Frankenstein: Social Judgement
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 anything different. The monster fell victim to the system
commonly used by society 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 that 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). *** CAN YOU USE [HE] HERE AS A
PRONOUN SINCE YOU JUST SAID “MONSTER”?***From that moment on he realized that people
did not like his appearance and hated him because of it. If the villagers hadn'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). This wouldn’t have happened if society did not consider physical appearance
to be important. If physical appearance were not important, then the creature would have had a
chance of being accepted into the community with love and care. However, 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 offensive 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 can 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. We all must come to the realization that our society has flaws that must
be removed so that our primal instincts do not continue to isolate and hurt people who are different.
We have entered a new millennium with tremendous technological resources at our disposal. Why do
we still cling to such primitive ways of categorizing people?
Excellent conclusion. You did a very good job of supporting your thesis with the plot. One thing that I
noticed concerning your quotes: if it is obvious that the quote is an excerpt and doesn’t represent the
whole text, which is the case with these quotes, you don’t have to use ellipses at the beginning and
end. You only need them if you leave out a part that is between the parts that you do quote. Again, I
would revise the very first sentence to make it less vague, and then it will lead in to a very good paper.