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Frankenstein - Theme of Appearance

Uploaded by thevshuhaslanded on Apr 25, 2000

The Unjust Isolation of Frankenstein’s Creation and Other Reasons to Never Become a Model: Societal Prejudices in Shelley’s Frankenstein


A Swiss Proverb once enlightened, "When one shuts one eye, one does not hear everything". Sadly, vision is the primary sense of mankind and often the solitary basis of judgment. Without human’s limitations of the shapes, colors and textures of our overall outward appearances, the world would be a place that emphasizes morals, justice and intelligence rather than bravado, cuteness, and sexual attraction. For if there were no predetermined ideal models defining the beautiful possibilities of the human body’s variation, one would never suffer isolation due to one’s disability, unattractiveness, or unusual physical attribute. Mary Shelley’s novel, Frankenstein, sheds light on the eternal illusory and importance of appearance through the tale of an unwanted creation that is never given a chance. 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 crimes of judgment in an intelligent and adult fashion. The semi- gothic novel includes several instances of societal prejudice that include the isolation and outcast of Frankenstein’s creation, the creature’s biased opinion of the cottagers, and the unbalanced and inappropriate classification of Victor.

Throughout the course of the creature’s isolated and pathetic journey, he is never given the opportunity to participate in human interaction, as he so deeply deserves. Upon his creation, the reaction of Victor, his maker, is so vividly appalling; one forgets that this is actually the birth of a human being. His ‘father’, Victor, is so selfish and has such a lack of responsibility and foresight, that he creates a human being for the simple purpose of recreation, intellectual stimulation, and the thrill of ’the chase’. Frankenstein himself refers to his own creation as, "…the life which I had so thoughtlessly bestowed" (88; ch.1; vol. 2). Victor is solely interested in the beneficial aspects on the surface of creating, just as his interest in the exterior ‘monster’ is superficial. Not only is Victor’s quest selfish, but his goal is frivolous as well. Victor’s initial opinion of his creature is that of disappointment, although he succeeds in...

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Uploaded by:   thevshuhaslanded

Date:   04/25/2000

Category:   Frankenstein

Length:   8 pages (1,704 words)

Views:   2733

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