Revenge as a Central Theme in “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley

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In the Novel Frankenstein, Mary Shelley discusses several important themes. These themes represent her thoughts and occurrence from her real life. She presents the action and decision of some of the characters to introduce these themes.

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Among them, revenge is a key theme throughout the novel Frankenstein. Thus, the continuous cycle of revenge due to the excited state of strong emotions- love, anger, hatred, loneliness, and rejection drive the plot of the novel. Revenge is shown as the important aspects of Victor and Monster’s life. From the time of creation of Monster, he was rejected by his creator Victor because of his physical appearance. He has a desire to be accepted by society. So, he tries to fit into the society but receives nothing except fear, ignorance, and hatred from the people. So, he explains his pain of rejection and isolation to Victor saying, Unfeeling, heartless creator! You had endowed me with perceptions and passions and then cast me abroad an object for the scorn and horror of mankind (Shelley).

He desires to have a female monster for his company, but Victor denies for making another monster. Consequently, he becomes more aggressive and wanted to take the revenge against the human and his creator. In the process of taking revenge, he killed the young boy as he seems from Frankenstein family (Shelley 171). He says to Victor, You can blast my other passions, but revenge remains??”revenge, henceforth dearer than light of food! I may die, but first you, my tyrant and tormentor, shall curse the sun that gazes on your misery, (Shelley 206). He killed Victor’s friend Henry as revenge to Victor for denying a companion for him. Later, he killed Elizabeth in her wedding night. Hence, he takes the revenge with Frankenstein by killing his loved ones. As a result of losing the loved ones, Victor becomes aggressive with the monster. When monster killed Elizabeth, Victor wants to destroy the monster.

The loves of Victor to his family lead him to think about the destruction of his own creature. When I thought of him, I gnashed my teeth, my eyes became inflamed, and I ardently wished to extinguish that life which I had so thoughtlessly bestowed (Shelley). Hence, revenge forms a common link between the monster and Victor. This distort bond between them has nothing except destruction. Revenge becomes the reason for them to be alive. Thus, revenge makes the Victor devil, and leave no probability for the monster to be accepted by the humankind and the society. The theme of revenge is still relevant. People are eager to take the revenge. Series of revenge can be seen in the life of people. People are becoming devil taking the revenge even for the small reason. The system of taking revenge should be stopped as revenge leads to the dissatisfaction and loneliness only. People should realize that revenge does not provide any happiness or satisfaction. That is the reason monster felt guilt at the end. He asks Victor for forgiveness, What does it avail that I now ask thee to pardon me? I, who irretrievably destroyed thee by destroying all thou lovedst, (Shelley 271).

Discussing the story in the group is much more effective than reading the story on our own. To be honest, in my first attempt of reading the Frankenstein, I did not understand it at all. But on my second reading, I was able to guess the overall events and happening of the novel. But after discussing the story in the small group and then summing up the findings of all the groups gives clear picture of the novel. I realize that I had interpreted some paragraphs in a completely wrong way while reading on my own. Also, discussing in the group introduce several new things which we generally ignore while reading on our own but have major roles in the story. Discussing in a small group gives the opportunity to every student to have their point to be listened by everyone. It also encourages the students to re-read the story in order to have their active participation. After discussing in a small group, analyzing and noting the findings of each group in white board gives the clear-cut explanation of the whole story. Thus, discussing in a group is better than self-reading.

A good novel focus on the elements like theme, message, plot, characters, setting, style, tone, and so on. Among these, theme is the most important element of the novel. It connects all the elements of the novel like plot, conflict, characters etc. It is the thought of an author. It is the main issue that is repeated throughout the story. It is that important one sentence conclusion for which the entire story is developed. The theme of the novel should be relevant to the time. It should raise the current issues of society. It should possess the power to change the thinking of the people and hence the society. Hence, people should consider reading the novel by considering its main theme.

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