Frankenstein Essay - Part 2
Lizelle Foose English Dr - Frankenstein Essay introduction. 7 March 2013 The Importance of Friendship In Frankenstein by Marry Shelley, Victor Frankenstein is a young scientist who becomes intrigued by science so intensely that he attempts to achieve the impossible and create life. After months of research and strategic practice Frankenstein accomplishes his goal and creates something that resembles a human man, however it is not quite right. Frankenstein is terrified of his creation and attempts to reject the creature; this results in a multitude of issues for not only Frankenstein, but also all of those that are close to him.
Many situations that Frankenstein finds himself in could have been prevented if he would have allowed himself to accept the help of his friends. Shelly uses revenge, pride and secrecy to illustrate the importance of friendship in Frankenstein. The main conflict in this novel is the revenge the creature intends to inflict on Frankenstein for his inability to befriend and accept him. Frankenstein created the creature and then rejected his creation forcing the creature to learn how to survive and function on his own in the world.
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Due to the creatures horrific physique no human will befriend him, this lack of friendship causes him to go into a fit of rage and despise Victor, his maker, for abandoning him. The creature scorns all mankind because of Victors refusal to love him, when he and Victor encounter one another the creature says, “ How can I move thee? Will no entreaties cause thee to turn a favorable eye upon thy creature, who implores thy goodness and compassion? Believe me, Frankenstein: I was benevolent; my soul glowed with love and humanity; but am I not alone, miserable alone?
You, my creator, abhor me; what hope can I gather from your fellow-creatures, who owe me nothing? ”. (Shelley103). The Creature is begging Frankenstein for his compassion, all he desires is for his creator to accept him and give him company. The Creature goes on to explain that because Frankenstein can only show him rejection along with all of the humans he has encountered that he now sees all human race as his enemies and he will show his rage, which is purely caused by their cold nature. Frankenstein’s inability to be friendly with the Creature causes the Creature to kill veryone Victor holds dear to him. Is it fair for Frankenstein to blame the creature for his loss of loved ones when the cause was his failure to be his creations friend? Throughout the novel many individuals that attempt to befriend Frankenstein are pushed away. Frankenstein has extreme difficulty in not only accepting friendship, but also in being a friend. One of the most important traits of friendship is trust, had Frankenstein trusted the people in his life that tried to be his friend it would have saved him the heartache of loosing those loved ones.
Henry Clerval was a childhood friend of Frankenstein’s who discovers him at Ingolstadt and realizes that he is in a terrible state. Henry then takes it upon himself to move in with Frankenstein, put his own studies on hold and nurse him back to mental as well as physical health. Although Henry saves Frankenstein from his horrible condition Victor still keeps the cause of his despair to himself. Henry does nothing but help victor and is very trustworthy, however Victor does not reveal his secret for fear that he will find him crazy.
Due to his secrecy Henry has no warning that the creature exists giving him no ability to protect him and the creature later murders him. Henry does nothing but help Victor and is always there for him, had Victor confided in Henry and accepted his help they could have taken care of the Creature together and Henry would still be alive. This shows how present the importance of friendship is in Frankenstein because had Frankenstein fully allowed Henry to be his full friend and trusted him with his secret regardless of his worries that he would be judged, Henry’s life could have been saved and the Creature taken care of.
Frankenstein does not realize the importance of having a friend to confide in until his last days of life on his deathbed when he confides in Walton. Walton is the captain of a ship voyaging to the North Pole a task that has not been achieved in this time period yet. His ship stumbles across Frankenstein when they get stuck in ice and find Victor on an iceberg. The crew pulls him on board where Walton takes care of him. Victor tells Walton his life story and finally confides in someone about the creation of the creature and all of the horror that followed.
By telling Walton this he is able to justify his actions in a way and receive Walton’s sympathy as well as opinion on the issues Frankenstein still faces. After hearing Victor’s story Walton says, “I wish to sooth him; yet can I counsel one so infinitely miserable, so destitute of every hope of consolation, to live? Oh no! the only joy that he can now know will be when he composes his shattered spirit to peace and death. ”(Shelley,213). This shows how heartfelt Walton is towards Frankenstein, he wishes to help him but knows that the best help he can give is to be a listening friend so that Victor may obtain peace through telling his story.
By opening up to Walton and finally revealing his full story to someone Victor finds relief and is able to die peacefully. This shows the importance of friendship because without befriending each other Walton would have remained incredibly lonely and Walton would not have been able to die in peace having had a listening ear to tell his tale. 219 Another way that the importance of friendship is shown in this novel is the lessons we can learn from our friends. Walton has an obsession with being the first to discover and explore the South Pole, this is an extreme task that is very life threatening, similar to Victor’s obsession.
Victor Frankenstein’s extreme obsession with being the first to create life in science landed him in an awful situation and caused him great loss. Though Frankenstein encourages Walton to achieve his goals, on his dying breath he tells Walton, “Seek happiness in tranquility, and avoid ambition, even if it be only the apparently innocent one of distinguishing yourself in science and discoveries. Yet why do I say this? I have myself been blasted in these hopes, yet another may succeed. ”(Shelley,220). This shows the importance of friendship because Frankenstein is essentially attempting to save Walton from a similar demise.
One of the great benefits of friendship is learning from ones friends. Walton learns that his dreams of being the first to explore the South Pole are not as pertinent as he thought and decides that he shall put them on hold. Throughout Frankenstein the importance of friendship is constantly expressed. In one instance Shelley shows how valuable something as simple as friendship is to the Creature and how he literally cannot function properly without it. Shelly also illustrates this theme through Henrys dedication to victor as a friend and Victor’s inability to accept his help and be truthful with his friend.
Later Frankenstein realizes how important it is to be able to confide in Walton, this discovery allows him to die peacefully. Friendship is also important because it teaches us, we are able to learn from our friends mistakes which is shown through Walton putting his extreme plans of exploration aside because he sees how that turned out for victor. Overall in Frankenstein by Marry Shelley the importance of friendship is illustrated through each characters experiences and reactions to their friendships or lack there of.