Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Prompt 2: Rhetoric, Lies and Contradictions

In the novel “Frankenstein”, it is unclear on whom the true monster is; the monster or Victor Frankenstein. For almost the entirety of the book, the reader has to believe that the monster is the true monster, but after greater examination it is clear that Victor Frankenstein is the actual monster. Victor’s actions even prove to the reader that he brought this upon himself. Starting very early in the novel, Victor argues to himself that the monster is truly evil and that he wants nothing to do with it or anything remotely close to it. Victor’s mind is strongly made up about this argument, but there is one possible location where he feels some remorse and even puts his feelings aside for about a split second and no longer than that.
The reader can first establish Victor’s argument very early in the book, when the monster first comes to life. After Victor spent over two years trying to bring life to a lifeless creature, he finally succeeds but only to his disappointment he is not pleased. Whenever the monster comes near Victor as seen on pages 53 and 54, Victor flees the scene and wants absolutely nothing to do with the monster. It is at this point in the novel when the reader can see Victor’s argument that he wants nothing to do with the monster form. This argument does not change until page 166 when Victor consents to the monsters demand of having a female companion made for the monster. This is the one and only point in the novel where Victor feels any remorse for the monster and does something to help someone else. Victor does in fact work on his new monster for many months and in doing so his spirits and health improve. However, when Victor is well ahead of schedule and not far from finishing, he has a realization and destroys all his work and vows to never create a monster again (Shelly 189, 190). Victor, although mainly against anything dealing with the monster does reconsider his argument for a bit only to return back to his main argument that the monster is pure evil and should have never been created.
This argument that Victor makes throughout the entire novel shows the reader what Victor really is; a monster. However, after listening to the monster Victor changes for one minuscule moment. Victor realizes just what he has done and how terrible the life of the monster has been for the past year or so. All the monster wants is one creature to keep him company because no human will ever give him the time of day. Victor agrees and soon starts his work on the new creature. This change in Victor shows that he may not be as terrible a person as the reader so far believes. Victor’s change in thought could even show that he wants to help the monster and has regrets of running away in the first place. Victor may change and not be a monster after all, but then Victor quickly returns to his normal self and destroys his new creation. It is hard not to wonder what would have happened if Victor would have given the monster a chance and not thought of it as pure evil for the majority of the book. But, when Victor goes back and forth on his argument, it shows the reader that Victor truly is a monster and has no interests of helping anyone except himself.

Victor’s argument of whether the monster is evil or not can be seen throughout the entirety novel, and whatever side of the argument Victor is on shows the reader what Victor’s personality really is. Victor’s first and last impressions of the monster show that he believes the monster is evil and that he wants nothing to do with it. When the reader examines the novel closer, it is easy to see that the true monster is Victor himself. Victor sets up not only the monster, but also himself for impending doom from the beginning. If Victor took a different stance on his argument of the monster being evil, things could have turned out much differently.

2 comments:

Ronald Rollins said...

"Victor’s first and last impressions of the monster show that he believes the monster is evil and that he wants nothing to do with it."

I might be misunderstanding your intentions here, but I think Victor did the complete opposite by devoting the rest of his life to hunting down and destroying the monster. Even when he was dying on the ship, he was enraged by the possibility of the crew turning back and not hunting down the monster.

Adam said...

Your introduction may be a little long for what it does. Still, it's nice that you start out clear and direct. What I want to see is the relationship between Victor's argument that the monster is evil, and his own evil. Is it the argument itself that makes Victor Frankenstein himself evil, maybe? Is that what you're working toward?

"It is at this point in the novel when the reader can see Victor’s argument that he wants nothing to do with the monster form." Is this an argument? You're describing a desire or possibly a belief. Then you switch back to the argument that the monster is pure evil - but you've been too busy switching arguments to provide any evidence for either argument, really.

In fact, you never really present any evidence for what seems to be the main argument - that Victor argues that the monster is absolutely evil, then contradicts himself. The detail simply isn't there.