Man's Prejudice - "Frankenstein" By Mary Shelley

Essay by Hayes42High School, 10th gradeA, December 2007

download word file, 3 pages 4.2 3 reviews

In Frankenstein, Mary Shelley shows us Victor Frankenstein’s creature as a monster. He is hideous, violent, and terrifying. He torments his creator. He steals and murders. Appearing monstrous, he is rejected by his creator and all of society. However, William Godwin, Shelley’s father, offers another perspective in his book, Political Justice, when he observes that solitude is,The bitterest torment that human ingenuity can inflict… Solitude, absolutely considered, may instigate us to serve ourselves, but not to serve our neighbours. Solitude, imposed under too few limitations, may be a nursery for madmen and idiots, but not for useful members of society. (251-2)Like an ostracized human, Victor’s creation was not “born” a monster. Rather, society’s unremitting hatred and rejection transform him from human to monster.

In the creature’s first moments of life, he is innocent, only a baby, psychologically and emotionally. The first thing the creature sees is Victor, his “parent.”

He wants Victor to touch him and love him. However, the creature’s yellow skin, watery eyes, and black lips horrify Victor. When he sees the creature standing over his bed, reaching out a hand to seek comfort, Victor imagines that the creatures means to “detain him” (86). He flees, thinking that he has “escaped” (86) from a murderous beast. In fact, he has only upset and confused an innocent creature. Rejected by his father, disturbed, and dejected, the creature runs off into a world he does not know.

In this miserable state, the creature must learn to survive. He learns to eat, drink, and clothe himself, even to use fire. Soon, however, he grows lonely again. Entering a village, he is met with the same abhorrence that his creator showed him. The villagers attack him and drive him out of town, forcing him to take refuge in a wretched hovel.