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A Mencian Analysis oF Frankenstein Essay

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This philosophical analysis focuses on the character of the Monster in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and how his crime of killing a young boy and framing an innocent bystander is explained through the arguments made by Mengzi concerning evil natures. This parallel will be made by showing the progression of the Monster from good to evil nature and how his motivation to ruin his creator’s life tainted his fundamental heart. I will first briefly address the action as portrayed in Frankenstein and then discuss how Mengzi’s ideas explain the change in the Monster’s nature.
The main plotline of Frankenstein involves the lives of two major characters, Victor Frankenstein and the Monster. Their relationship is a tumultuous one, mainly due to the fact that Frankenstein created the Monster out of a wish to be some sort of god and be able to play with the balance of life and death. Afterwards, he comes to deeply regret his action and abandons the Monster by throwing him out into the world without any education or guidance. Because of this, the Monster harbors resentment towards Frankenstein and dedicates his life to make Frankenstein’s a living hell. Out of the many horrible things that the Monster did to achieve this goal, the main evil action I will be focusing on is the murder of William, Frankenstein’s younger brother and the framing of his nanny for the murder.
After being continually rejected by not only his creator but countless other humans based only on his gruesome appearance, the Monster decides to exact revenge on humankind and especially on Frankenstein for giving life to such a horrible creature as himself. Upon deciding this, the Monster decides to go to his hometown to look for Frankenstein and along the way runs into Willi...


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...ter’s need to satisfy his thirst for revenge against Frankenstein without care of what happened to anyone that stood in his way shows the great turn that he made from when he was still naïve and not affected by the harshness of the world. Therefore, we can see that, unlike Hsün Tzu’s view, the Monster was good during the early stages of his life, but factors like his environment and his favor for his selfish desires drove him to an evil end.



Works Cited

1. Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Maurice Hindle. Frankenstein, Or, The Modern Prometheus. London: Penguin, 2003. Print.
2. Mencius, and Norden Bryan W. Van. Mengzi: With Selections from Traditional Commentaries. Indianapolis: Hackett Pub., 2008. UCR Library Reserves. Web. .
3. Schwitzgebel, Eric. "Mengzi and Rousseau on Human Nature." 2 Oct. 2013. Lecture.



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