Monday, September 26, 2011

Frankenstein #2 Image 160

On the image on page 160, just looking at the picture without reading the content, the image shows the huge deformed body covering pretty much the whole page. It shows a person with both knees down on the ground with the head facing down covered by hair. It seems like he is desperate and helpless. With the tensed muscles on his body, you can tell he is using a lot of energy. But when you pay more attention, his muscular and huge hands are holding something very tightly. If you take a close look, one can barely see a tiny hand reaching out from the monster fist, and a lifeless little body lying on the ground.

After I read the content of the novel, I started to question my sympathy towards the monster. The image vividly depicted the creature as the true monster he is, evil and powerful. His unstable immature emotions and greediness are turning him to a scary monster. Even though Victor lost his loved ones and close friends, I think he still made a correct choice not to make a female companion for the monster. “The hours of my irresolution is past, and the period of your power is arrived. Your threats cannot move me to do an act of wickedness; but they confirm me in a determination of not creating you a companion in vice. Shall I, in cool blood, set loose upon the earth a daemon, whose delight is in death and wretchedness? Begone! I am firm, and your words will only exasperate my rage.”(Shelley 191)

The monster is emotionally unstable. At the age of two, he is capable of doing a lot of things that most human beings couldn’t do; however, his behavior could be considered childish. He changes his mind and decisions easily and unpredictably. Plus with the great strength he possessed, he could be dangerous towards mankind. “Suddenly, as I gazed on him, an idea seized me, that this little creature was unprejudiced, and had lived too short a time to have imbibed a horror of deformity. If, therefore, I could seized him, and educated him as my companion and friend, I should not be so desolate in this peopled earth.”(Shelley 159) At first, he tried to kidnap the little child, William, so he could educate him for his own benefit and hopefully one day the child would become his friend and companion. But after the monster knows the kid is related to Victor Frankenstein, he instantly changed his mind and killed the child without hesitation. “Frankenstein! You belong then to my enemy – to him towards whom I have sworn eternal revenge; you shall be my first victim.” (Shelley 160) He not only has unstable emotions but also is a merciless creature. “I gazed on my victim, and my heart swelled with exultation and hellish triumph: clapping my hands, I exclaimed, ‘I, too, can create desolation; my enemy is not invulnerable; this death will carry despair to him, and a thousand other miseries shall torment and destroy him.” (Shelley 160)

“If you consent, neither you nor any other human being shall ever us again; I will go to the vast wilds of South America. My food is not that of man; I do not destroy the lamb and the kid to glut my appetite; acorns and berries afford me sufficient nourishment. My companion will be of the same natures as myself, and will be content with the same fare.” (Shelley 164) The wilds of South America probably will not satisfy the monster because of his intelligence and curiosity of the world. As what the monster had done to William and Justine, his words become unreliable and he could easily break his promises that he has offered to Victor. Victor’s concerns toward monsters are also reasonable. The monster is greedy and unrealistic “ I was now about to form another being, of whose dispositions I was alike ignorant; she might become ten thousand times more malignant than her mate, and delight, for its own sake, in murder and wretchedness. He had sworn to quit the neighborhood of man, and hide himself in deserts; but she had not; and she, who in all probability was to become thinking and reasoning animal, might refuse to comply with a compact made before her creation. They might even hate each other; the creature that already lived loathes his own deformity, and might he not conceive a greater abhorrence for it when it came before his eyes in the female form? She also might turn with disgust from him to the superior beauty of man; she might quit him, and he be again alone, exasperated by the fresh provocation of being deserted by one of his own species.”(Shelley 189) The monster action in the image (Shelley 160) is crucial and inhuman, which make him a real monster.

Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Lynd Ward. Frankenstein: the Lynd Ward Illustrated Edition. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 2009. Print.

1 comment:

  1. Your focus in the first paragraph is good, and you're drawing our attention to a critical detail in a thoughtful way. Good. Although I do wonder why that makes you feel less sympathy for the monster: after all, we already know he murdered William. I'm not saying that you're wrong - just that maybe there is more to be said about the power of the image here.

    The last couple paragraphs are beginning to make an implicit argument that Victor's assessment of the monster is correct (clearly my words, not yours!). This isn't a terrible idea, but it's a little problematic, because it gets you far away from the territory of the image itself.

    If you were able to successfully turn it around and argue that the image, in essence, helps make Victor's argument (do the images show him as emotionally unstable, which is crucial to your argument?), then the whole thing would work well together and fit the prompt rather well. But as it stands, I see the last couple paragraphs as an ok argument, but a problematic shift away from your initial topic.