The book by Mary Shelley “Frankenstein”, as a truly extraordinary piece of writing, touches upon miscellaneous crucial topics like love and hate with the transformative powers they produce, beauty and ugliness and those prejudices which surround these matters, innocence and guilt both real and imagined, compassion and hard-heartedness of mankind. It is a remarkable piece of literary work which explores people’s values and needs, their weaknesses and fears, temptations and prejudices they face, problems they have to overcome and human nature as a whole. Besides, it integrates the following ideas as family and friend relationships, knowledge, intelligence, sensitivity, vulnerability, murder, and many more into an intertwined tale of a man, his creation, and the outcome of that creation. As the book relates to the Romantic era, it is more concerned with sensibility and feelings. It is rather ironical that sometimes the books of fiction by genre can present a truth of life better than the other stock of true life stories and quotations. It is most likely to happen so, as the fiction writers are not inhibited by reality, therefore they are more free in a sense, to explore people thoughts and feelings freely. Considering the book “Frankenstein”, one might say, that it presents the outcasts of the community or people who failed to be accepted by others, just like the main character of the novel. That allows people to bring the characters and the conflicts, which they find in the book into correlation with themselves. Besides, it highlights specifically why it happens, that the people, who come in contact with an outcast fail to see the good in his creation, which is obviously inside of him. The truth of this very story puts its reader up to the fact that the human beings are often irrationally scared of things that seem to be unaccustomed and different to them.
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In the first place, the creator of the monster, Victor Frankenstein, who sought mutability, made a scientifically set experiment, which turned out to be a scientific breakthrough. A grotesque monster appeared as an incredible result of this experiment. The creature was so ugly, that even its creator abandoned it when he saw it for the first time “flash of lightning illuminated the object and discovered its shape plainly to me; its gigantic stature, and the deformity of its aspect, more hideous than belongs to humanity, instantly informed me that it was the wretch, the filthy demon to whom [he] had given life.” (Shelley, p. 60) People are afraid of something they can not control or do not know how to control it. It is the same principle our ancestors faced, while observing the nature phenomena. Rather than take it as a matter of course, they came up with different superstitious assumptions. The case with the monster appearance is a similar example of a man, facing something, which is beyond his cognition. And when people are scared, they can act in a very cruel way. Starting from the point of his birth, the monster becomes an outcast for the rest of the society, the one to be hated and made different suppositions around. Man by nature, judge about a person going by his or her appearance. If one is pleasant looking, then the attitude towards this person is good, if not, then the attitude is corresponding to his or her external looks. Frankenstein appears as an ugly and cosmetically deformed creature, as an abortion and an anomaly which has a frightful look. That is why everybody, starting from children and ending with adults, are afraid of him and consider him to be an extremely dangerous thing. Though the true nature of the Monster is virtuous and kind, he is treated like a beast, like a devil and even his creator addresses to him as to “it” “For this I had deprived myself of rest and health. I had desired it with an ardour that far exceeded moderation; but now that I had finished, the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart.” (Shelley, p. 42) The monster has to grasp the cruel reality of life, that nobody will accept his internal qualities, as he is too different. Nobody accepts him to be an equal creature. He is abandoned and hated for being not even slightly alike to the rest of people. But as the monster meets a blind man, who is not capable to see his disgusting appearance, he meets a person, who supports him. These two are both the outcasts of the society and probably it is a moment of inspiration for the monster.
In the second place, monster faces the common for the society prejudice that if one is not like everybody else than there is something wrong with this. In the time of Frankenstein’s society, just like today, if one does not fall under the pattern or the established standard, then he or she is a square peg in a round hole. Unfortunately, it happens to be, that people’s acceptance and understanding can not go beyond the limited capability of their minds. The narrowness and uniformity of thinking is a characteristic of a man. Thus, everything and everyone unlike appear to be left to his own resources. The monster recognizes it and strives to have a friend as ugly as he is not to be rejected “I am alone and miserable: man will not associate with me; but one as deformed and horrible as myself would not deny herself to me. My companion must be of the same species and have the same defects. This being you must create.’” (Shelley, p. 129)
Therefore, it is obvious that the lines from Percy Shelley’s poem are truly significant for the novel of Mary Shelley’s book. Seeking for further progress and mutability in life, people face something unknown and new for them, sometimes it might be something unacceptable, beyond their understanding. But something which appears to be beyond a human understanding means to fall under the prejudice to be not right. From here a question arises if a man should seek something new. Victor Frankenstein answers this question definitely, saying “Learn from me, if not by my precepts, at least by my example, how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge and how much happier that man is who believes his native town to be the world, than he who aspires to become greater than his nature will allow.” (Shelley, p. 8)
Mary Shelley: Frankenstein. 2005. Web.