Why does Shelley make the telling of this story so complicated?

Through the use of point in the novel serve to manifest in us the character’s attitudes and emotions and offers many different sides to the narrative structure. A big portion of this is accomplished through texts, especially letters. These letters serve as a way to offer us another view point while really making the story more realistic and believable. Often time these stories are nestled within one another. For example, Walton’s’ frame tale envelops the entire story about Victor while the monster’s story is inside Victor’s story, who again has the story of the family in the cottage inside it. In this way, Shelley uses point of view to really add depth to the story and really allow us to connect with the main characters and understand their side.

A big example of this is the fact that while we get many points of view throughout the story it is focused on the main characters and their stories. Is allows us to really immerse ourselves in the story and choose how we feel about these characters. This is reflected in the many similar themes and feelings we see in Victor and his monster’s lives. For example, when Victor’s friend Henry is killed Victor is overwhelmed by the inhumanity of what has happened and it consumes him to the point of revenge. Victor seeks revenge on the monster for killing his loved ones experiencing the same loneliness that the monster is feeling when Victor refused to make him a mate. Both blame each other for their misfortunes and are driven by despair and utter loneliness towards an obsession for revenge. The monster’s earlier statements are now reflected in Victor’s speech, illustrating the extent to which Victor has become dehumanized. “I was cursed by some devil,” he cries, “and carried about with me my eternal hell.” This is similar to comments made by the monster after being repulsed by the cottagers: “I, like the arch fiend, bore a hell within me.” Driven by their hatred, Victor and his creation move farther and farther away from human society and sanity.

The final section of the novel, in which Walton continues the narrative, completes the framing story. Walton’s perception of Victor is one as a great, noble man ruined by many unfortunate events stemming from his mistake of abandoning his creation and really adds to the tragic conclusion. The technique of framing narratives within narratives allows the reader to hear the voices of all of the main characters, as well as providing multiple views of the central characters. Walton sees Frankenstein as a noble, tragic figure; Frankenstein sees himself as an overly proud and overly ambitious victim of fate; the monster sees Frankenstein as a reckless creator, too self-centered to care for his creation. Through point of view we see just how these characters feel about each other and we get a sense of why they are doing what they are. While most people see the monster as a hideous brute, the monster casts himself as a martyred classical hero: “I shall ascend my funeral pile triumphantly and exult in the agony of the torturing flames,” he says. At the end of the story we come across the monster one final time as he attempts to understand his place in the world. This final thought of the Monster finishing his story serves to represent the struggle we as readers feel to understand whether the monster really is a tragic victim or a truly evil being.

By receiving both Victor’s and the monster’s points of view we are able to fully understand what these characters are going through and it gives us the opportunity as readers to judge these two characters for ourselves and make our own decisions about who is just and whether their fates are deserved. Additionally, we are given Walton’s point of view to frame the story and present it in a way as if we are learning and judging these characters right alongside Walton. Walton serves as the connection between the story and the readers and it gives the story more reliability because the story is being told by a mostly unbiased observer.

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