Frankenstein Dehumanization Analysis

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Sticks and strangling will break bones, but words will leave irreparable emotional scars. In Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s epistolary novel, Frankenstein, the estranged Victor Frankenstein deprives his re-animated ‘creature’ of a name. The cruel manner Victor treats his “Adam” (Shelley 119) by withholding a name pushes the Creature further away from the belonging he so desperately seeks (148). As atrocities occur at the ashen hands of the Creature, names like “monster”(118) and “wretched devil”(118) bombard him from those he would seek refuge with . Nameless, the Creature is dehumanized and consequences of a negative perception, internally and from society, persist.
Although the process of dehumanization begins when Victor procures various parts for the Creature from the slaughterhouse, it is made poignant when the Creature remains a nameless entity. Dehumanization is known as “a psychological process whereby opponents view each other as less than human and thus not deserving of moral consideration” (Maiese). Without a name, the Creature is unable to be claim relation to societal humanity—even domesticated dogs have names —but as the term ‘monster’ persists, he moves further into the territory of fear. “’Great God…who are you?’”(Shelley 148) exclaims the
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The deformities and physical horror of beholding the Creature may have been too much, but the presence of a name humanizes a being. This could have gotten the Creature a foot in the door during the De Laney debacle or allowed him the small comfort of belonging at least to himself. Rather, without the name, he remains the creation, the monster. Contemporary readers seem to subconsciously try to soften this relationship as many dub the Creature to be named Frankenstein; alternatively this may be an accident of pop culture cinema. Still, it is reasonable to see why their sympathies may go out to the creature without
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