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Analysis on a Passage from "Frankenstein" by Mary Shelley
“These were the reflections of my hours of despondency and solitude; but when I contemplated the virtues of the cottagers, their amiable and benevolent dispositions, I persuaded myself that when they should become acquainted with my admiration of their virtues they would compassionate me and overlook my personal deformity. Could they turn from their door one, however monstrous, who solicited their compassion and friendship?”
This passage begins with Frankenstein reflecting on the subject of exposing himself to the villagers. In this passage I feel the best definition that fits his use of the word reflections is, the fixing of the mind on some subject; serious thought; contemplation. Frankenstein lets the reader know the extent of his agony over the subject of exposing himself by saying he has been reflecting upon the subject for hours. He also expresses his loss of courage and hope and the depression of his spirit with the use of the word despondency. Frankenstein is also conveying his feelings of aloneness, isolation and seclusion in his situation with the word solitude. In the opening sentence of this passage, the author uses very few words but is still able to express a vast amount of emotions, feeling and thoughts by her word choice. I feel the first part of the passage effectively draws the reader in to the mind of Frankenstein and humanizes the monster, showing he has the same emotions, desires and longing to be accepted, much like all humans. In the next part of the statement Frankenstein states he hasn’t completely given up his hope of the cottager’s acceptance. The word virtue means goodness, right action and thinking, which proves he has not given up hope completely because he is still focusing on the good of the cottagers. Frankenstein uses the word amiable meaning, good natured and friendly. He also, used the word benevolent meaning, inclining to do good and being charitable, to describe the people to whom he is contemplating exposing himself to. I feel this shows the good in Frankenstein because he focuses on the positives of the cottagers rather than the negatives and the fact they could respond disapprovingly to his deformity. In the next part of the passage Frankenstein says he persuaded himself, meaning he talks himself into the belief that once the cottagers became familiar with how much he admires and approves their virtues, they would feel sorry for him and his suffering and troubles, and they would look past his deformity and see Frankenstein for his true self. In this sentence the author opens up the reader’s heart for Frankenstein by showing the readers the he has the innocence and gentle heart much like a human child that has not yet been tainted by the evil that mankind is capable of. In the next part of the sentence Frankenstein goes on to ask how could man turn someone away, even if they are hideous and different from them, coming to them with friendship and open arms, which I feel further shows his child like innocents. This shows that Frankenstein truly believes that if he goes to people with only kindness, and gentleness that they will have the same attitude towards him. I think the author is trying to show how sad it is that people don’t look past outward appearances and see them for who they are in the inside.
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