Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 12th grade February 2008

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In Frankenstein, Mary Shelley portrays a "monster" created through scientific experiments that resembles many of the "unlucky" humans that are not part of the norm in society. Frankenstein, the creator of the monster, sees his creation like many mothers and fathers of the world, afraid of the "hideous freak" they brought upon earth. As the monster begins to acquire more knowledge about how prejudiced and hateful society is, he becomes more and more angry at society, his parents, and himself. Many children experience this prejudice as well, and become angry and vengeful people, like Frankenstein's monster.

For example, when the monster is first born, or created, he already gets a taste of how society will treat him. His own "father," first praises the monster as "Beautiful! Great God! His yellow skin scarcely covered the work of muscles and arteries beneath… his teeth of a pearly whiteness…" (p. 42) However, Frankenstein's opinion is quickly changed as the monster comes to life.

Frankenstein "started from (his) sleep in horror… my teeth chattered, and every limb became convulsed… I beheld the wretch-The miserable monster whom I had created." "I nearly sank to the ground through languor and extreme weakness. Mingled with this horror, I felt bitterness of disappointment…" (p. 43) This scene is very similar to many abnormal children in the world. Before the actual babies come to life into this world, the parents think very highly of them and expect the child to be the best in condition. However, when the babies are brought upon this world, his own parents defy him and sometimes even want to just abandon him. It is not fair to the ones created, for they have had no part in saying if they really want to come out to this world to live, but the parents or creators bring them out anyway.

In another example, the monster learns that society in general will not accept him because of his differences in appearance. Everyone judges the monster by his external feats and runs in fear when they see him. As the monster recounts, "It is with considerable difficulty that I remember the original era of my being… I was a poor, helpless, miserable wretch. I knew and could distinguish, nothing; but feeling pain invade me on all sides, I sat down and wept." (p. 87-88) The monster is not too different from any other human being; just like many children outcast by society, they can feel pain like everyone else. However, most people attack the monster and children merely because of their minor differences. For the monster, "the whole village was roused; some fled, some attacked me, until, grievously bruised by stones and many other kinds of missile weapons, I escaped… and fearfully took refuge in a low hovel…" (p. 91) For the many children born with "defects," they may not be attacked physically, but with words that will inflict deep wounds mentally and emotionally. Most humans are inconsiderate beings, and hardly treat others, as they want to be treated.

Finally, as the monster and children grow and acquire more knowledge, they cannot learn to love because all their lives they have been tormented with physical, mental, and emotional pain inflicted upon them. They can only learn to react with the world as the world reacts to them. If the world would accept them and shower them with love as they do with the "norm" of society, these outcasts will learn what love is, and in return shower the world with what they have learned. However, learning only hatred growing up, the monster and abnormal children can only grow to hate. Many times it results in violence. "There was non among the myriads of men that existed who would pity or assist me; and should I feel kindness towards my enemies? No: from that moment I declared everlasting war against the species, and, more than all, against him who had formed me and sent me forth to this insupportable misery." (p. 121) The monster ends up killing a few people in the novel, similar to the unlucky children in the real world who inflict pain upon others as they have received it.

The monster in this novel represents all the children who are not accepted in society. The rejection starts with their closest "loved ones," and quickly grows as they start coping with the outside world. The constant hatred and rejection towards them teaches them only hatred and rejection towards the world. If the world will only understand and show them with the love and respect they expect from others, these "unlucky" ones will not be so unlucky and vengeful, but loving as the world will love them.