Beauty and prejudice have become commonplace in today’s society; the tiring cycle of living up to impossible beauty standards and facing the constant criticism of one’s image seems never-ending. However, this incessant obsessiveness over image has been around for thousands of years. In Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein, a prominent struggle between beauty and hideousness occurs throughout the book. Shelley uses the motif of undesirable appearances and the constant praise of beauty throughout Frankenstein to establish the theme of prejudice.
Have you ever discriminated against someone or been discriminated against because you were different? Frankenstein is a book that explores society and human behavior when someone different is introduced. It says that humans are not always willing to introduce someone new to their society and that sometimes they tend to discriminate against the different one. To show this, the writer used a monster which was introduced to a human society. This monster is rejected everywhere he goes because of his difference. He is rejected by his creator, and then he is rejected by the villagers, by the farmers who the monster had so long admired and in the end by the reader himself.
One of the main themes in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is the importance of appearance and acceptance in modern society. In today's society, and also in the society of Frankenstein, people judge one often solely on their looks. Social prejudice is often based on looks, whether it be the color of someone's skin, the clothes that a person wears, the facial features that one has and even the way one stands. People make snap judgments based on these and other considerations and they affect the way that they present themselves to one, and also the way that the treat the judged person. In Frankenstein the society of that time is much like our own today. It is an appearance
Everybody holds an inner monster inside of them. A monster that no one dares to dwell. Naïve is a monster I’ve been dealing with my whole life. I’m ignorant to the world, I don’t see things clearly. Being gullible and easily manipulated happens every day in my life. Not knowing what to do or say at the right and wrong times can be irritating most of the time. It’s a monster inside of me that keeps getting me hurt. Easily putting faith and trust in people is a mistake I do a lot. I’m being pulled into my own trap, and people end up taking advantage. I get lost in the game of having a good time and being naïve about certain situations. The reason I am naïve is because of the lack of experience I have. Loved ones lecture me, but I don’t listen.
In the novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, the concept of prejudice is introduced through the creature’s character as a means to explore one of mankind's greatest flaws. Prejudice by definition is a preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience. These “preconceived opinions” placed on on the creature had a detrimental effect on his quality of life. As a result of his outward appearance, the creature’s attempt at humanization resulted in the denial of basic rights. This notion of prejudice that is depicted through the creature’s character can unfortunately be connected to prejudice present in our world today, where many people are denied adequate education, jobs, and safety based primarily on the aspect of connecting a person's outward appearance to their suspected morals, beliefs, and possible future behavior.
The creature and Victor Frankenstein. Similar to how Marxist theory observes the remarkable struggle between social classes, the interactions between said characters, and their struggles, are put on display by Shelly. The exchanges between different characters (or social classes) can be explained by Marx’s Communist Manifesto which states that two classes, one being “the owners” of production named the bourgeoisie and “the workers” or the proletariat (Montag 386). In this situation Victor can be compared to the bourgeoisie while the creation can be represented by the proletariat. In Frankenstein, a similar dynamic arises within the relationship between Victor and his creation as a definitive struggle rises between the two characters. After the successful “birth” of the monster Victor enjoys the reaps of his labor and establishes his power—effectively exerting control over the “lower class” or, in this case, his creation. Throughout this evolution, Shelly depicts the relationship between the monster and Frankenstein with Shelly depicts the Marxist evaluation of capitalism. Later on, when Victor becomes enslaved by the horror of his creation, similar Marxist theory is displayed through what is defined as the products of labor. As a result of this, the monster becomes powerful and rebels against Victor, or his creator, who he describes as incompatible. This power struggle represents the struggle between the upper and lower classes, or, the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. At
Mary Shelley's novel, Frankenstein, sheds light on the importance of appearance through the tale of an unwanted creation that is never given a chance by society. Ironically, the supposed beast was initially much more compassionate and thoughtful than his creator, until his romantic and innocent view of the human race was diminished by the cruelty and injustice he unduly bore. Not only does the creature suffer the prejudice of an appearance-based society, but other situations and characters in the novel force the reader to reflect their own hasty judgment. The semi- gothic novel includes several instances of societal prejudice that include the isolation and outcast of Frankenstein's creation,
One of the best ways to identify the true nature of a character in a story is by their archetype. Once an archetype is identified for a character, it gives readers an idea of what actions they might take throughout a book. Mary Shelly's Frankenstein is no exception to this, exemplifying two specific archetypes. Frankenstein exemplifies the archetypes of creator and monster, which add conflict to the characters.
