Frankenstein monster Frankenstein is a sensitive, emotional creature whose only aim is to share his life with another sentient being like himself. The novel portrays him as intelligent and literate, having read Paradise Lost, Plutarch's Lives, and The Sorrows of Young Werther. He is driven by despair and loneliness to acts of cruelty and murder.
From the beginning the monster is rejected by everyone he meets. He realizes from the moment of his "birth" that even his own creator could not be around him; this is obvious when Frankenstein says "…one hand was stretched out, seeming to detain me, but I escaped…"Upon seeing his own reflection, he realizes that he too cannot stand to see himself.
Rousseau Born: June 28, 1712 Geneva, Switzerland Died: July 2, 1778 Ermenonville, France French philosopher, author, and composer
The Swiss-born philosopher, author, political theorist (one who forms an explanation or theory on a subject based on careful study), and composer Jean-Jacques Rousseau ranks as one of the greatest figures of the French Enlightenment, a period of great artistic awakening in France.
Human theory Rousseau's central thesis initially was, broadly, that man was once in a 'state of nature' and was naturally good, but that on entering into society he became corrupted by the 'artificiality' of civilization, and indeed that the arts and sciences contributed to his downfall. In his Discourse on the Origin of Inequality he says that we cannot of course know what man was actually like in the state of nature but by extrapolating backwards in time we acquire a picture of primitive man as self-sufficient (nature supplying his needs), strong, skilful, and seeking only for his self- preservation. Such a man differs from animals in that he has natural liberty and is capable of improving himself: he is perfectible, though in the earliest times this was a capacity rather than being realized in particular ways.
Rousseau argues that man's primary concern for his own well-being is a manifestation of self-love. This is always good in so far as it accords with the order of nature; or it is indifferent to good and evil in a narrower sense of the term. It is thus to be contrasted with egoism or pride, which 'artificial' society turns self-love into. Rousseau identifies within self-love a concern for the good of one's body, promoted by the 'sense-appetite', and the desire for order, which promotes the good of the soul. Natural feelings of compassion and love growing out of his own self-love. These feelings are for Rousseau the basis of morality. As he comes to know other men more completely, his feelings give rise to conscience, and the concepts of justice, generosity, and humanity. "The first man who, having enclosed a piece of ground, bethought himself of saying 'This is mine', and found people simple enough to believe him, was the real founder of civil society".As a direct consequence inequality, injustice, misery, ambition, and amour propre were introduced: man experienced a loss of innocence; evil civil society had come into being.
Conclusion Man in his natural state is the central topic in Jean-Jacques Rousseau's philosophic essay. Shelley uses three of Rousseau's major beliefs as fundamental elements of Frankenstein; man is most content in the state of nature, society is what corrupts him and once corrupted, he can never return to his natural state. Shelley applies Rousseau's philosophy as a method of commentary on the adverse effects that modern society has on humanity. In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, the titular character states that "If [man's] impulses were confined to hunger, thirst and desire, [he] might nearly be free" (Shelley, 97). With this assertion, Victor imparts his belief that man is most content in the state of nature; a state where only his most primal needs must be fulfilled in order to be satisfied.
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