Prejudice in Frankenstein

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It is safe to say that people of all time periods, no matter age or location, are prejudice. Judging someone solely based on looks seems to be as natural, and almost involuntary, as blinking one’s eyes. The idea of prejudice has plagued the human race for generations on end, even with today’s attempts to teach people to be more accepting. Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley expresses this universal idea of prejudice based on appearance multiple times in her novel, Frankenstein. Throughout the novel Shelley includes the theme of prejudice. The character being prematurely judged repeatedly is the monster. Victor, the monster’s very creator, is the first character to judge the monster based on his looks. First, he describes his creation as a “catastrophe” before he takes “refuge in the court-yard belonging to the house which [he] inhabited.”(Shelley 37-38). This happens directly following the bringing of life to the creature; which shows that even Victor, the monster’s own creator, is not immune to judging it based on only its looks. If Victor cannot give the monster a chance to prove that he is peaceful, then how does any other character stand a chance to oppose the inevitable prejudice? Victor’s response is immediate fright based on the visual features of the monster that he describes in the paragraph following the bringing of life to it. How can we expect different from other characters is the first thing Victor did was examine the visual aspects of the creation in order to judge it? The next example of when prejudice is used against the creature comes when the it is looking for food and shelter. The monster comes across an open hut and, in need of food and shelter, enters and there is a man inside who “turned on hearing a noise; and, perceiving [the creature], shrieked loudly, and, quitting the hut, ran across the fields with a speed of which his debilitated form hardly appeared capable.”(78). Terror overcame the man who was in the hut before trying to find out...
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