Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" is a novel which presents the narrations of a scary story. The author uses the book to reveal the iconic human emotions and how they bring about revenge and ambition (Shelley, 2007). The author narrates a scary story which involves him and his monstrous creation. The two characters reveal more about revenge and how they use their emotions to achieve the themes displayed in the novel. Victor is a significant character in the book and interacts with a monster creature which is yearning for revenge to its primary creator. He shares this story, and it is a bit scary because of the descriptions of the monstrous creature. He dies, and his monster friend takes over his body in Walter's ship.
This state explains some events that occur, and one is that the monster speaks within Victor's body as a baby. It shows that the creature tries to accomplish all the little things victor failed to while he was alive. Walton is another character portrayed in the novel, and he brings it out as a frame as the author struggles to show the need of ambitions. Walton is a captain of a ship which is sailing past the Atlantic (Newey, 1993). He is in the middle of wondering whether to act up and go ahead to pursue his ambition or just ignore and risk his life. Sailing the ship is part of his dreams, and this shows that he is ready to continue his desires regardless of the risks that may be associated.
John Steinbeck's "East of Eden" on the other hand is a novel in which the author portrays fiction and the central themes as good and evil (Thomas, 2017). The main character who steers the story is Cyrus Trask. He is a father and commits an original sin which gives the novel a known theme to embark on. The author explains that Cyrus has two sons, Adam and Charles whereby he loves the first son more than the second one. Charles is therefore jealous and decides to beat up his brother for revenge. These are some of the themes that are portrayed in the novel. Hence, a comparison between the two books will primarily embark on the major issues of good and evil, free will, redemption, effects of rejection and human nature.
The theme of human nature is portrayed in "East of Eden" in various ways. For instance, Steinbeck reveals that all human beings are bound to nature which involves the actions of good and evil. For example, Kathy is a character who follows her human nature and concentrates more on unleashing it as she acts as an evil person (Brown, 1979).Kathy is born in a family where she receives normal parenthood from her father Mr. Ames and her mother. As Kathy grows, she starts changing her character and portrays behaviors which are quite disturbing. Her human nature shows that she grew as a liar and a prostitute and through it a prostitute. She even goes ahead to murder several people in the novel just to portray how evil she is (Brown, 1979). In the same way, Shelley discusses the theme of good and evil by showing that victor started as a right person while he was a child (Shelley, 2007). As he grew, he was overtaken by evil behaviors which involved having a monster friend, and this contributes to his final downfall. This similarity helps the two authors to share more on the importance of good and evil in the novels.
The theme of free will in both novels is portrayed similarly. For instance, Adam Trask in "East of Eden" is described to be free-willed because he had the strength to decide on joining the army while he was a child instead of following what his father selected for him. This instance shows that his free will helped him to make sound decisions for his life (Brown, 1979). On the other hand, Shelley portrays the theme of free will by showing that Victor had the chance to decide on which specific friends to keep instead of having too many casual friends (Shelley, 2007).
In the "Frankenstein" novel, Frankenstein redeems Caroline from the ambush that she experienced. A theme of redemption, in this case, is shown as Frankenstein decides to take her up after she has been left poor and as an orphan. Frankenstein offers nothing but love to Caroline, and this shows that he cares about her. Additionally, redemption is portrayed when Elizabeth Lavenza is taken from her family and saved from poverty (Newey, 1993). These acts show that Shelley takes care of the underprivileged in the society such as the poor and the orphans. The theme of redemption in "East of Eden" is portrayed differently as Steinbeck critiques it. He argues that Roy has the power to show Adam how to start a car but this power is not permanent (Thomas, 2017). Roy, in this case, is concerned with saving Adam by teaching him how to start a car but the author does not seem to appreciate this redemption as he goes ahead to critique him and claim that anyone could have the same power and so it is not a privilege.
Lastly, the effects of rejection in the two novels are portrayed differently. For example, victor in "Frankenstein" receives a rejection for his character which is having a violent temper (Newey, 1993). It happens because good actors only surrounded his childhood and hence his father did not want him to engage in any other evil characters. In Steinbeck's novel, Cyrus Trask rejects his second son Charles who grows with jealousy for his brother, Adam (Thomas, 2017). It, therefore, shows that the author is not sensitive and thus in a way accepts it.
In conclusion, Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" and John Steinbeck's "East of Eden" are two novels with several themes such as good and evil, free will, redemption, effects of rejection and human nature. These themes are portrayed in the stories to show both differences and similarities, and this primarily represents the analysis. Hence, the two authors have shared some concepts like the theme of human nature, good and evil and free will which represents the similarities. On the other hand, both authors show differences in their arguments on the themes of effects of rejection and redemption
Brown, J. C. (1979). Steinbecks East of Eden. Explicator, 38(1), 11.
Hamilton, R. (2018). Mary Shelleys Frankenstein. Sydney University Press.
Newey, K. (1993). Mary Shelleys Frankenstein. Sydney University Press.
Shelley, M. (2007). Frankenstein. Pearson Education India.
Thomas, E. M. (2017). A Thematic Analysis of John Steinbecks East of Eden. Owlcation.
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