The Desire For Revenge In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

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Not So Sweet, Sweet Revenge What inclines people to kill? There are various answers to this question, and including factors of personality, background, and relationships are needed to thoroughly develop a response. However, the desire for revenge in an individual is the most significant contributor to this answer. A mind filled with revenge is a dangerous one. In her gothic novel Frankenstein, Mary Shelley asserts that being consumed by the desire for revenge ultimately destroys one’s life and the lives of others. She supports her assertion firstly by illustrating the events that lead to the breaking point of the monster, secondly, by demonstrating what the monster does after he gets revenge in his mind, and lastly by indicating the inevitable …show more content…
Shelley incorporates scenes in which the monster is attacked because of his appearance. One instance takes place in the cottage where Felix beats the monster and drives him away. Shortly after, the monster stumbles upon a girl drowning in a stream, and he rescues her. The man accompanying the girl believes the monster is attacking her, and he shoots the monster. However, despite his significant size advantage, he does not harm either of these people. The monster’s mentality is understandably filled with insatiable anger and vengeance toward Victor. The monster anger is shown when he states, “Cursed, cursed creator! Why did I live? Why, in that instant, did I not extinguish the spark of existence which you had so wantonly bestowed? I know not; despair had not yet taken possession of me; my feelings were those of rage and revenge” (Shelley 97). These events lead to the monster’s need for revenge. At this point, the monster has already killed innocent people. Why did he not obliterate Felix in the cottage or just let the girl drown in the stream? It exposes the monster’s genuine character; he only kills people with connections to Victor to get his revenge; he is not a true killer at heart. Neither of the characters benefits from the monster’s actions, and the monster’s disposition ultimately leads to rage pursued by the monster because of these unjust …show more content…
How can one go from wanting to kill someone’s entire bloodline to crying over their death? It is because Victor was the only reason the monster had to live; without Victor, the monster’s life is meaningless. The monster’s life was consumed by revenge to the point in which it was his sole purpose for living. When the monster sees Victor’s corpse, he weeps, “. . . he could not sum up the hours and months of misery which I endured, wasting in impotent passions. For while I destroyed his hopes, I did not satisfy my own desires” (Shelley 165). The monster is devastated from Victor’s death. Victor was so engaged in the monster’s revenge that he chased the monster north. Furthermore, making Victor’s life miserable was the sole reason for the monster’s existence. This demonstrates how both subjects are consumed by revenge; the monster had no other reason to live and Victor’s life was so miserable that he sacrificed his own life. Neither character wins; revenge gets the best of both of them. At first, revenge may sound like a good way to make someone pay for his wrongdoings; however, both subjects are at risk of devastation, not just the sufferer. In Frankenstein, Shelley demonstrates how revenge ravages not only the victim but also the culprit. Shelly displays the constant change of the characters of the novel and the effects revenge has on them. She first illustrates what incidents lead to vengeance in the monster, second,

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