Frankenstein
Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley is a complex novel that was written during the age
of Romanticism. It contains many typical themes of a common Romantic novel such
as dark laboratories, the moon, and a monster; however, Frankenstein is anything
but a common novel. Many lessons are embedded into this novel, including how
society acts towards the different. The monster fell victim to the system
commonly used to characterize a person by only his or her outer appearance.

Whether people like it or not, society always summarizes a person's
characteristics by his or her physical appearance. Society has set an
unbreakable code individuals must follow to be accepted. Those who don't follow
the "standard" are hated by the crowd and banned for the reason of
being different. When the monster ventured into a town"...[monster] had
hardly placed [his] foot within the door ...children shrieked, and ...women
fainted" (101). From that moment on he realized that people did not like
his appearance and hated him because of it. If villagers didn't run away at the
sight of him, then they might have even enjoyed his personality. The monster
tried to accomplish this when he encountered the De Lacey family. The monster
hoped to gain friendship from the old man and eventually his children. He knew
that it could have been possible because the old man was blind, he could not see
the monster's repulsive characteristics. But fate was against him and the
"wretched" had barely conversed with the old man before his children
returned from their journey and saw a monstrous creature at the foot of their
father attempting to do harm to the helpless elder. "Felix darted forward,
and with supernatural force tore [the creature] from his father..." (129).

Felix's action caused great inner pain to the monster. He knew that his dream of
living with them "happily ever after" would not happen. After that
bitter moment the monster believed that "...the human senses are
insurmountable barriers to our union [with the monster]" (138) and with the

De Lacey encounter still fresh in his mind along with his first encounter of
humans, he declared war on the human race. The wicked being's source of hatred
toward humans originates from his first experiences with humans. In a way the
monster started out with a child-like innocence that was eventually shattered by
being constantly rejected by society time after time. His first encounter with
humans was when he opened his yellow eyes for the first time and witnessed

Victor Frankenstein, his creator, "...rush out of the [laboratory]..."
(56). Would this have had happened if society did not consider physical
appearance to be important? No. If physical appearance were not important then
the creature would have had a chance of being accepted into the community with
love and care. But society does believe that physical appearance is important
and it does influence the way people act towards each other. Frankenstein should
have made him less offending if even he, the creator, could not stand his
disgusting appearance. There was a moment however when Frankenstein "...was
moved..." (139) by the creature. He "...felt what the duties of a
creator..." (97) were and decided that he had to make another creature, a
companion for the original. But haunting images of his creation (from the
monster's first moment of life) gave him an instinctive feeling that the monster
would do menacing acts with his companion, wreaking twice the havoc! Reoccurring
images of painful events originating from a first encounter could fill a person
with hate and destruction. We as a society are the ones responsible for the
transformation of the once child-like creature into the monster we all know. The
public needs to know that our society has flaws and they must be removed before
our primal instincts continue to isolate and hurt the people who are different.

With such a large amount of technology among us, some people may wonder why such
an advanced civilization still clings on to such primitive ways of categorizing
people.