Role of Identity in Mary Shelleys Frankenstein Essay

1047 Words Jun 17th, 2005 5 Pages
In past and present, society has always put an emphasis on external appearance as opposed to inner personality. As a result, social classes are formed, such as upper and lower, wherein members of each class must uphold the norms defined by the prestige of the class. Upper classes are deemed to be perfect, as they contain the wealthy and the beautiful. This class distinction is heightened in Gothic literature where emotions and the persona of the characters are externalized. Emotions are literalized as characters, supernatural phenomena, and the protagonist and antagonist roles.
Victor Frankenstein's upbringing in a perfect society ultimately led to the destruction of his life which coincided with the lives of those emotionally close to
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Victor and his creation demonstrate a thesis-antithesis correspondence wherein they reflect opposite character traits. Victor has no sense of empathy or compassion, whereas the monster, although hideous and rejected by society as an outcast, has a warm heart and learns the value of love. The monster is a physical allegory of Victor's unconscious desires and ambitions and the inability of man to escape the monster within. But Victor denies the similarities between himself and the monster, and also denies the relationship between them and condemns the monster. He shows complete hatred toward the monster but only has himself to blame. By denying his relationship with the monster, he also subconsciously denies the monstrosities that he has done. Resentment builds up in both the creator and the creation to the point that total hatred consumes them both. Victor becomes overwhelmed with hatred when he has himself to blame for losing the ones he loved. An unloved creation seeks revenge on an indifferent creator: Remember that I have power, you believe yourself to be miserable, but I can make you so wretched that the light of day will be hateful to you. You are my creator, but I am your master... (Shelley, Frankenstein, P. 162). Both cease to live with troubled hearts in a troubled society.

People are defined by their environment and how they react to their environment. Environments that appear to be perfect on the

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