One integral idea that comes across from my posts is the notion of perspective, and how said perspective informs or influences the audience. All the themes, motifs, and ideals expressed in Frankenstein are fed through a narrative lens or a particular perspective. This means that the audience is given a filtered image of reality tainted by a particular character’s ideology rather than reality itself. This is further complicated by Shelley’s choice of narrative. She could have easily framed the novel in a third-person omniscient, which would seamlessly encapsulate the perspectives of all the characters, but most importantly the perspectives of the creature and Frankenstein in a unbiased manner. Instead, she chooses an epistolary narrative, in which most of the story told to us in a shifting perspective, from letters written by Robert Walton, to quotes from Victor Frankenstein, and to, a lesser degree, the creature. So instead of one consistent, holistic perspective, the audience gets multiple, partisan perspectives. Not only does this fragmented view offered by the novel result in multiple layers of subtext, but it also helps us to better understand each character.

The discrete, individual perspectives are so important because they provide much of the context within the novel, or in some cases, lack of context. This is particularly exemplified by the by the perception of “lower” characters, such as the creature and Justine, by the “higher” ones such as Walton or Frankenstein. For the majority of the novel, the events are expressed from a privileged, elitist, perspective that does not provide context for the actions of the creature, and thus the audience is led to believe the creature to be a violent, grotesque, misanthrope. However, Shelley also ingeniously gives us the perspective of Frankenstein, which not only provides the aforementioned context, but allows the audience to compare and contrast perspectives. From the particular details that are emphasized or obfuscated, the audience can surmise the character’s biases and ideals, and ultimately better understand the characters themselves.

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