You Can't Always Get What You Want (Or Even What You Need)
“All men hate the wretched; how, then, must I be hated, who am miserable beyond all living things! Yet you, my creator, detest and spurn me, thy creature, to whom thou art bound by ties only dissoluble by the annihilation of one of us.” (102) Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is a Gothic novel published in 1818. It tells the story of Victor Frankenstein - a man who attempted to play God by creating life from an “inanimate body.” (58) Frankenstein's need to prove his acumen as a scientist led to his creation of a creature that becomes a monster. Frankenstein abhors his own creation. On the night he succeeds in bringing his creature to life, he becomes frightened by his creature and abandons it with nothing to comfort it in this strange new world into which it has been thrust. The creature's first experiences were feelings of disgust, rejection, and isolation from its creator. In many ways, the creature’s story echoes that of Genie. Taken by child protective services in 1970, Genie was considered to be a feral child – “a lost or abandoned child raised in extreme social isolation.” (Thomson) Genie spent the first thirteen years of her life living in a cage, at the direction of her father, supplied only with the most minimal life sustaining physical care but deprived of emotional and physical contact. Following her removal from her abusive family home, Genie was subjected to study by professionals interested in the effect of her isolation on her linguistic development rather than being provided consistent, long-term emotional care. The alienation experienced by both Frankenstein’s creature and Genie were the result of the desire to acquire scientific knowledge with limited ethical and humanistic consideration for the subject. In the end, both seemed to be more like a human answer to a scientific question. Frankenstein, a man driven by pride, created a living being solely to expand his...
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