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Beauty And Ugliness In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

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Beauty and ugliness is often used to justify the reaction of others in the novel, Frankenstein; in which the relation between external appearance and internal desires are shown to be related. The theme of how appearance affects judgement is often demonstrated through the characters response to the monster’s physical being. Shelley depicts this situation through Dr. Victor Frankenstein, the Delacey family, and through the monster himself. The use of appearance to determine judgement is shown to be a negative habit. By automatically associating ugliness with evil, and beauty with innocence, society unintentionally develops a negative being in those considered ugly, while at the same creating an illusion of innocence over beautiful individuals.…show more content…
Victor Frankenstein, who describes his surrounding in great detail, based on physical appearance. Shelley reflects Victor’s judgement on physical representation based on the environment he is in. Using his situation in the cold and treacherous mountains to a negative and almost deathly environment, conicondently the place where he meets and speaks to the monster, and the beauty and calamity of home, a place where Elizabeth is often located. There is a major contrast in how he describes his lover, Elizabeth, and the monster he created, in which he relates their appearance to their innocence or evilness. When speaking about characters like Elizabeth and Justine, Victor often relates their physical appearance to their innocent behaviours. Creating a scenario in which the more beautiful and young a character is, the innocent and caring they must be. When we are first introduced to Elizabeth, Victor begins to first describe her beauty in relation to her being, “Her person was the image of her mind...she appeared the most fragile creature in the world...everyone adored Elizabeth” (Shelley 66). Through her beauty and youth, Elizabeth is seen as fragile, kind and easy to approach. Even when close to death or dead, Victor describes Justine innocent, despite her surroundings in jail, and Elizabeth as beautiful as she once was when she was alive. Their beauty and youths give them an advantage, in…show more content…
This family unintentionally aides the monster in learning english, french, and developing his understanding of human nature. Though they are thought to be low class, the monster, from observation of their physical appearance and treatment towards their father, often views Felix and Agatha as superior beings, and having a good disposition. For this reason, the monster expects their lives to be at peace, and yet is surprised when he sees them weeping, “I saw no cause for their unhappiness; but i was deeply affected by it. If such lovely creatures were miserable, it was less strange that I, an imperfect solitary being, should be wretched” (Shelley 127). The monster is quick to judge, that based on physical appearance, the Delacey family should have the perfect life with little to no reason for being sad, compared to his life of imperfection and solitude. This experience allows the monster to realize, that despite being perfect beings, even beauty can experience sorrow, just as ugliness can experience serenity. The monster also learns that the family is in similar position as his own, in which they are isolated from their society due to their crimes. From this judgement, the monster is able to approach the father of the household, by disguising himself as a lowly traveller in need of shelter, the
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