In the novel Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley, Victor Frankenstein is the true monster, not the creature himself. Victor Frankenstein grew up in Geneva. He had a strong interest in reading the works of the ancient and outdated alchemists, and was fascinated by science and the "secret of life." One day he decided that he wanted to study further, so Victor actually created a person of his own out of old body parts and strange chemicals. When the creature came to life, he was a hideously ugly beast. The creature does have beauteous features such as "lustrous black hair," and "teeth of pearly whiteness," but they do not look good because they are out of place in relation to his other features, such as his "shriveled complexion," and "watery eyes." His beautiful features are wasted because they are set next to such ugliness (Halberstam 60). He was also a huge eight foot tall mall with the mind of a newborn child. Perhaps the creature could have turned out to be a normal decent human being if he had not been abandoned by his creator directly after his onset of life. But instead, he was left to fend for himself and learn everything on his own, merely by observing others and learning from their mistakes. Due to neglect and abandonment during his early stages of his life, the creature developed an aggressive attitude and began to take on many grotesque characteristics. The term "monster" is a key term that is used in this story. Throughout the entire novel, the creature was named and classified as a monster. However, it was actually Frankenstein who caused him to act out in monstrous ways. The word monster is used to describe a person who "
deviates from the normal or acceptable behavior or character; a threatening force; or a person of unnatural or extreme ugliness, deformity, wickedness or cruelty" (Webster's 769). In this case, the only definition that can solely apply to the creature and not to Victor as well, is the one that associates with physical appearance. It is physical behavior that defines a monster, rather than physical appearance. Throughout the story, the creature did kill and endanger many lives; however, his actions were only a reaction to the cruel behavior that Frankenstein portrayed to him. Frankenstein sees the creation as if he were the devil when the creature tries to make an effort to embrace him (Mellor Mary Shelley 357). When he sees Victor for the first time, he "
had feelings of affection, [but] they were requited by detestation and scorn" (Shelley). The fact that Frankenstein fled from his creation very shortly after it came to life, proves how he refused to accept his obligations and responsibilities after his creature was created. "The [creature] is Frankenstein's abandoned child" (Mellor Abandonment 357). It is unfair to bring something into the world, and then not teach it how to survive. Victor was intimidated by his hideous characteristics and felt threatened by the creature. He did not know his creation at all, so he had no right to judge him. This is an example of how various people and society place too much judgment on physical appearance. The creature had just come into the world for the first time, and the first thing he saw was his creator screaming for his life as a result of his appearance. This traumatized the creation, and caused him to seek revenge on Frankenstein. This novel shows how when people are prejudice against physical deformity or ugliness, it automatically characterizes that person as bad or monstrous (Halberstam 59). Victor was the one who gave him these characteristics; so in fact, he is to blame for the creature's appearance being so monstrous. Frankenstein and various other characters plagued the monster with the feeling of self-consciousness. This feeling never goes away and the creature acts out in rage as a result of this horrible feeling (Mellor Abandonment 77). Along with the feelings of self-consciousness, the creature also felt a great deal...
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