Transformation Of The Monster In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

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In Frankenstein, Mary Shelley talks about a monster, who transforms from an innocent

individual to an evil person at the end. The entire story revolves around the monster and his

creator, who abandons the monster at the time of monster’s creation. Furthermore, the society

rejects the monster and this rejection changes the harmless being to a harmful creature. Thus,

Shelly comments on the idea of human nature being learned and not innate through her tale of

the monster. I strongly believe Mary Shelley’s portrayal of the monster in the story depicts

human transformation based on their experience in the society.

According to Shelley, human beings are blank at the time they are born. This is evident in

her way of describing the monster
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She further employs his idea of “knowledge” being

gathered by “experience”, and further writing our character (TOM 107). Parallel to his idea, the

monster acquires all the knowledge by observing the people and experiencing various emotions

such as isolation, feeling of hated by all and the pain of rejection solely based on his ugly

appearance. These experiences write his character as he transforms from being helpful and nice

to evil and kills the people who are close to his creator out of the rage that he infused upon the

rejection. Therefore, Shelly’s idea of human nature to learn is similar to that of John Locke.

Furthermore, Shelly also incorporates the Bacon’s induction idea to define human

tendency to learn as they observe. As in inductive reasoning, one learns by making many

observations and then comes to the result based on the patterns observed, Shelly depicts that the

monster learns gradually through observing different things in the society. For instance, the

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Shelley comments on Bacon’s idea of Induction by using it to develop the notion of human

beings to observe, learn and develop their ideas gradually about the things they observe, further

defining human character.

Shelly depicts how society influences an individual and turns him into an evil being. As

the monster, who is learning everything by experiencing, observing the nature and people around

him, discovers the feelings of rage and hatred only because of the society’s harsh and unequal

treatment. She portrays the unequal, judgemental society to be the root cause of transforming the

noble creature into an actual monster. Initially, the monster makes several attempts so that the

society and his creator accepts him, but then after understanding the people in the society with

time, the monster states: “If I cannot inspire love, I will cause fear!” (Frankenstein 128). This

explains how the monster changes over the period because he realizes that the people in the

society will never accept him and he will never come out of this feeling of being isolated. This

idea demonstrated by Shelley, comments on the idea of Rousseau, who claims people to

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