Why so many perspectives?

Mary Shelley’s novel, Frankenstein, is told from three different point of views: Walton’s letters, Victor, and the monster allowing the reader to judge the story from different perspectives in which we are also given an opportunity to decide who to sympathize with: the monster or victor.

The novel is opened up by Walton narrating the story through letters to his sister and then shifts to Victor Frankenstein’s tale. The monster’s point of view is then given during an interruption of Victor’s tale. These different perspectives are each embedded within each individual’s story creating successive levels. The importance of this is that the reader gets to capture full details, emotions, feelings, and actions of each major character allowing them to interpret the story in their own way and identifying with the character. This novel really makes the reader think who they want to sympathize with as each story told by the narrators are deepened revealing more about their character and their past. Throughout the novel the minor characters, Elizabeth and Victor’s father, Alphonse, narrate parts of the story in the form of letters to Victor. One character the reader doesn’t really hear from is Henry Clerval. It would have been nice to know what Henry thought of Victor as Victor was creating this creature in a secretive form. I wonder if Henry ever suspected anything or if he ever noticed when Victor was acting weird and having off days, but didn’t question it? Henry was a really close friend that began following Victor’s footsteps, so Henry’s opinion as Victor faced guilt and the ways he viewed Victor could have been an interesting insight to the novel.

The novel, Frankenstein, is written in epistolary form framing the body of the story, beginning and ending with letters from Walton to his sister as he relates what happens as each encounter is told. The significance of the frame tale used by Shelley served as a frame narration to form the parallels between characters, Walton and the monster, in which they both suffered from loneliness and longed for friends creating the plot by their actions and requests formed (monster wanting a mate). As the reader returns to the end tale the theme of knowledge is emphasized. At the beginning of the novel, Victor is hungry for more and more knowledge, mostly science, leading him to the creation of the monster, but by the end of the novel his thirst and drive for knowledge killed him.

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