The creature discovers an abandoned fire and, just as a young unsupervised child would, he learns about its heat by putting his hand into it and feeling the pain of the burn. In this essay, I shall be examining the two main characters, Victor Frankenstein and the creature, and considering what Shelley could be telling us about parenting, child development, and education through their experiences.
Let him live with me in an interchange of kindness; and, instead of injury I would bestow every benefit upon him with tears of gratitude at his acceptance. I knew, and could distinguish nothing; but feeling pain invade me on all sides, I sat down and wept.
He has, in effect, been cast out like Adam and Eve before him. It is at this that eventually changes him from a kind, affectionate, and reasonable being, to a bitter murderer. We felt that they were not the tyrants to rule our lot according to their caprice, but the agents and creators of all the many delights which we enjoyed.
We are told that, "her countenance expressed affection even in death. In the first chapter, as Frankenstein is recounting his story to the mariner, Walton, we learn that he was born into a wealthy family from Geneva, and lived in Italy for the first part of his life.
It seems that his father is not interested enough in what his son is studying, and takes little notice of what he is doing. However, having decided to try and create life by scientific methods, he isolates himself from any friendly support and advice he may have received from Clerval, and the professional opinions of his tutors.
Shall I respect man when he condemns me? Whereas, in the beginning his education had been, for the most part experiential, he is now able to follow these lessons. I felt light and hunger, and thirst, and darkness; innumerable sounds rang in my ears, and on all sides various scents saluted me: Not only does Victor appear to be selfish and too introspective, he seems never to mature and develop self discipline, as his obsessional nature seems to show.
We are told that she was caring and dutiful, that she, "possessed a mind of an uncommon mould" page 32and had nursed and kept her own father during his illness until his death. His emotions are no longer purely based on his own basic needs and his senses.
The creature spends many months in the hovel, and learns to speak, partly by listening to the De Laceys, and then by listening to the French instruction that they give to Safie.
His jaws opened, and he muttered some inarticulate sounds, while a grin wrinkled his cheeks. He is, of course, away from his family, and so works alone.
It is at this point in the novel that he thinks to himself, and did I not as his maker, owe him all the portion of happiness that it was in my power to bestow? To benefit from an exchange of ideas or another perspective on their studies. He states that, if instead, his father had taken the time to explain that alchemy had been disproved, then, "It is even possible that the train of my ideas would never have received the fatal impulse that led to my ruin.
The cosseting he has received as a child has led him to grow into adulthood with no true sense of responsibility for his actions. In the same way that Frankenstein is self educated, the creature is also and, like his creator, he is learning in a vacuum, with no other influences to balance his views.
With no one to love him or care for him, the creature spends his first days in the forest near Ingolstadt. Physiological — The need for food, drink, shelter, warmth and relief from pain Safety and security — The need to feel safe and secure Social and affiliation — The need for friendship and interaction with others Esteem — The need for self esteem and the esteem for others The creature appears to follow these steps in his development but, unfortunately, although he feels these needs, they are not all met.
You would not call it murder, if you could precipitate me into one of those ice-rifts, and destroy my frame, the work of your own hands. So without any supervision, he engrosses himself in his studies, concentrating on the more altruistic side of alchemy — the secret of eternal life.
He also tells Walton that his mother and father felt that they, "owed" something to him because they had given him life.
It is during this period in his life that most of his education takes place. At the beginning of chapter two, Victor describes his childhood thus: He sees the love and care that the family show towards each other, and watching them together, he also feels emotions which he has not experienced before.
As a young child, it could be said that Victor Frankenstein is indulged and spoilt by his parents, and later on by his adopted sister, Elizabeth and his friend, Henry Clerval.
It could be suggested that his education and intellect have betrayed him. This event appears to make him even more determined to find a cure for this "evil". He tells Frankenstein, I am malicious because I am miserable.
He was also prone to, "become sullen" page 37but Elizabeth seems always to have been ready to soothe and comfort him, to,"subdue", him, "to a semblance of her own gentleness. This last experience teaches him to be cautious of interaction with humans, and he decides to take refuge in a hovel which is built onto the back of a forest hut, but not to make his presence there known to the inhabitants.
No human being could have passed a happier childhood than myself.
It is once he has learned to read, that that his thoughts and ideas about the world he has found himself in, start to form.“The Annotated Frankenstein should appeal to scholars familiar with the novel as well as those exploring it for the first time.
The editors, Susan J. Wolfson and Ronald Levao, situate the novel in its philosophical, literary, biographical and historical contexts, and provide apt illustrations and useful appendices (including examinations of the revised.
What can be learned about Mary Shelley's views on parenting, child development and education through reading Frankenstein.Download