created. Initially the monster just
wanted to coexist with human kind, however, the killer within the monster was brought to the surface
when he was ultimately rejected by Victor and the rest of humanity. This rejection is what lead him
down a path of “evil” and this is where the true message/argument starts to come clear. By showing how
the monster turned towards a destructive path after the rejection of man, the reader is allowed to see a
message about morality and how the lack of acceptance of another just because they’re different can
contribute to the creation of a monster. Mankind made him a monster, he was not created as a monster.
This type of message can be transferred to other elements within the world. For instance, an argument
can be made that some killers are not predisposition to be evil or to be serial killers, instead, they are
turned into vile individuals through their experiences in life, the lack of morality of their parents, or
some type of rejection from society. So the deeper message is about morality, acceptance, and even
parenting (Victor being the parent).

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