Humanities - Monstrosity Essay

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Monsters have proven to be more than just the fiendish appearance or the evil within such creatures – their monstrosity symbolizes, more or less, the characteristics that define mankind and/or our innermost fears. Prior to this Exploration of the Humanities course, I have interpreted monsters for what they are: heartless and destructive creatures that generate fear. However, I never bothered what the true cause of such fear is – only associating the gruesome presence with a psychological reaction of horror. But taking this class allowed me to broaden my perspective on monsters and monstrosity: humans fear the “Other” because we as individuals have an “Other” within us (subconsciously) that we are not willing to show to those in our surroundings. Or, for some, there is a fear of becoming like the “Other” – the terror or becoming so monstrous and uncontrollable.

In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, people saw Victor’s creature as a monster. So what defines a monster? A standard definition from would be “any creature so ugly or monstrous as to frighten people” (Dictionary.com). However, even though the creature may seem ugly or monstrous due to its form (different body parts put together), it possesses genuine feelings – a humanlike quality that was overlooked by everyone including its creator, Victor Frankenstein. For instance, whenever the creature approaches people, their immediate reaction would be to scream and run. After many attempts to befriend a human being, the creature becomes angered and saddened through isolation: “I have good dispositions; my life has been hitherto harmless, and in some degree beneficial; but a fatal prejudice clouds their eyes, and where they ought to see a feeling and kind friend, they behold only a detestable monster” (136). Here, I as the reader was able to learn how prejudice can cloud a fair judgment – what could have been a friend is received as a fiend by the first impression (or vice versa, depending on the situation). Without...
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