這節課的教授告訴我們這群不是英文系的學生說在文學裡面,怪獸的出現代表某個社會問題/現象。

吸血鬼 Dracula 代表的(意義之一)是19世紀貴族勢力衰敗對上中產階級興起的問題。狼人則是不能自己(因為他無法控制自己的身體)的中產階級。而科學怪人則是不被社會接受及關懷的下層階級的悲歌。

在西方文學的世界裡,真的是充滿象徵 symbols!

 

我這禮拜寫的則是另一個的科學怪人中的主題:

Shelley presents an interesting pair of characters - Frankenstein and the monster - to examine many problems of the humankind.  The monster has learned many abstract concepts such as justice and social life.  When he reflects on his past and behavior, issues are brought to our attention.  Frankenstein too reflects on his.  They share many similarities but their take on fate vs. free will is quite opposite.

Frankenstein believes fate has pre-determines his life although readers easily see that he is almost always free to choose.  For example when he is in Ingolstadt, he does not bother to contact his family at all.  Instead he claims it is fate to work on the project.  When the monster begs to have a companion created, Frankenstein agrees and says he understands that a creator has duties toward his creation.  Later he breaks his promise, provoking the monster to make him a lonely person too, but he blames it on fate again.  His idea of fate, when he in fact exercises free will, shows his irresponsible character.

On the contrary, the monster is conscious of his decisions.  When the French family moves away, "feelings of revenge and hatred" fill his mind and he says, "I did not strive to control them; but, allowing myself to be borne away by the stream..."  He wants to destroy something but chooses "inanimate objects" instead of "anything human."  Finally when Frankenstein dies, the monster says, "What does it avail that I now ask thee to pardon me? I, who irretrievably destroyed thee by destroying all thou lovedst... I was the slave... of an impulse which I detested, yet could not disobey."  This shows he understands his own weakness but holds himself accountable for making himself even more miserable, although readers know that society does not leave him many other choices.

The theme fate vs. free will is a lesson about the responsibility toward oneself.  Because Frankenstein refuses to take responsibility, he is full of hatred on his deathbed and even asks Walton to continue his hatred.  In contrast, the monster says death will bring him peace and happiness.

 

Works cited:

 

Quotes from Ch.16 paragraph 12 and Ch. 24.

No external sources.

 

Comments from Classmates:

FORM

 

student1 → The essay is clearly composed and it does not have grammar mistakes or improper usage of the language
student2 → Perfect. :)
student3 → There are a couple of double space mistakes you need to watch out for but the rest of the grammar is fine.  The argument is very clear and defined.
student4 → This is an excellent essay.  It has an excellent thesis and conclusion.

CONTENT

student1 → The content is quite well explained even if it doesn't represent new interesting interpretation.
student2 → Refreshing read! More so, owing to the nature of lucidity and simplicity of the narrative structure highlighting the conclusion of the writer..
student3 → I agree with this argument about Frankenstein shouldering a lot of the responsibility and blame for what he became and created on others.  This essay is similar to mine with a different turn so i very much enjoyed reading it.  A nice change from the easy option a lot of people took by writing about Prometheus.
student4 → My only suggestion would be to take your quotes out and put them in the quotes section along with your sources.  I loved this essay, it was well written.

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To Live! And to Write for Life!

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