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Study Of Monsters In Literature English Literature Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Literature
Wordcount: 2183 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Were Jeffrey Dahmer's parents upset with the horrific crimes he committed? Should they be the blame for Dahmer becoming a monster? Dahmer, like any other child, was a normal kid growing up. However, he grew increasingly isolated and troubled between the ages of 10 and 15. Instead of having normal hobbies, He would ride his bike around the neighborhood in search of dead animals to take home and dissect. Dahmer also started heavily drinking in his high school days. In 1978, He committed his first murder. He picked up a hitchhiker and took him to his house, then beat him to death with a barbell. Before Dahmer was arrested in 1991, he had committed 17 murders all to men who mostly were African or Asian American. Why did he become such a disturbed and troubled individual? Jeffrey Dahmer's dad, Lionel Dahmer, loved him and cared for him dearly, but was tremendously sad and sympathetic for all those victims' families. Lionel wasn't pleased with his son's actions in any aspect, but was still proud to have the last name Dahmer. "KING: Did you ever, with all the notoriety given this, give thought to changing your name and just, like, disappear? LIONEL DAHMER: No. No. I'm proud of the name Dahmer. My father was a schoolteacher and a barber. He brought himself up from the bootstraps. His father and mother died at a very young age. I have a very good ancestry, and I'm proud of the name" (Dahmer, Interview With Father and Stepmother of Serial Killer Jeffrey Dahmer - Part 1.). I don't think Dahmer's parents were to blame for his actions that made him a monster. He was sick at a young age and never received psychological help that was desperately needed. However, the parents did create Jeffrey, this monster, so they could have done more to help him at a younger age to prevent those hanis crimes.

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Like Jeffrey Dahmer was created by his parents, the monster in the novel Frankenstien was created by Victor Frankenstien. In the novel, at first the monster had a kind hearted soul; although, he was turned into the term monster when Victor disowned him and treated him badly. Victor created the monster, so he should have taken full control of him and treated him as if he were his true son. Dahmer's parents didn't treat him the same as Victor treated the monster, but Dahmer and the monster both became similar in one aspect. They killed people, which made them be defined as monsters in their own right.

An in depth consideration of Mary Shelly's Frankenstien should address four questions. Question 1: What are the origins of the monster myth? Question 2: What is a healthy balance of science and faith in a man's life? Question 3: What is the responsibility of the creator for his creation? Question 4: What turns the basic goodness of man to something bad?

What are the origins of the monster myth?

The novel Frankenstien was also called The Modern Prometheus the novels subtitle. Prometheus was thought to be the titan that created mankind. He took fire from heaven and gave it to man in order for man to make a progression in the world. The all mighty Zeus found out about this stunning act, and punished Prometheus by tying him to a rock so that a vicious bird could come everyday and eat his liver. The titan in Greek mythology is somewhat like Victor Frankenstein. Victor creating the monster is similar to that of the titan creating humans. Victor sort of stole the idea of creation from God just like the titan stole fire from heaven to give to man. The titan and Victor both are punished for their proceedings. Victor suffers from losing family members, and is afraid that his creation will kill him. The monster threatens Victor about joining him on his wedding night. "When, in volume 3, chapter 3 of Frankenstein, the monster witnesses his intended bride's destruction, he angrily confronts Victor and promises revenge: "It is well. I go; but remember; I shall be with you on your wedding-night" (140). With characteristic obtuseness, Victor sees in this threat a danger only to himself, not suspecting that the monster's projected revenge will take the form of an eye for an eye, a bride for a bride. Even so, within a few sentences, "I thought again of his words--'I will be with you on your wedding-night'"(141). In volume 3, chapter 5, as the wedding itself draws near, a letter from Elizabeth revives in Victor's memory "what I had before forgotten, the threat of the fiend--'I will be with you on your wedding-night!'"(159). And again, the phrase recurs less than two pages later, when Victor affirms to Walton that it is small wonder, given the monster's unbroken record of success, that "when he had pronounced the words, 'I shall be with you on your wedding-night,' I should regard the threatened fate as unavoidable" (161). Satin at one time like Prometheus was high powered for his position. Also satin, like Prometheus, was punished for his wrong doings. Satin was one of the brightest angels in heaven, but thrived on to much power, therefore was kicked out of heaven. Satin and Prometheus both became monsters because they wanted to become more powerful then God and Zeus. The monster truly becomes a monster because Victor treats him wrong and doesn't show him any kind of attention what so ever. He just wanted someone to show him love and affection and because everyone looked at him as an ugly beast it turned him into the monster. Truly the real monster is Victor. His passion had grown too large for creating which made him the monster. His actions towards his creation were very cruel and ill-mannered which also made him a monstrous figure. The people in the town were mean to Frankenstein as well. They looked at him and judged him not on his warm kind hearted soul, but for his hideous appearance. That makes the towns people considered monsters too. "Meanwhile, except in moments of creation, Frankenstein and the other humans variously call it monster, fiend, daemon, and devil" (Novel: A Forum Fiction, 2003 31p). When Mary Shelley wrote this novel, the style was primarily romanticism. Romanticism can be defined as a spontaneous flow of emotion; therefore Shelley seems to be saying that romanticism is monstrous.

Question 2: What is a healthy balance of science and faith in a man's life?

