Frankenstein: Theme of 'the Other'

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Frankenstein: The ‘Other’
One of the greatest corresponding attributes between Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and modern day society is the prominence of appearance and acceptance in society. Throughout modern day society and the society portrayed in Frankenstein, a person is judged primarily on appearance. Social prejudices are commonly founded from appearance, ranging from skin color to weight. Perceptions are then based off of these prejudices. A person will then act a certain way towards the person the prejudices are based off of. The parallel drawn between the societies is that they are very appearance-based, which is brought to the attention in contrast of the hideous monster and the common human being.

The “Other” is an individual recognized by a community as not belonging, as being unusual in an essential way that differentiates from everyone else in the group. The group or community sees itself and its members as the norm and those who differ from the norm, as the Other. Identified as lacking fundamental characteristics possessed by the group, the Other is usually always seen as lesser or inferior and treated consequently. The group defining the Other may be an entire society, a social class, a community within a society, or even a local gang. (Melani 1) The Other is not essentially a numerical minority. In a country or territory is over taken by a regal power, the more numerous natives can become the Other, for instance, the British rule in India where the native Indians outnumbered the British 4,000 to 1. (Melani 1) Likewise, women are classified and judged by men, the dominant group or persons, in relationship to themselves, so that they become the Other. Hence Aristotle states: "The female is a female by virtue of a certain lack of qualities; we should regard the female nature as afflicted with a natural defectiveness." (Melani 1) The outsider is a term that is commonly confused with the Other, but they are not identical. The outsider may have...
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