Frankenstein And Society

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"...he had hardly
placed his foot within the door before the children shrieked, and one women
fainted" (Shelley 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
miserable 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" (Shelly 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"(Shelly 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 monster’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 eyes for the first time and witnessed Victor

Frankenstein, his creator, rush out of the laboratory. 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 shouldn’t have made him if even
he, the creator, could not stand his disgusting appearance. There was a moment
however when Frankenstein "was moved" (Shelly 139) by the creature.

Frankenstein "felt what the duties of a creator" (Shelly 97) were and
decided that he had to make another creature, a companion for the original. But
haunting images of his creation gave him an instinctive feeling that the monster
would do frightening acts with his companion, wreaking twice the havoc the
monster has caused. 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.