Frankenstein is to be “sometimes considered one of the first science fiction novels” (Fox,stacy ”Romantic and Gothic Representation in Frankenstein”). Frankenstein was written by Mary Shelley. In this novel the main characters where Victor Frankenstein, his creation the monster, Robert Walton, Elizabeth Lavenza, Alphonse Frankenstein, and Henry Clerval. Frankenstein starts out with a normal boy named Victor Frankenstein who discovers an early interest in science. Victor later goes off to college to study science and ends up creating a monster. Throughout the novel the monster is stereotyped by his looks and is traumatized and goes for revenge against his creator when Victor refuses to make him a
There are many timeless works of literature and many of these have something in common. All of these works of literature have great characters that feel almost alive. These characters almost feel alive because they can be grouped into different archetypes. These archetypes are what makes the character feel real and makes the work of literature great. The more archetypes within the novel, the more alive and real the book feels which makes it such a good work of literature. In the novel Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley, the gothic characters can be defined and put into the different archetypes by the Jungian Approach which makes it such a timeless piece of literature.
Frankenstein’s close-mindedness can definitely cause the reader to think of the creature as a “demon” and a “monster.” From Frankenstein’s perspective, the creature is ugly and vile. However, when the reader finally gets to understand the creature’s struggles, he or she is able to empathize with the creature. For instance, when the creature exclaims “’All men hate the wretched; how, then, must I be hated, who am miserable beyond all living things!’” the reader is able to comprehend that people continuously judge him based on his appearance (113). The creature wants nothing more than to be loved and accepted, but instead he is “miserable” because of the “barbarity of man” (123). The creature cannot foster relationships with people because society
Why does a text exist? It would seem that this is the essential question which all readers attempt to solve. However, how can you possibly attempt to find meaning in a work written in the past when we are subject to the influences of today and all of the events that have transpired since then? To really get a grasp on text, we must attempt to put ourselves into the thoughts of one of the time, which in it of itself is impossible as we do not have access to every bit of information, especially that of the “losers” of events. Like Stephen Greenblatt, father of New Historicism, once put it in his book Renaissance Self-Fashioning: From More to Shakespeare, “We simply do not know what was thought in silence” (35). To counteract this problem, Greenblatt culminated ideas of Historicism, Marxism, and Cultural Criticism into a single body, and in this, he understood that not only can we understand texts by the times and perspectives of those from which they are written but we can also learn more about the time period from the ideas presented in the text and at least comprehend one perspective. One excellent example of this dual relationship is that of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. In this early 19th century masterpiece, the author conveys important views and criticism from her British, educated situation in a narrative of the French Revolution with her descriptions of science, class structure, and justice.
Although humanity prides itself on its continuous societal improvements, superficial judgment continues to thrive, especially between those who differ in looks. The art of physiognomy dates back to the beginning of mankind and has continued to evolve with humanity, negatively impacting those who are categorized into unfavorable stereotypes. In Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, there are flagrant displays of the upsetting role appearance plays in society, as modern-day racism parallels the prejudice the monster experiences due to his exterior. Despite its publication year of 1818, the novel is still pertinent, especially as the world struggles to override unconscious biases correlating to race or unorthodox physicality.
Like many things in life, a transformation needs to occur. In the process of transformation, the outcome can either be good or bad due to circumstances that are out of the control of the person undergoing the transformation. Are we then to blame that person for destroying the process of their transformation? Of course not! We would blame the circumstances that led to the cause of the transformation going bad. The same applies to the creature in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. His downfall from virtue to monstrosity is a result of circumstances out of his control: humanity’s prejudice. Because of humanity's prejudice, the creature's virtue transforms into monstrosity.
The Creature is portrayed in the novel outright as masculine, and he certainly does have many masculine characteristics, such as his muscles and height, but he does share some feminine features as well. For example, outwardly, he is described as having long, “lustrous black, and flowing” hair (35). This long, beautiful hair is common to females, and it seems to stand out against his muscular frame. Consequently, he has conflicting hyper masculinity and femininity. This is highlighted by his emotions and behavior. When he sees the moon, he recognizes its beauty and decides it brings him “pleasure” (71). This is emotional enjoyment of nature is again driven home when he first sees birds and hears them chirping, for he is “delighted” by “that