So…I had a nice conspiracy theory blog that I was just about to upload, then my laptop went and crashed on me, resulting in the complete loss of said blog, and rather than rewrite the damn thing, I decided to take a book analysis I did in high school (for this book, of course) and post it here instead. The whole thing is quite long though, so I just put in the more interesting bits, some of which is similar to my forever lost blog. So…here you go.
Although I consider the climax to occur at the time of the monster’s final speech, research into other sources points instead to the death of Elizabeth as the climax, with the final speech a part of the falling action. Despite this information, however, I firmly maintain my position that the climax does indeed occur at the end of the novel. My reasoning for this is that while the death of Elizabeth does mark the final nail on the coffin for the fate of Victor, the death of Victor and the monster’s vow of suicide marks the final nail on the coffin for the fate of anyone who undergoes the enterprise that Victor has pursued. It finalizes the cautionary theme of the entire novel, and is thus in my opinion the true climax of the story.
In general, the characterization in the novel is the weakest aspect of Mary’s writing. Though the characters themselves are round and moderately believable (probably more so in the time period this was written in), the problem is that virtually every person in the novel possesses the exact same character – in other words, they all have the same personality, but with varying circumstances that may illuminate one or more different aspects but still in the end derive off of the same archetype. This was a somewhat annoying deterrent to my enjoyment of this novel, though it wasn’t a major turn-off as the story focuses more on philosophical concepts than personal relations. In hindsight, I’ve considered the possibility that the reason for this severe lack of character variety is the resultant of a technique that Shelley utilized in order to highlight the fact that everyone possesses the potential to become like Frankenstein and his monster. If this is true, then I applaud her; I honestly doubt that it is though.
“Like Adam, I was apparently united by no link to any other being in existence; but his state was far different from mine in every other respect…Many times I considered Satan as the fitter emblem of my condition, for often, like him, when I viewed the bliss of my protectors, the bitter gall of envy rose within me” (110).
After finishing the novel, I have come to this conclusion with regards to this allusion: Frankenstein’s monster is Adam, while Frankenstein himself is Satan. My reasoning for this is thus:
Frankenstein, in his creation of the monster, “polluted” the natural form of life. The knowledge of good and evil was forced onto the neutral existence, thus creating the unnatural monster – this is an allusion to Eve being tricked into eating the fruit by Satan. Upon seeing the hideous monster, Frankenstein, the rest of humanity, and eventually the monster itself abhors its appearance – this is an allusion to Adam and Eve wearing clothes because they did not want to be naked. After this point, however, the allusion becomes loose for one reason.
There is no parallel to God.
Because of this, the events themselves play out differently than in the biblical sequence (I may be wrong as I have not actually read the bible). It is not God that punishes Frankenstein/Satan for his misdeed, but rather his own knowledge and corruption that destroys his “Eden” of Geneva. The monster/Adam, having no God to guide it, is gradually tainted by the world and ultimately becomes evil even though it wishes to be virtuous. The tragedy of the story plays out when, at the end, having mutually destroyed each others’ happiness, Frankenstein/Satan dies in the cold hell of the arctic while the monster/Adam resolves to die in a hell of fire.
Being someone who does not believe in objective morality, I viewed Frankenstein and his monster as equal existences while I read the story. In my opinion, Frankenstein’s fatal mistake was not in creating the monster, but in his immediate rejection of it thereafter, which was the trigger that would eventually lead to the tragic conclusion. I consider the monster to be more justified than Frankenstein in his demands, but recognize Frankenstein’s reasoning in refusing to create another monster that he has by then designated as the source of his misfortune. It is here that this story becomes a true tragedy rather than a conflict of “good” and “evil.” Both characters are simply existences that are trying to gain happiness in their lives, who through unfortunate circumstances and misguided actions cause the unhappiness of all.
Reading something I wrote roughly a year ago makes me feel like my writing quality has degraded…oh well. Hopefully, my computer won’t crash next time.