Yin And Yang

Daniel LeMrs. CarpenterAP English 410 January 2018Yin And Yang Just as how heroes cannot exist without a villain, light cannot subsist without darkness, an individual’s existence is dependent upon another individual who exhibits a symbiotic relationship from him or her. This verity reflects that of a foil character which is quintessential to the foundation of reading and literature; writers weave and elicit this literary element to deepen the characterization of characters within literary works and decipher the meaning of an unfathomable work as a whole. Mary Shelley is a renown English novelist and dramatist who stands illustrious by her work on Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus. This gothic story is about a man named Victor Frankenstein whose pursuit of knowledge and obsession over the idea of creating the perfect human form ends up becoming an abomination. Immediately after creating the monster and leaving him abandoned to walk the earth, the monster gets rejected from society and swears vengeance upon his creator by murdering his loved ones. Both of them are foil characters as their characteristics and personality conflict one another in synergy as one cannot exist without the other’s presence. The contradiction of the behavior and ideas of Victor and the monster illuminates the conviction that an individual’s desire engenders despondency in some people and destruction in others. Victor Frankenstein is an “all-knowing” arrogant scientist who has no foresight and does everything he can to search beyond accepted human limits and access the secret of life. After having considered spending some months successfully collecting and arranging materials, Victor assured, “Life and death appeared to me ideal bounds, which I should break through, and pour a torrent of light into our dark world,” (Shelley 65). This quote further describes Victor’s lust for knowledge as he attempts to create a perfect human being and play God. It is also from this quote that allows readers to understand Victor represents the id, the part of the psyche which is governed by the instinctive impulses of aggression and drive. As Victor travels northward across the ice to search and destroy the creature, he exclaimed, “I cannot guess how many days have passed since then, but I have endured misery which nothing but the eternal sentiment of a just retribution burning within my heart could have enabled me to support,” (Shelley 251). In this quote, Victor’s infatuated hatred to seek revenge on the creature after he kills members of his beloved family has drove him on a path of strife and turmoil. Furthermore, it emphasizes the result of Victor’s arrogant personality because he isolates himself from family just to pursue his crazed ambition. In the aftermath, Victor is just a tragic genius in which his thirst for knowledge only brings him to meet his own demise.Unlike Victor Frankenstein, the creature is an abandoned and uneducated individual who seeks companionship and acceptance in society. The creature babbled, “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,” (Shelley 122). This quote occured when the monster approached Victor, expressing his despondent feelings over the inequity society treats him despite his benign actions to do good. Moreover, this quote explains to the readers that society is sick as the people judge the monster by his grotesque appearance rather than by his actions that define his personality and character. By emphasizing this idea as a reader, it can be connected with the elements of fire and ice. All of the characters of the story such as the De Lacey family represent the coldness of civilization by the selfishness and disregard they portray toward people who have certain circumstances and are not accepted into society due to them. It is the monster’s actions, the fire that burns through his hatred over mankind to show the people how society rejects him poorly and enlighten society from rejecting individuals who contain                 different circumstances. As the creature took refuge in the woods and looked at how the cottagers loved and sympathized with one another, he revealed, “The more I saw of them, the greater became my desire to claim their protection and kindness; my heart yearned to be known and loved by these amiable creatures,” (Shelley 160). This quote conveys the verity that the creature yearns for companionship, love, and acceptance by the people through learning from the cottagers’ actions and conversations. The feelings, emotions, and knowledge the creature learns and experiences establishes his intention to be loved by others and become acquainted by the customs of society, but it is society that rejects him, engendering him to walk a path into dysphoria. Both Frankenstein and the creature react differently to certain situations due to their opposing personalities. Frankenstein     

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