Frankenstein, War of the Worlds Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

The rash, brash young soldier Claudio is betrothed to Hero, who adores him, but because of the male code of the military he has been raised to believe in, he tends to assume the worst of women rather than the best. On their wedding-day, he shames Hero unjustly, even though nothing in her manner indicates she has changed: "You seem to me as Dian in her orb, / as chaste as is the bud ere it be blown" (4.1). In this male-dominated society, where women are aliens and suspect, even the supposedly wise Don Pedro believes the slander at first: "Why, then are you no maiden" (4.1).

But mistrust and a refusal to sympathize with another are not limited to times of turmoil, or emotionally fraught relationships like marriage. Even the relationship of parent to child becomes perverted in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. The scientist and doctor is so determined to create a new man, he does not think of the feelings of this creature he gives birth to, who comes to repulse him. Although he desires to be a kind of God and parent, Frankenstein lacks the real compassion of the creator for the monster. The monster teaches himself human words and philosophy, even strives to help a good farming family in the woods. "I thought (foolish wretch!) that it might be in my power to restore happiness to these deserving people" (Shelley, Chapter 12). Ultimately, the monster is filled with more humanity than his creator, but rejected by Victor Frankenstein, he turns on the world. This only occurs because Victor is unwilling to look the monster in the eye and see that 'it' has the same emotional needs and desires as himself and requires a companion.

All three novels show the cruelties that result from refusing to see one's self in the face of another human being. They are tales of alienation, of human hardness, and misery, whether they have happy or sad endings. The greatness of these works lies in the fact they show the limits of human compassion when human beings become selfishly focused on their own survival, honor, or goals.

Works Cited

Shakespeare, William. "Much Ado About Nothing." MIT Shakespeare Homepage.

11 Mar 2008. http://shakespeare.mit.edu/much_ado/

Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein. Literature.org. 11 Mar 2008. http://www.literature.org/authors/shelley-mary/frankenstein/

Wells, H.G. The War of the Worlds. 1898. Web edition of the War of the Worlds.

Edited by John Walker 1995. 11 Mar 2008. http://www.fourmilab.ch/etexts/www/warworlds/warw.html

Sources Used in Document:

Works Cited

Shakespeare, William. "Much Ado About Nothing." MIT Shakespeare Homepage.

11 Mar 2008. http://shakespeare.mit.edu/much_ado/

Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein. Literature.org. 11 Mar 2008. http://www.literature.org/authors/shelley-mary/frankenstein/

Wells, H.G. The War of the Worlds. 1898. Web edition of the War of the Worlds.

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