One thing about the monster Victor Frankenstein created is certain: It is hideous. So hideous even that though he has good intentions he gets shunned by society. Due to his ugliness, he has trouble finding a mate and even goes on a murderous rampage in the end which is followed by his suicide. Is the monster driven to this terrible fate by society or is it someone or even something else? In the following, this paper will look at the concept of beauty in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and how it influences the monster as well as society in general. Because of the rejection he experiences, it can be stated that society is responsible for the monster’s misfortune. Humans often associate beauty with good qualities. A study by Dion, Berscheid and Walster from 1972 found that “what is …show more content…
in Grammer et al. 388). There also has been a link between attractiveness and grades, where attractive students are favored. Grammer also states, that unattractive people receive more or even a harsher punishment for their misdeeds (388). So maybe Bloom was right when he said, “a beautiful ‘monster’, or even a passable one, would not have been a monster” (Bloom 6). In Frankenstein beauty is often linked to good qualities. Elizabeth is described as a beautiful woman and her beauty is linked to her personality in chapter one: “Her person was the image of her mind; her hazel eyes […] possessed an attractive softness” (Shelley 20). In chapter 5, Justine is described as “extremely pretty” as well as clever and gentle, which might also be a link between the described qualities of beauty and her character (42). In chapter 8, the monster finds a portrait of a woman on the dead body of William. He sees her beauty and is astonished by it, but his admiration quickly
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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,
Mary Shelley’s, Frankenstein, symbolized a person’s necessity for acceptance by society. Society labels everything as good or bad, right or wrong, rich or poor. Although some of these labels may be correct, many are misconceptions. The monster, needed to be accepted by society, but instead was scorned, attacked, and shunned because of his outward appearance. The treatment of the monster was on the assumption that he was actually a monster. The only justification of this treatment was his outward appearance.
In the book Frankenstein, written by Mary Shelley, the subject of discrimination because of looks appears in many instances. When Frankenstein created the monster and finally realized how it looked he was very disappointed. After the monster was spotted by the villagers, they were terrified because of the way he looked. The creature began looking for food and shelter and encountered a older man, whom he frightened. Looks seem to be a major subject throughout this entire book.
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
The first incident when the reader witnesses a passage of judgment that is based on one’s appearance is when the Frankenstein family adopts Elizabeth Lavenza. Elizabeth is found living in the streets with a poor Italian family and Caroline Frankenstein adopts Elizabeth because she is a very pretty girl. Elizabeth’s beauty allowed people to judge her as pure and worthy so, despite all the other children in the streets, Elizabeth is given a great education, a wealthy family, and a beautiful home. On the contrary, when Victor creates his creature, Victor is so horrified by his ugliness that he flees his apartment. When Victor later returns and finds that the creature is gone, Victor has the audacity to celebrate and call the creature his “enemy”. It is true that in nature, the creature would be a great predator. The creature is great in stature, incredibly fast, incredibly strong, and exceedingly intelligent. Weaker animals would be smart to run from this animal. However, Frankenstein’s creature is not an animal. The creature was comprised of the most perfect human limbs, organs, and bones that Victor
In the novella Frankenstein, Mary Shelley uses geography to further the plot, reveal the true intentions of characters and convey the novella’s theme of sublime nature. The theme of sublime nature is the idea that nature is comprised of a mixture of terror and beauty. One example of sublime nature supported by geography is the monster, which is truly a terror in appearance and spirit being born in Ingolstadt. Shelly contrasts this “terror” of Ingolstadt to the beauty of Geneva, Frankenstein’s birthplace. Once the fruit of Frankenstein’s labor comes to fruition and the horrific monster is born, even Frankenstein himself is “unable to endure the aspect of the being” and attempts to cast it away and forget it (Shelley 101). The apparent
Hungerford’s famous quote typically means that each person sees beauty in a different fashion. Therefore, yes it’s true that a person’s appearance can be described as beautiful, but that is only part of the definition of beauty.
