The moment Victor Frankenstein successfully infuses life into his creation he is overcome with horror and disgust. Without further examination he is certain to have created a monster, not a human being (Shelley 35-36). However, despite his grotesque appearance, Frankenstein’s creature was not born malicious. During the first stages of his existence, unbeknownst to Frankenstein himself, his acts are motivated by innocence and virtue, which even earns him the title “good spirit” (79). Frankenstein did not create a monster.
The use of the word monster in the book also correlates to appearance, and when the creature is called a monster, he feels forced to act like one.After being rejected by society because of his appearance the creature cries to Frankenstein, “Accursed creator! Why did you form a monster so hideous that even you turned from me in disgust” (Shelley 93). This shows that the creature internalized all of the hate he received from his appearance, to the point where he viewed himself as a monster. When he internalizes all this negativity about himself that stems from his appearance, and begins to see himself as a monster, he then begins to behave as one. He threatens Frankenstein by telling him “I may die, but first you” which shows that the creature is not afraid of dying as long as he can inflict as much pain as possible on Frankenstein first (Shelley 123).
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].
Frankenstein’s behavior is partly because of how he was brought up in an powerful family. Shelley begins to talk about Frankenstein’s history and of his nature. He tells us of being born “a Genevese” family that is “one of the most distinguished of that republic”(Shelly 17). Frankenstein explains that his ancestors had been a cornerstone of the
The villagers, DeLacey’s and even his own creator isolate him and cause him to feel excluded and distant from the rest of the human race. His torture begins in the beginning of the novel, when Victor Frankenstein first creates him. Although Frankenstein was initially thrilled to have created life, he was suddenly turned away because of the monster’s appearance: “...but now that I had finished, the beauty of the dream had vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart. Unable to endure the aspect of the being I had created, I rushed out of the room...” (M. Shelley 49). This would be the equivalent to a mother leaving her child at the hospital because she did not like the way it looked when it was first born.
Victor refuses, punishing the monster for his actions by forcing him into isolation. The monster turns vengeful not because it's evil, but because its isolation fills it with overwhelming hate and anger. It quickly becomes clear that Frankenstein sees isolation from family and society as the worst imaginable fate. Altogether, the themes used in Shelley’s work create meaning for the reader and allow a better understanding of the
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.
This abuse is undeserved as the creature proves himself to be a capable and very intelligent contradicting the stereotypes made against him. Eventually, the stereotypes made by society lead the creature to become who they think he is. Frankenstein paints a bleak picture of how society’s stereotyping leads to segregation and suffering with the creature’s journey through life. The society of Frankenstein makes a stereotype based on a single premise, his appearance, and chooses to discriminate and segregate Victor’s creation. This discrimination is evident when “the children shrieked and one of the women fainted.
When he finally creates the creature, he runs, consumed by “breathless horror and disgust” (Shelly 35). He - in his sickly state - failed to see the true nature of what he has made, and immediately regrets it. Furthermore, when the creature confronts Frankenstein, Frankenstein shows cruelty to his creation, screaming, yelling and flat out refusing to listen to it, “ Begone! I will not hear you.” (Shelly 69) What Victor endured in the past still fuelled his hate and anger towards the creature. This hate consumed his whole being leading him to parade such savagery to the creature.
In the novel Frankenstein, the author, Mary Shelley, communicates to modern readers the negative effect of prejudice for individuals and society by utilizing the characters of the creature, Mr. Delacey, and William. One of the ways that the novel portrays the negative effect of prejudice is society’s attitude toward the monster’s strange appearance. When the creature converses with Mr. De Lacey, a blind man, the monster and the resident find a level of mutual respect: "I am blind, and cannot judge of your countenance,