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Conflict throughout Frankenstein

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Presentation on theme: "Conflict throughout Frankenstein"— Presentation transcript:

1 Conflict throughout Frankenstein
Allison, Cason, Laura, Luke, & Yuwei.

2 Introduction to Conflict
Conflict: the struggle between the opposing forces on which the action in a work of literature depends. There are five basic forms of conflict: person versus person, person versus self, person versus nature, person versus society, and person versus God While conflict is important to any novel, it is one of the main themes of Frankenstein. From cold murder to internal battles, the struggles and conflicts of Shelley’s characters are many. As early as the night of creation, Victor struggles with his perception of the Creature- “now that I had finished, the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart” (Shelley 43). His reaction leads to the rest of the problems that carry on throughout the novel.

3 The Chase One of the longest-lasting conflicts was Victor chasing his creation across the world During this time Dr. Frankenstein was hunting down the creature because it had killed his friends and family closest to him. After chasing the creature for weeks and weeks, Frankenstein slowly starts to wither. He comes into contact with a sailor and died on his boat. Because he died, the creature has essentially won the ‘battle’ between them, though Victor asks Walton to continue the search in his memory- “Again do I vow vengeance; again do I devote thee, miserable fiend, to torture and death” (Shelley 195).

4 Victor versus His Monster (The Female Monster)
After carefully thinking about his decision to create his monster a partner, Victor changed his mind and “tore to pieces the thing on which I was engaged” (Shelley 121). This kills the last chance for both Victor's and the monster's happiness. Victor makes the creature his absolute enemy as he denies him any chance for happiness. This later leads to the deaths of Elizabeth, Victor's father (indirectly), and Victor himself.

5 William’s Death Williams death revolves around two types of conflict, both man vs. man as well as man vs. himself The man vs. man conflict is the Creature vs. William (the physical murdering of William), as well as the Creature vs. Frankenstein (the Creature running from Victor) The man vs. himself conflict is Frankenstein’s internal conflict, bearing the burden of William’s death, as well as the resulting death of Justine. He feels guilty, blaming himself because the creation of the Creature led to the death of two important people in his life.

6 The Creature Becomes Evil
All of the Creature’s life since creation leads up to a pivotal moment, when he turns from innocent to evil. “Inflamed by pain, I vowed eternal hatred and vengeance to all mankind” (Shelley 130). This is a man vs. man conflict, because the Creature is battling his self-image against how other people see him. He realizes that no matter how he acts, people will always hate him because he looks like a monster. He realizes that he will be alone forever, and deals with his anger at Victor and utter loneliness by killing innocent humans to get back at his creator.

7 Felix’s Family The conflict within Felix’s family and their home country is caused by Felix trying to help a man out of jail who promises his daughter to him in matrimony. This is a man versus man and a man versus society conflict. The man then informs the government, who then takes his sister and father to prison where he has to save them, resulting in their exile from the country. This is what leads them to live in the small cottage, where Frankenstein runs into them.

8 Victor versus His Monster (The Hunt)
Throughout the book, Victor doesn't engage the monster in direct combat. However, Frankenstein, at the end of the book, does attempt to chase the monster to kill it. He is led on by his creature through taunts like: “you live and my power is complete. Follow me; I seek the everlasting ices of the north” that are designed to “guided [sic] me [Victor], and instigated my fury” (Shelley 152). This a man versus man conflict between the two characters as the monster leads Victor to his death. The taunts are a direct challenge to Frankenstein. They pull him into trying to capture the monster and ultimately cause him to die.

9 Destruction of the Creature’s Mate
Perhaps the most pivotal conflict in the novel, the destruction of the Creature’s mate is the act that prompts the Creature to go on his killing spree. In order to achieve peace, Frankenstein had promised to create a mate for the Creature. However, once he realized that in following through with his promise he would “make the very existence of the species of man a condition precarious and full of terror” (Shelley 138), he fatefully refused to complete the female creature, then proceeding to destroy her. While the Creature was watching the destruction of “the creature on whose future existence he depended for happiness” (Shelley 139). He bitterly decided to put Frankenstein through a misery reminiscent of Hell, a goal that he achieved.

10 Death of Clerval Contributing to the major conflict between Frankenstein and the Creature, Clerval’s death was one of the final acts that put Frankenstein in his deepest misery. When in London, Frankenstein says, “in Clerval I saw the image of my former self; he was inquisitive, and anxious to gain experience and instruction” (Shelley 131). Any hope that Frankenstein had of being inconsequentially happy again died along with Clerval. Another layer to Clerval’s death was the robbery of a “soul overflowed with ardent affections, and… [a] friendship that was of that devoted and wondrous nature that the worldly-minded teach us to look for only in the imagination” (Shelley 130). Clerval could see the beauty in everything, and the loss of that passion for life conflicted Frankenstein in such a way that only allowed him to see the ugliness of life.

11 Conclusion Frankenstein is a book that revolves around conflict. Whether it be an internal conflict such as Frankenstein’s inner turmoil or a physical conflict like the murders committed by Frankenstein's creature, the book is filled with conflict and struggles. Conflict is one of the novels major themes and essential to the development of the plot. All the of the conflicts in this novel are interrelated, and one leads to/causes the next.

12 Works Cited
Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein. New York: Bantam, Print.

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