“Education begins the gentleman, but reading, good company and reflection must finish him.” John Locke was an English philosopher whose ideas had influence during the enlightenment period. Mary Shelley was an  English novelist who is best known for her book Frankenstein. e His theory was that the mind started off innate when born, like a blank sheet of paper and that it would develop and learn through exposure to objects and beings. In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, this theory is evident through the development of the monster from after his creation.

John Locke’s theory of the human understanding essay was published in 1689 during the age of reason and the early age of enlightenment. A theory he came up with is that we are all born with minds that are a blank slate, he called this Tabula Razza. Locke believed that everything we know and feel ect is derived from experience. The ideas we receive from sensations in the outside world, internal reflections on the process of our own understanding. He believed we learn from experience and observation and that our mind is vulnerable to the ideas people put into them well we are young. Locke believed that education is crucial to how we turn out as people.

we are introduced to the monster in chapter 16 when he becomes the new narrator, he is talking about his new experiences that he is beginning to learn from. In the beginning, he is discussing his memories talking about the sensations he is beginning to feel in his newly created body, this can relate to Locke’s theory of the innate mind because he is beginning to feel new experiences learning from them. he says  ” I began to distinguish my sensations from each other. I gradually saw plainly the clear stream that supplied me with drink and the trees that shaded me with their foliage. I was delighted when I first discovered that a pleasant sound, which o en saluted my ears”   In this passage, the monster has been staying in the woods for a while now and is starting to learn his feelings and thoughts. He says that he began to distinguish his senses from one another much like a child would when they are experiencing new things for the first time and distinguishing what he likes and dislikes. Locke’s theory of Tabula Raza is all about the mind being a blank slate and learning through external experiences, Shelley has illustrated Lockes theory through the monster in this passage by portraying him like a young child.

Locke discusses how a man’s knowledge cannot go beyond his experience. In the novel Frankenstein  Victor referred to his creation as the monster because of the actions he took and his appearance,  the monster was never really a monster but the way humans treated him was the reason he chose to act violently. The monster addresses this when he discusses how the human s have treated him because of his appearance “All men hate the wretched; how, then, must I be hated, who am miserable beyond all living thing” When the monster is saying that all men hate the wretched, he is referring to himself. The definition of wretched is an unfortunate state which the monster was because of all his scars sewn together was nothing like the humans had ever seen before.????? . The monster also discusses how was not a murderer when he was created but the actions of humans towards him is what formed him to become the monster he was always perceived as. he says ” I was benevolent; my soul glowed with love and humanity; but am I not alone, miserably alone? You, my creator, abhor me; what hope can I gather from your fellow creatures, who owe me nothing? They spurn and hate me.” In this quote the monster adresses


  • “i was benevolent; my soul glowed with love and humanity; but am I not alone miserably alone? you my creator abhor me; what

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  1. Hey Clover,

    Watch the length of your quotes. Remember, in the task it states they need to be appropriate in length.

    Consider the organisation of your essay. If your reader is going to be reading about how John Locke’s theory applies to Frankenstein, what do they need to have an understanding of before they begin reading your analysis?

    Mrs. P


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