When a man devotes too much of his time to science they become mad. They put all their blood, sweat, and time into the science and forget about the modern world. This however makes them develop a case of madness. They become known as mad scientists. For instance there have been many mad scientists like: Dr. Benway, Dr. Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyll, Dr. Moreau, Dr. Strangelove, and etc. Dr. Jekyll was perhaps one of the most famous fiction scientists besides Frankenstein. In the novel Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Dr. Jekyll was so devoted to his science that he would experiment on himself which then turns him into the mysterious Mr. Hyde. This makes him considered a mad scientist. However in the novel Victor becomes so obsessed with science that it makes him a monster. He pays people to bring him human body parts to make his exotic creations. He uses electricity to perform his experiments on his creations. This is called galvanism; galvanism is a branch of science devoted to bringing dead tissue to life by using electricity.

Question 3: What is the responsibility of the creator for his creation?

Generally in our country the United States, a father and son usually have a very strong family bond. A father is supposed to show his son how to play catch, and teach him about the birds and the bees. A father is also supposed to work and provide for his son in whatever matter that may be. A father-son relationship should be very close just as a mother-daughter should. A father should protect his son from any kind of danger his son may face in life. It's a father's obligation to be the man of the house and provide for his family. Our heavenly father, God, created the human race. In doing so, he has a responsibility to watch over us and keep us safe. God gave each and every human the same opportunity, the right to live the Christian life and become an angel when the time is right or the option to live a life of sin and spend eternity in hell with satin. God is a father to satin as well. Although God did kick satin out of heaven he still cares for him or he would have destroyed him instead of letting him live eternity in hell. In the novel it's Victor's responsibility to care for the monster because he was the creator of him. Victor falls short of God; he should have taken full responsibility for his creation and been a father figure to the monster. Had victor shown love and affection towards Frankenstein he wouldn't have turned evil and became a monster. "At the same time, I was struck by a number of parallels between James Deardon's tale of a female monster and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus, first published in 1817. Both "monsters" pursue their "makers" relentlessly, insisting that they have a right to something that Victor Frankenstein and Dan Gallagher (Michael Douglas) insist is absolutely reasonable. Moreover, the "monsters" claim to have become that way only because they are being denied that to which they have a right" (Journal of Sex Research Feb90, p111-122,11p). Victor does assume the role of God by being a creator of life, but he lacks the compassion and father like figure that God has.

Question 4: What turns the basic goodness of a man to something bad?

Some men are good people and very well behaved at a young age. Many things can change them from being good people to evil people. Jeffrey Dahmer for instance was a good kid growing up, but he took an interest in evil things as he got into his teenage years. Many believe the reason Jeffrey Dahmer was psychotic was because he was just insane. He was a very disturbed man and something in his head made him commit the insane acts he committed. Much like Dahmer, the monster was good at the beginning of the novel. As the story progressed his evil progressed. Victor was indeed mean to him and never gave him any attention which made the monster angry and afraid; he didn't even name the monster. "The monster has no name because it has no one to give it a name. ( n19) No one, that is, stands in a natural relationship to it. Since (as part of the novel's anti-gothic struggle toward consistency) the monster yearns for its creator, it normally calls itself Frankenstein's "creature" (Novel: A Forum Fiction, 2003 31p). Victor was also a good person at the beginning of the novel. He was a scientist who wanted to be highly creative and create live beings out of different body parts. Once he made the monster and realized what it looked like, he then started regretting his creation. "Direction of the 1931 version of "Frankenstein" by James Whale; Controversy over nature versus nurture; How humans have adopted a dislike for malformations"(Natural History Jul94 6p). He wanted to kill the monster instead of take care of him. His ambiton of wanting to be a great scientist turned him into the true monster. Victors crude actions towards the monster lead to the downfall of his family. "The author argues that the character Victor Frankenstein's quest for social standing leads to his downfall and to the suffering and death of others, all due to his devaluing of life as evidenced by the creation of the monster. A case against a common feminist critique reading of the book is given and an analysis of Victor's characteristics of selfishness, pride, dishonesty, and lack of value for life are presented" (Explicator, July-Sep 2010 3p).

Men exist within the world the possibilities of the great many monsters- vampires, mad scientists, Frankenstein, Dahmers, Hitlers, Jack the Rippers, Zodiacs, etc. God didn't make this many mistakes. In allowing the largeness of evil to exist, God demonstrates for man his ultimate goodness- his failure to destroy evil. He gives man the option of following evil or walking with righteousness. As his final act of righteousness he never turns his back on his creation even when the creation displeases him, for to do so would make him a monster.

Work Cited

Dahmer, Lionel. Interview with Larry King. Larry King Live. CNN. 17 June 2004

Brown, Marshall. "Frankenstein: A Child's Tale." Novel: A Forum on Fiction 36.2 (2003): 145. MasterFILE Premier. EBSCO. Web. 1 Dec. 2010.

Lunsford, Lars. "The Devaluing of Life in Shelley's FRANKENSTEIN." Explicator 68.3 (2010): 174. MasterFILE Premier. EBSCO. Web. 1 Dec. 2010.

Gould, Stephen Jay. "The monster's human nature." Natural History 103.7 (1994): 14. MasterFILE Premier. EBSCO. Web. 1 Dec. 2010.

Dingley, Robert. "Shelley's Frankenstein." Explicator 57.4 (1999): 204. MasterFILE Premier. EBSCO. Web. 1 Dec. 2010.

Ellis, Kate. "Fatal Attraction, or the Post-Modern Prometheus." 111. Routledge, 1990.

MasterFILE Premier. EBSCO. Web. 1 Dec. 2010.


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