This example of the significance of appearance in modern society is also echoed in Frankenstein. The parallel between the society in the novel and modern society is that of snap judgements based solely on appearances. In the novel, Victor Frankenstein is a perpetrator of such judgements. Victor “selected his features as beautiful.” Here it is seen Victor’s shallowness as he picked the most perfect body parts and beauteous features, all to be pieced together in great anticipation. However as one can see, the result is horrific and due to the hideousness of the wretch that he has created, he abandons him. This same shallowness of judgement due to appearance again surfaces when Victor accuses the creature of murdering William
Sometimes considered one of the first science fiction novels of supernatural terror, Frankenstein proved itself an instant success when released anonymously in 1818. The mad scientist Victor Frankenstein and his creation provoke readers with the fear of the unknown and the power of natures forces. A deeper look into the character of Victor Frankenstein, the role of scientific experimentation and the intricate settings of nature in which the story evolves, prove Mary Shelley's novel, Frankenstein , a worthy example of both Romantic and Gothic representation in nineteenth century British Literature.
A reader's subconscious often disables their ability to notice moral foundations that the author develops through the text; thus, making it difficult for an individual to recognize the value the text holds and its importance. In the article “Why Study Literature?” the author explains that “literature teaches us better courses of action and more effective responses to situations”; essentially he or she says that literature has the ability to shape one’s morals; as it can teach us what do in certain situations and how we should act. Similarly, in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the author builds morality in readers by stressing the wrongs of using one’s visual appearance to determine their inner nature. At birth the monster is abandoned for his hideousness, the monster is “endowed with perceptions and passions” (Shelley, Chapter 16) after which he is “cast[ed] as an object for the scorn and horror of mankind” (Shelley, Chapter 16). For example, the monster chases for love when he assists the poor De Lacey family in collecting their lumber, however he is driven out by their horror upon seeing the face of their secret patron for the first time. Looking at this from an aesthetic stance, Shelley appears to be examining our natural tendency to judge a book by its cover. The author manifests the importance of inner beauty rather than one’s outer beauty, for it speaks more sincerely of their qualities as an individual. Had the protagonist realized the creature’s nobility from the
The novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, is a story about how important having a family is to some, but also judging someone based on their appearance. Victor Frankenstein starts the novel by describing his childhood with his loving and supportive family. Family is very important to him because he did not have many friends growing up. While Frankenstein is away at school he starts to become very depressed and you see his attitude towards his family and his life change. Being away at school, he creates a “monster” by using different pieces of corpses and that becomes the only thing that matters to him until he sees how hideous it is. He immediately hates his creation just because of how he looks. Frankenstein begins to abandon everyone and thing in his life because of his obsession with the idea of glory and science, causing the novel to go from Romanticism to Gothic. The “monster” finds a family living in a cottage, by watching all winter he learns how a family should love and accept others. By seeing this, Frankenstein’s creations understand what was taken from him, and will do whatever he has to do to have a family of his own.
In most people’s minds as of today, there is no question to who the monster is in Mary Shelley’s book, Frankenstein. It is the creature that Viktor Frankenstein created, that murders innocent people. However, when looking beyond the appearance of the creature, it is evident that he did not begin as a monster. Mary Shelley analyzes fundamental and crucial issues in her novel in terms of being able to use science and knowledge for the good of people and not for the satisfaction of personal ambitions without even being able to take responsibility for that. It is also the novel of social rejection based on external looks and inability to accept. It was the extreme misconceptions of humans that resulted in the extreme isolation of Frankenstein’s
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.
Romanticism was a movement that swept over all of Europe; it affected all areas of life and society, not only just literatruture. At its base was a belief in the rights of man and this impetus led to two enormously important resolutions: the American Revolution and the French Resolution. Romanticism does not only mean romantic love, it is a literary term characterized by elements. Some elements of romanticism are growth of industrialization, mingling of races, frontier, experimentation, and optimism. One of the writers that include romanticism in their writings is Mary Wollstonecraft Shelly.
Many years has passed since the novel “Frankenstein” was published for the common readers, yet it gave a huge impact in the society’s point of views and beliefs about what kind of monster Victor Frankenstein created. Even in the present days, the novel has influenced in many ways on how to shape the opinions of the society in the present. Although, it has many argumentatives elements, they are all based on how the monster develop in the story from a victim to a villain.