Frankenstein by Shelley - Perceptions by society

Essay by Lexicon1939High School, 12th gradeB+, December 2002

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The challenges of race, class, and cultural privileges are frequently questioned, and how a person is perceived by society often is decided upon by these aspects. Although it is an everyday occurrence that a person is judged by what color their skin is or how much money their family has, it is a topic that most feel too uncomfortable to examine. However, Mary Shelley had the courage to verbalize the pain and suffering that results from oppression and judgment. She lets the reader delve into the mind of the subjugated, and in doing so she allows them to challenge the traditional ideas of cultural privilege, race, and class. It is proven that looks determine the way a person is perceived by the contrasting relationships the creature has with socially accepted people and then with the blind man who can only judge the creature by his personality. While developing different views of the monster from his looks and then strictly from his personality, Shelley digs deep into the heart of oppression, resistance, and cultural stereotypes.

Societal rejection can led to psychological problems beyond repair. When the creature realized that he was not the same as everyone else it caused him to become hostile and eventually homicidal. He said that he was created to love, but when he was treated solely with rejection and detestation it created hatred inside of him in which he could not control. "My protectors had departed, and had broken the only link that held me to the world. For the first time the feelings of revenge and hatred filled my bosom... I bent my mind towards injury and ." (134) The creature's only will to live had been the hope that the De Lacey family would accept him despite his differences in appearance. When this hope was...