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Final Draft Franky Essay - Google Docs.pdf

Final Draft Franky Essay - Google Docs.pdf - Ethan Boll Ms...

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Ethan Boll Ms. Francis Honors English B March 7, 2016 The Dæmon in Frankenstein When Mary Shelley lost her first baby, she wrote in her journal, “Find my baby dead, a miserable day,” (Moers 324) and went back to reading. Shelley was almost constantly pregnant while she was writing Frankenstein between 1816 and 1818, but despite her labors she still made time to read the complete works of John Milton, including Paradise Lost, twice. Shelley’s mind was molded by books, in part from her being an avid reader, and also because Shelley’s parents and husband were all writers. In her famous novel, Frankenstein, Shelley makes the monster come across a stack of books in the forest while he is living in a hovel beside a family of unsuspecting humans. Among the books is “Paradise Lost,” which the monster reads just as voraciously as Shelley did. Mary Shelley makes allusions to “Paradise Lost” to give the audience an insight into the monster’s emotions by comparing him to famous literary characters. The comparisons between the monster and Satan, and between the monster and Adam, also arouse thematic questions regarding Victor’s responsibility to his creation with respect to the monster’s request for a companion. As was previously stated, Mary Shelley was an avid reader, and as such would have been acutely aware of the connections between “Paradise Lost” and the monster, especially the similarities between the monster and Satan. Shelley read Paradise Lost twice, Paradise Regained, and three other works by John Milton between 1815 and 1817 while she was writing Frankenstein (Gilbert and Gubar 331). The result of her herculean reading program was a notable similarity between Satan and the monster. Both of the characters are misunderstood creatures who have been deserted by their
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Boll 2 creator and fall to evil by swearing hate upon him. Shelley also makes it quite obvious that the monster is drawing inspiration from “Paradise Lost” by citing it directly in the text when the monster actually finds the book and reads it. As the monster reads “Paradise Lost,” he feels connected to it and says, “I often referred the several situations, as their similarity struck me, to my own. Like Adam, I was created apparently united by no link to any other being in existence…Many times I considered Satan as the fitter emblem of my condition…” (Shelley 90). There is a lot of juicy content in that quote, which will be further explored later, but what matters now is that Mary Shelley has the monster directly cite “Paradise Lost” saying that he feels similar to its characters, especially Satan. Shelley also has Victor call the monster a daemon, which is an inferior divinity or minor godling, rather than a demon, which is an evil spirit. This not only adds to the supernatural aspect of Frankenstein, but also likens the monster to Satan, who is himself both a minor divinity and a demon.
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