The moon, the creature, and the creator

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Southern New Hampshire University
Throughout history the story of the werewolf has been iconic and represented by the full moon. When the phase of the moon is full, typically normal people grow fangs and hair similar to a dog. Thus the symbol of the full moon has been associated with insanity. In most stories the full moon means that people turn into monsters that roam around and instill terror in people. This symbol has been a part of society for a long time and can even be seen in older works, not just modern ones. Because of this association of being crazy the term lunatic was coined, meaning “affected with the kind of insanity that was supposed to have recurring periods dependent on the changes of the moon” (OED). In Frankenstein by Mary Shelley the moon is used to help make the creature into a monster. The creature’s violence increases whenever the moon is out, and this violence leads to Victor’s downfall. Whenever the creature does something evil the moon is described depicting the insanity that is slowly consuming Victor. There is the relationship of the moon, which affects the monster who then affects Victor, so the moon is indirectly causing Victor to be consumed by insanity. There is a close association of Victor and the moon because nature is showing the violence of something unnatural like the monster. The moon is showing Victor the unnatural horror of the creature he has created as his punishment for being the creator. The notorious symbol of the moon illustrating insanity is used throughout the novel to show how the creature is slowly making Victor insane and the moon is very much demotic in character because it reveals the creature to Victor. (Author abstract)