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Frankenstein vs. Paradise Lost

The stories about the Devil, Adam, and Frankenstein’s monster seem to have nothing in common at first glance. However, a more detailed consideration of each of them allows tracing certain similarities between them. People (or other beings) who have negative qualities always seem alike. They are united by their desire to express their anger through evil deeds and to prove that it is not for nothing that such qualities are attributed to them.

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Tracing similarities between a positive and a negative character is more difficult, though not impossible. The matter is that evil is closely connected with good or, to be more exact, depends on how much good it takes to restrain and repress this evil. The main similarity between Adam and Frankenstein’s monster is that they both were created and both disappointed their creators; disappointing Frankenstein, the monster turned into an evil and vindictive being, which made him alike with the Devil possessing the same qualities.

To begin with, one of the major similarities between Adam and Frankenstein’s monster is that both were created rather than born. The only difference lies in the ways in which they were created. God created Adam from dust by means of his powers, while Frankenstein created his monster from clay (though, according to some versions, a dead body was used to create a monster) by means of his knowledge of chemical processes and galvanism: “I had worked hard for nearly two years, for the sole purpose of infusing life into an inanimate body. For this I had deprived myself of rest and health. I had desired it with an ardour that far exceeded moderation.” (Shelley 35)

Another similarity between them is that both God and Frankenstein gave lives to their creations hoping to show them the beauty of life, but were disappointed by them. Adam who was “favour’d of Heav’n so highly” (Milton 5) could not resist an earthly temptation to taste the forbidden fruit, whereas the monster stroke his creator with fear: “My teeth chattered, and every limb became convulsed: when, by the dim and yellow light of the moon, as it forced its way through the window shutters, I beheld the wretch – the miserable monster whom I had created.” (Shelley 35) Of course, the beings which the creators gave life to differed in their inner qualities, but what remains the fact is that they both fell short of their creators’ expectations.

Certain parallels can be drawn between Frankenstein’s monster and the Devil as well. Firstly, both of them were evil and both committed hideous misdeeds. The Devil’s overall existence consisted in seducing people, just like he did it with Adam and Eve by offering the latter to taste the fruit “of that forbidden tree, whose mortal taste/ Brought death into the world.” (Milton 5) The monster, in his turn, mercilessly killed a number of innocent people on the way to his goal.

Moreover, he managed to put the blame for these murders on other people who were forced to bear punishment for the crimes they have never committed. This is also another similarity between the monster and the Devil. They both acted against the moral principles and, in the monster’s case, against law, but always avoided punishment making other people suffer. By his murders, the monster not only deprived innocent people of their lives, but destroyed the lives of those who were blamed in these murders. The Devil, in his turn, seduced Eve who further seduced Adam, which resulted in this couple’s casting out from Paradise and losing their immortality.

Thus, Frankenstein’s monster and the Devil are united by their being evil and ruining lives of other people avoiding punishment and feeling no remorse for their misdeeds; one of their common features is the absolute absence of any moral principles and unwillingness to stop unless the goal is reached.

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One more similarity between the Devil and Frankenstein’s monster lies in their constant seeking of revenge. There exists an opinion that once the Devil was an angel who was cast out from Heaven. The goal of his existence was to get revenge and God was the one his vengeance was directed at. Turning into a Serpent and seducing Adam and Eve was one of his first vengeances which “with ambitious aim/ Against the Throne and Monarchy of God,/ Raised impious war in Heav’n and Battel proud/ With vain attempt.” (Milton 5) Frankenstein’s monster made vengeance the sense of his life. He blamed Frankenstein for what he became and for abandoning him when he needed him most of all:

Oh, Frankenstein, be not equitable to every other, and trample upon me alone, to whom thy justice, and even thy clemency and affection, is most due. Remember, that I am thy creature; I ought to be thy Adam; but I am rather the fallen angel, whom thou drivest from joy for no misdeed. Everywhere I see bliss, from which I alone am irrevocably excluded. (Shelley 69)

Lastly, both the Devil and Frankenstein’s monster were outcasts. The Devil was cast out from Heaven for a misdeed and the monster was not accepted by the society because he looked different. Even his creator was scared of him and avoided him after he put life into his body. They both were rejected and this was what made them evil and gave them a desire to seek revenge. The monster who, surprisingly, possessed human feelings and emotions admitted that he could have been better if people treated him differently: “I was benevolent and good; misery made me a fiend. Make me happy, and I shall again be virtuous. (Shelley 69)

He even offered Frankenstein to create a female monster for him to have ordinary human life and promised not to disturb him again. However, Frankenstein refused to take such a responsibility after which the monster’s revenge found him. Therefore, the monster and the Devil were misunderstood and others’ seeing them as evil and vindictive turned them into what they were.

In sum, several similarities between Adam and Frankenstein’s monster, as well as between this monster and the Devil have been discovered. Adam and Frankenstein’s monster were created, not born and they both disappointed their creators. God, Adam’s creator, was disappointed with his disobedience to the only rule in Paradise. When Frankenstein created his monster, he felt sorry that he managed to make his dreams come true and abandoned his creation. This caused anger in the monster and made him evil and eager to seek revenge, which made him alike to the Devil who wanted to revenge himself on God for casting him out from paradise, who committed evil deeds for this, and who, just like the monster, always managed to avoid punishment.

Works Cited

Milton. John. Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained. Wilder Publications, 2007.

Shelley, Mary W. Frankenstein. Courier Dover Publications, 1994.

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