Refusal Of Acceptance In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein '

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Society’s Refusal of Acceptance The never-ending debate on nature versus nurture— in which living beings become who they are through genetics, or their upbringing— is commonly cited in trying to decipher why living beings do the things they do. In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Shelley casts blame onto society for its refusal to accept, and nurture, a creature like that of the Monster. Despite the Monster’s actions— which show care and kindness towards others— he is continuously shunned and battered for his appearance, which is the utmost reason for his murderous conclusion. Throughout the novel, Shelley has the Monster meet various people in different settings, but with similar results. These encounters shape how the Monster is nurtured into…show more content…
The Monster describes one of the people he sees as having “symmetry” which is a concept discussed in William Blake’s, The Tyger, where it is asked, “What immortal hand or eye, / Could frame thy fearful symmetry?” (Blake 3-4). Blake is questioning who creates the symmetry of creatures, essentially questioning God. Shelley’s inclusion of symmetry when describing a man the Monster later refers to as his “protector” illustrates what the Monster learns; society favors symmetry, and the Monster lacks symmetry compared to those around him. The Monster stays hidden away from the people he observes from his hovel, but once he realizes they are poor and struggling, he jumps to help them under the veil of night. The Monster would take tools from the cottagers and collect wood for them, as the young man would spend countless hours doing so himself. This was the Monsters way of giving back to the cottagers he had observed and grown to consider his “protectors.” When the Monster gains enough courage to meet with his “protectors,” it is with the one of which is blind. The Monster describes to the blind man that humans are “the most excellent creatures” but they “are prejudice against me [the Monster]” (Shelley 133). Shelley goes on to have the Monster tell the blind man that society “behold[s] only a detestable monster” (Shelley 133). While the blind man is accepting of the Monster, once the blind man’s fellow cottagers arrive, the Monster is “struck violently with a stick” by one of his own “protectors” (Shelley 134). The Monster states during the reciting of his story to Frankenstein, “I could have torn him limb from limb… But my heart sank within me as with bitter sickness, and I refrained” (Shelley 134). This shows that the Monster never had murderous intentions, but the prejudice he faces from society pushes him to do
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