What are some examples of paradox in the novel Frankenstein?
Mary Shelley's gothic novel Frankenstein follows Victor Frankenstein's success at reanimating a dead body, and then his guilt for creating such a thing. When the "Frankenstein monster" realizes how he came to be and is rejected by mankind, he seeks revenge on his creator's family to avenge his own sadness and isolation.
This story contains two great paradoxes, the first of which deals with love and humanity. While Victor's desire to create a human is partially rooted in parental urges, Victor did not approach his project with love, or even with empathy. It's true that Victor wanted to create a beautiful being, but he had no emotional connection to his creation; instead, this was just a science project. When the creature finally came to life, Victor ran away, repulsed by its ugliness.
The monster, however, wanted nothing but love. Upon being brought to life, the monster smiled at Victor and extended his hand. Even as Victor's rejection left the monster to fend for himself, all the monster longed for was to love and to be loved. He enjoyed all forms of art and natural beauty, and his feelings matured as he spent months watching his "friends," the close and loving family who lived in the cottage attached to the monster's hiding place.
The second paradox in Frankenstein is simpler. The monster changes from good to evil because he is rejected by humanity for being ugly. He looks terrible, and therefore he becomes terrible. Victor's monster was, in the beginning, a kinder person than even Victor was. But where Victor wanted to create something physically beautiful, he failed. If the monster had been attractive, he would not have been considered a monster, and the story would not have unfolded the way it did.