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Frankenstein Essay, Research Paper
Society is inevitable. It will always be there as a pleasure and a burden. Society puts labels on everything as good or bad, rich or poor, normal or aberrant. Although some of these stamps are accurate, most of them are misconceptions. In the novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley this act of erring by society is extremely evident.
One example of this judgment is the way the family is looked upon. They are seen by society as the lower class. They work every day on their garden to make food for meals because they do not have enough money to be able to buy food. They are viewed as poor and unfortunate, but are actually rich… in spirit. They are good people. They do not complain with the status quo but enjoy what they have, which is an admirable trait for people in any standing. The old blind man sings songs to the others, plays a musical instrument, and adds a sense of experience and content to the family. The children do their daily work without griping as well. Even as they are looked down upon by
society they still adore and enjoy what has been provided for them.
Society itself, which is supposed to be good, is actually ignorant. They wrongly treat the creation on the assumption that it is a monster. They scorn, attack, and shun the monster just because of his outward appearance. This is not justified by anything except his demeanor. They are also afraid of it because they are afraid of things
about which they know nothing. Society also unjustly kills Justine because she is the only person that could have possibly done such an evil act. They again wrongly label Justine as the killer. They do not look into the facts but instead find a quick and easy answer to the problem. This again shows the ignorance of society in this novel.
Two of the most inaccurate assumptions of society revolve around the central characters of Dr. Frankenstein and the monster. Society’s labels for these two extremely different characters are on the exact opposite side of the scale from where they are supposed to be. Dr. Frankenstein is more of a monster while his creation is the more decent of the characters.
Dr. Frankenstein, the decent, no-fault man, is actually irresponsible, stubborn, and extreme in his actions throughout the novel’s plot. His irresponsibility shows through many times in his feelings toward his creation. While in the process of shaping his creation, Frankenstein gets so caught up in his work and his yearning to be remembered for all time that he does not ponder about what will happen after life is breathed into this being. He is so consumed by his work he does not sleep for days on end, go outside, eat meals, or write to his family with such frequency as he had before he commenced. After his creation comes to life, he refuses to accept his obligation as the creator to his creation. He does not care for it, shelter it, provide it with food or love, nor teach the creation. Eventually all the creation wants from the doctor is a companion like himself. Frankenstein even refuses to accept the responsibility of providing a source of companionship for the creation since he does not allow for any connection between himself and it.
The doctor is intensely set in his ways. Even after it kills his son and frames Justine, Frankenstein does not change his attitude toward his creation. He refuses to have any association it. Frankenstein is so convinced that it is going to kill him next, he does not stop and think about what else it could have meant when it said, “I will be with you on your wedding night.” The thought does not enter his head that his creation is foreshadowing the death of his bride. Then after it kills his wife, Frankenstein is wrathful towards his creation for not killing him. Frankenstein again shows his persistence when he tries to kill his creation. His creation leads him through all kinds of rough terrain, and then into the snow covered arctic. Frankenstein does not care that his creation is vastly superior in physique, and that he will never be able to seize it unless his creation allows
the doctor to catch it. His thick skull does not let any of this affect his thirst for revenge.
The doctor has opinions at different points in this novel that are the exact opposite of his opinions later in the story. At the beginning, Dr. Frankenstein lives for his creation. He cares about only that. He forgets everybody and everything that he had before his infatuation with creating began. He puts so much time and effort into making this thing live that he gets only the best of each part, and makes him anatomically correct to every finger, toe, and nerve. This concentration in making his creation live is a direct contrast to his later wish to kill it. He travels to all extents to hunt and destroy his once treasured creation–going through forests, mountains, and glaciers, and depriving himself of people,
food, and sleep. There is no gray area in Dr. Frankenstein’s head. He is an extremist. He either loves and worships his creation or hates and slaves over killing it. He has to fully devote himself or do nothing at all. There is no middle ground, or compromise, for Dr. Frankenstein.
His creation on the other hand has gotten the worse end of the deal. The creation, or as society has labeled the monster, is actually one of the only characters in the novel that actually has rationale behind his thinking. Society has mislabeled this creature as dumb, savage, and brutal, whereas he is actually intelligent, kind, and humane. This creation knows absolutely nothing when he first begins to exist and yet in a very short amount of time (compared to human learning) can walk, talk, read, write, and think logically. He learns to read, write, and talk from the family. Proof to his logical
thinking is throughout the novel but especially in his plan to make Frankenstein feel his solitude and misery. Also in the creation’s flashback, the reader sees the organized thought process of his mind. The creation does not skip from one time to another randomly but narrates his story in chronological fashion. Anyone who can remember such a long story with as vivid details would be labeled a prodigy. The creation’s supplying of wood and helping in the familial chores indicates the kindness of this being. He wants to give back to its family in some way, considering he is using their house as shelter. He even stops taking their food because he sees that it causes them to suffer. The creation is also humane despite the fact the he actually kills in the book. He saves a girl from drowning in a river while in the forest. This concern for human life in addition to his feelings of love toward the family is evidence of his kindheartedness. He does not even mean to kill the boy at first. If any character in this tale should be labeled as a “monster” it should be none other than the creator himself.
Society has the most influence in a person’s point of view on a given point. Society causes misconceptions about people based on appearance and the unknown. This is especially evident in the novel Frankenstein, where false labels are placed causing main characters to be skewed.
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