Frankenstein Research Paper

Powerful Essays
What makes a monster? Is monstrosity purely physical or is monstrosity a term used to denote immoral behavior? However one chooses to answer this question one must inevitably speak about the “monster” in relation to other beings in a given society at a particular time. In this essay I attempt to not only capture the “monster” as an engineered body, but also highlight the connection and possible tension between scientific knowledge and the morality of scientists and society during the Scientific Revolution/Enlightenment period. Traveling back in time to the 1700’s I will show readers that all that is needed to create a monster is an engineer, parts, a spark, society and a little science. Lastly, I will reflect on how advancements in technology…show more content…
No longer were monsters a product of supernatural forces, monsters were created. Yet, in order for a person to become a monster, a person cannot exist in isolation. Relating my idea of the connection between knowledge and morality in the Scientific Revolution/Enlightenment period to the monster and his body in Frankenstein, I argue that society’s knowledge of the monster is formed in one of two ways; one, through scientific creation or two, through social construction. Now, it is through (1) physical features which differ drastically from others or (2) immoral actions that one becomes a monster in their own society. In part, “monsters” are products of their own environment. What makes the creature in Frankenstein a monster is that he is both a scientific creation and his physical features and his actions of murder deviate from society’s expectations. Throughout the novel Frankenstein’s creation is never given a real name. Instead, society names the creature by his physical features. In the novel he is called; a “demoniacal corpse, wretch, daemon, devil, monster, ogre, the being and creature” (36, 68, 102, 164, 165). Besides not having a name, Frankenstein’s creature is also described using the terms deformity and monster. After society’s constant negative response to his physical appearance, the creature himself…show more content…
Shelley makes her readers question what it means to be a human being, what it means to be a monster and makes her readers think deeply about the ethics of our own technological advances and how we cannot run away from the problems we create, what we created and our responsibilities toward the created. At one point, even Frankenstein realized “what the duties of a creator towards his creature were” (70). For me Shelley makes me question the implications of viewing technology as “the other,” especially in a time when the military uses drones and are creating autonomous weapons. For me Shelley’s novel is a cautionary tale that extends well into the 21st
Get Access