15 October, 2010
“I’m just a soul whose intentions are good, Oh lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood” a verse from the notorious rapper Lil Wayne who judges one’s physical appearance rather the inner qualities that never is seen. Throughout the last century, society has been based on superficial concepts of good or evil, beautiful or ugly, ordinary or abnormal. In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the Creature is depicted as a overwhelming ugly monster with superhuman strength and the lust to kill his next victim. Playing with the elements of God, Dr. Frankenstein’s dream was to bring upon life regardless of how it was created. Frankenstein’s creation is human in the sense that it holds emotions, a sense of compassion and the yearning to feel loved. All these characteristics are that possessed by humans not monsters. However, through society’s quick judgment and being “misunderstood” of the creatures physical abnormalities, Frankenstein is a monster. The contrast between Dr. Frankenstein and his creature implies that a monster is solely based of his physical characteristics. Victor Frankenstein is an egotistical scientist who succeeds in reanimating life but is disgusted by his creature’s appearance and thus abandons from him. Who is the real monster here? Although Dr. Frankenstein's creature is portrayed as a monster in Mary Shelly's Frankenstein, the real monster is Victor himself, as Victor's creation is imbued with Victor's negative character traits.
There is an invisible value placed on the existence of inhumane characters in fiction, in comparison to the value of life of humans. Mary Shelley seems to play with the distinct differences between humanity and monstrosity. Intelligence and emotions, and
whether the character in question is actually alive in the conventional sense, are usually what dictate the morality of the situation. The term monster is defined as an unnatural being that doesn’t behave in accordance with normal social rules. A freak of nature, who lacks compassion and is a cruel inhumane object of society. In the novel Frankenstein, the creature is not that of a complete savage, but is shown to be more of a person. The creature shows intelligence, emotions, and the desire to be loved. In contrast, Victor Frankenstein is more of a monster, his display of selfishness and lack of compassion for others has been demonstrated through his creation. The creature is portrayed as the antithesis of love and acceptance, when in doubt his approach to these feelings are not his own, they are a portrayal of Victor’s inhumanity. The creation should reflect the personality and emotions of the artist, the real monster is Victor, not Frankenstein’s creation.
In the beginning of the novel it is clear that Victor goes to great lengths to avoid others, especially those who care about him. Victor alienates himself from society and ignores his family and friends. Victor is a part of society that is related to other human beings including his parents and colleagues. However, he isolates himself not from just society but his family and friends by neglecting their feelings. These feelings “which made me neglect the scenes around me caused me also to forget those friends who were so many miles absent, and who I had not seen for so long a time” (Shelley 41). Victor has
lost all contact with the world itself and relinquishes himself to the obsession of his work. Victor even succumbs to a severe illness that weakens him by months of work. Victors devotion to his work has consumed him so much that he does not respond to the need or minds of others. Not only has his solitude to his work created so much pain and distraught to his health but further demonstrated his role outside society.
In contrast to Victor Frankenstein, the creature goes to great lengths to befriend others and be accepted in society. Despite the creature’s horrific appearance, the...