Theme Of Self-Actualization In Frankenstein

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In Mary Shelley’s novel, Frankenstein, Frankenstein’s Monster experiences a sense of self-actualization after coming to terms with his “monster” identity. In chapter 13, after Frankenstein’s Monster learns about human history and social norms, he conducted a self-analysis of his current self. He stated, “I possessed no money, no friends, no kind of property. I was, besides, endued with a figure hideously deformed and loathsome”. Moreover, when he “looked around, he saw and heard of none like [himself]. Was I then a monster, a blot upon the earth, from which all men fled, and whom all men disowned” (138). Through the knowledge he acquired from spying in on the Felix family, he gained the understanding that his grotesque look doomed him to be marginalized within human society; therefore, his understanding of human history destined himself to be a monster. Although, this self-realization of a monster identity plays a huge role in the general plot and character development of Frankenstein’s Monster, it hints at a subtler interpretation of the nature of knowledge.…show more content…
It appears Mary Shelley, through the suffering portrayed by Frankenstein’s Monster, is hinting that knowledge is not necessarily a good thing. In fact, she appears to be arguing that ignorance is bliss and that knowledge is the cause of greater suffering. In the case of Frankenstein’s Monster, the knowledge of language and history caused him to see past his blissful ignorance of his marginalized identity and caused him to realize the extent of his future suffering. Simply put, without the knowledge that he is doomed to be barred from society due to his monstrous look, he would not have felt such loneliness and disconnect from humanity. In his case, knowledge is the root cause of his
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