Frankenstein

by

Mary Shelley

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Frankenstein: Allegory 1 key example

Definition of Allegory
An allegory is a work that conveys a hidden meaning—usually moral, spiritual, or political—through the use of symbolic characters and events. The story of "The Tortoise and The Hare" is... read full definition
An allegory is a work that conveys a hidden meaning—usually moral, spiritual, or political—through the use of symbolic characters and events. The story of "The... read full definition
An allegory is a work that conveys a hidden meaning—usually moral, spiritual, or political—through the use of symbolic characters and... read full definition
Chapter 10
Explanation and Analysis—Victor and His Monster:

Frankenstein is an allegory, a work that conveys a hidden meaning—usually moral, spiritual, or political—through the use of symbolic characters and events. Victor Frankenstein’s creation of the Monster is an allegory for the creation story from the Book of Genesis, in which God creates Adam. In Chapter 10, the Monster alludes to this when he tells Victor:

Remember that I am thy creature; I ought to be thy Adam, but I am rather the fallen angel, whom thou drivest from joy for no misdeed. Everywhere I see bliss, from which I alone am irrevocably excluded. I was benevolent and good – misery made me a fiend. Make me happy, and I shall again be virtuous.

The Monster, beholden to his creator Victor, compares himself to Adam. Victor may be a creator but he is no god, having abandoned his creation due to its ugly appearance. (This contrasts with God's pronouncement, in the Bible, that his creation was "very good.") This is why the Monster calls himself a "fallen angel" instead—except that he hasn't done anything to deserve being driven from his creator's presence. The Monster’s statement allows the reader to feel sympathy for him despite his vengeful actions, and also implies that Victor’s neglect is the ultimate cause of the Monster’s violence. Victor, all too human, is blinded by prejudice, and assumes the worst of the Monster. Through this allegory, Shelley offers a moral warning to her readers: humans are often blinded by prejudice.