It has often been argued that the definition of a monster is something inhuman, something or someone who has no regard for life and nature and that which is good. Many times in literature or movies, the word monster is used to refer to men how have done horrible things: rape, murder, mass genocide. The weight that this word carries is many times undermined by things such as Halloween costumes or children’s cartoon characters. However, the fact still remains that a true monster is evil, inhumane, and lacks remorse or caring for things that a normal, emotional human being should care for. The term monster lacks what many believe to be the necessary requirements someone needs to be considered human. In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, there is such a being that many times was called a creature because he lacked the physical characteristics necessary to be recognized by those around him as a human being. This is something that cannot be disputed, as he is described in the book being quite hideous. “His yellow skin scarcely covered the work of muscles and arteries beneath; his hair was of a lustrous black, and flowing; his teeth of a pearly whiteness; but these luxuriances only formed a more horrid contrast with his watery eyes, that seemed almost of the same colour as the dun white sockets in which they were set, his shriveled complexion and straight black lips” (60). Clearly the creation was far from physically beautiful, as Frankenstein had originally intended for him to be. However, does that mean that he should not be considered as a human inside? There is one undeniable fact above all that makes the monster human, and the question to be answered is not whether or not he is humane. Before this question of the monster’s humanity can be answered, let us first look at what it meant in the early 1800’s to be considered human, a functioning member of society.
The key point to examine here is that the monster’s humanity is defined by his ability to learn and use...
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