Frankenstein- a Victim of Society
“If you judge people, you have no time to love them. ” -Mother Teresa In the novel, Frankenstein, the monster does not belong in society because of many factors, but if the monster was created in present time, he would still be criticized by society. Today, people are judged by humanity the same way they were in the past.
Even as the world is drastically changing, society remains the same. The monster in Frankenstein does not suit society primarily because of his appearance, but also because he has no friends or family to guide him into becoming accepted.
Victor Frankenstein unintentionally creates a monster while trying to establish an elixir of life. When the monster is brought to life, Victor initially sees him as beautiful, but then the sight of him became sickening and repulsive. Victor says, “His limbs were in proportion, and I had selected his features as beautiful… the beauty of the dream vanished, and the breathless horror and disgust filled my heart” (56). Victor is the only family the monster has. He is the father and creator of this being but cannot fathom the idea of his creation.
Victor has nightmares about the monster and becomes extremely ill over his invention. Victor rejects the monster, leaving him to go out and discover the world on his own. “I sought to avoid the wretch whom I feared every turning of the street would present to my view… My heart palpitated with the sickness of fear. ”(58) This is the first indication of how the rest of society will treat the monster. The monster’s appearance is the main reason he is not approved by society. I had hardly placed my foot within the door before the children shrieked, and one woman fainted… some fled, some attacked me…” (101). The monster has no inclination as to why the village reacts this way until he sees a reflection of himself. He even describes himself as repulsive in appearance. The monster began to observe the De Lacey family. They have exactly what he wants: relationships full of love and kindness which symbolize acceptance. He longs for a companion to talk to and enjoy life with. After a couple of months, he realizes the family is poor.
He begins to help by cutting and collecting wood for them, but he stays out of sight. He does this so they will realize that he is a good person and not just a horrifying monster. After discovering that the father is blind, he prepares a plan to gain himself a place in society. One day, when the rest of the family is gone, the monster goes into the De Lacey home to socialize with the father. He succeeds in developing a short relationship, but as soon as the family returns they are frightened and attack him, without allowing the monster to explain anything about his existence.
Even the loving and caring family that he has done so much for does not accept him, solely because of his appearance. “He [Felix] dashed me to the ground and struck me violently with a stick” (129). Society today is much the same as it was in the past. People have trouble finding acceptance because of the color of their skin, the clothes they wear, or the language they speak. If the monster was created today, he would have the same amount of difficulties finding acceptance as he did during the time period of Frankenstein.
In the article, “Political and Cultural Cross-Dressing“, Flavio Risech talks about how different countries each demand a different way of presenting oneself. Risech is a Cuban that crossed the border to live in the United States. The cultures are extremely different between the two. He has to change his appearance to try to fit in because the Cubans do not believe he is Cuban based on his skin color, apparel, and behavior. “It is the combination of the complexion, the clothing, and the foreigner’s demeanor which triggers the Cubans’ perception of me as other” (432).
In Cuba, accents assist in characterizing a person as Cuban, but Risech is also told that he does not speak with a Cuban accent. “Then an acquaintance in Havana tells me I speak Spanish with a Puerto Rican accent” (432). Risech is incapable of finding acceptance in his native land, even though he knows he belongs. In the article, “From Outside, In“, Barbara Mellix explains how language in African American culture helps define a person. When she is with her kinfolk she must use improper English so the rest of her family can understand.
With friends or relatives, that are less close, she speaks a mixture of proper and improper English. In public and among strangers, proper English is the requirement. “There were implicit and explicit principles that guided our way of life and shaped our relationships with one another and the people outside” (390). Both of these articles are perfect representations of how the monster would fit into society today. The monster struggles with acceptance because of his appearance and inability to explain himself.
Risech has trouble fitting in because of his disposition and accent, and Mellix has to be conscious about the way she speaks around certain people to be sure she is welcome in each group. Frankenstein, “Political and Cultural Cross-Dressing“, and “From Outside, In” represent how society “judges a book by its cover”, both today and in the past. The monster is inadequate for humankind because of his looks, which causes him to have no companions to cure his inexplicable pain of loneliness. “In the end, people should be judged by their actions, since in the end, it was actions that defined everyone. ” -Nicholas Sparks