Monsters and Monstrosities in Literature
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The Effect of Evil in Frankenstein

Contrary to most ancient Greeks, Aristotle did not believe that a monster was a warning or a punishment sent by the gods for a human crime against nature. Rather, the philosopher thought that a monster resulted from a narrow description of reality caused by insufficient knowledge. For him, then, a monster indicated a deficiency in reason. Mary Shelley, in contrast, used a monster in Frankenstein to warn us against the evils issuing from the excesses of reason, among other things. Although Victor Frankenstein is a scientist and the story is about an experiment gone wrong, the focus of the novel is on the emotions he feels: shame, guilt, and remorse.

Julio Jeha · Research: Monsters and Monstrosities in Literature · 5 June 2007