Dr. Victor Frankenstein and his Creation. A comparitve essay of the personality traits of the two title characters of Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein"

Essay by shawnnaUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, March 2003

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Shawnna Hoyt



Dr. J. Noble

January 22,2003

In "Frankenstein", Mary Shelley's artful development of the two main characters appear to paint a contrasting picture of good vs. evil. However; upon closer examination the reader can see the parallel traits that Shelly has emphasised in each character. This use of character development demonstrates that neither character is black and white but rather shades of grey that are blended in to create a picture of two characters that not only parallel and contrast with each other, but provide for each other necessary qualities in a sort of symbiotic relationship.

The novel opens with a series of letters written by Captain R. Walton, a sea captain off on an adventure in the frigid, cold Arctic. It is in these letters written to his sister that the reader gets a preemptive glimpse into the character of Victor Frankenstein, an intelligent, scholarly, genteel victim rescued from his near certain icy grave.

" His limbs were nearly frozen, and his body dreadfully emaciated by fatigue and suffering. I never saw a man in so wretched a condition." (F.25) Captain Walton continues to describe his precursory impression of Frankenstein to be " a noble creature in his better days, being even now in wreck so attractive and amiable."(F.27) and continuing the positive affirmation of character stating "yet i have found a man who, before his spirit had been broken by misery, I should have been happy to have possessed as the brother of my heart.."(F.27)

Letter IV, dated August 5th, 17-, introduces Frankenstein as an interesting, sweet man with frequent bouts of depressive behaviour "I never saw a more interesting creature" and "he is generally melancholy and despairing; and sometimes gnashes his teeth, as if impatient of the weight of the woes that oppresses...