Essay On Xenophobia In Frankenstein

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When reading Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein or The New Prometheus one might wonder about the original cause of all the tragedies that ensued after Victor Frankenstein completes the creation of his so-called monster. The word “monster” itself already deprives it of any dignity or basic rights as Peter Brooks explains that a monster etymologically is something “to be looked at” (Brooks 369), so merely a “circus sideshow” (Brooks 369) and not a feeling and thinking being. One only needs to pay attention to the words chosen when talking about Frankenstein’s creation. “Wretch”, “Villain” and “Fiend” are only three of the most used ones. This paper argues that prejudice and xenophobia in humanity play an essential part in the happenings told in Shelley’s work. As Lawrence Lipking rightfully assessed the creature at first is “too good” (Lipking 428) and “innocent” (Lipking 428) but sooner rather than later “hostility and prejudice of men” (Lipking 428) awake desires of violence and revenge in it which lead to its awful plot against its creator.
There is a huge shift in the emotions of Victor Frankenstein once his work is done and the creature finally opens its eyes. While
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Felix however, being able to see, hit the monster “violently with a stick” (Shelley 94) upon meeting it which makes the monster sad rather than angry as it flees instead of striking back. It is obvious that the humans who the creature encountered act solely based on its appearance which is the purest form of xenophobia. It never is given the chance to explain itself except in the case of de Lacey. This proofs that it is innate in most humans to associate foreignness as being something negative and potentially
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