The Alternate Bibliotherapy for Frankenstein’s Monster
The technique of bibliotherapy is one that can be very beneficial to those struggling with personal identity and confidence issues. It has also been a proven way to aid depressed individuals back to mental stability. But in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the Creature ends up with a poor collection of “helpful” content.
He stumbles upon three works: Goethe’s Sorrows of Werter, Plutarch’s Lives, and Milton’s Paradise Lost. Upon reading these books, the Creature forms a predisposition against his creator Victor and the rest of society who have rejected him. In The Sorrows of Werter, it tells of a man who strives to win the heart of a married friend but later ends up taking his own life in sorrow and loneliness. The happening that the monster got a hold of this work is just as detrimental to dropping a match into a container of gasoline. This very novel was infamous for driving hundreds of Europeans to ending their own lives after reading this. Which supports the reason why the Creature ends up taking his own life.
A more reasonable choice for the Creature to read would be one of the self-help genre. Despite the time period of this story, this type of literature would be most beneficial to a depressed individual, especially when lacking any sense of direction or leading. Books such as Stop Worrying and Start Living or The End of Rejection would give the monster incite on how to overcome the feeling of rejection and abandonment. Although some see these works as hoaxes, it would be a far more constructive influence then Goethe’s.
The purpose of Plutarch’s classic work Parallel Lives was to plant qualities within the reader’s mind. Many believe this is how the monster gains a conscience shown in the conclusion of the story. But Plutarch expounds on battles and bloodshed, which reflected a negative effect on the Creature’s mindset. If the monster were seeking to find ethics and morals, it should...
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