Frankenstein: The Modern Man Made Man Essay

1203 words - 5 pages

For moviegoers Frankenstein’s Monster is a green, shambling corpse, with its stitched together construction held together by two bolts on its neck, as it moans and groans inhumanly. A deeper look into the actual book by Mary Shelly, Frankenstein Or, The Modern Prometheus, however, shows a far more terrifying visage: something that’s almost, but not quite, human. A being that, while “about eight feet in height”, still had a soul that “glowed with love and humanity” at birth, which causes it’s transformation into a serial killer to be far more chilling (Shelly 100). The source of the Monster, and how it differs from other characters, is what obviously creates this irreconcilable gap from the ...view middle of the document...

His worries about replication indicate the possibility of reproduction, perhaps on a mass-scale, by any “unhallowed wretch” that has either the body or Victor’s notes. Where the Monster is created also indicates the industrial nature of the Monster. Victor describes himself working in a “workshop of filthy creation; my eyeballs were starting from their sockets in attending to the details of my employment. The dissecting room and the slaughter-house furnished many of my materials; and often did my human nature turn with loathing from my occupation” (Shelly 55). The fact that Victor calls the creation an occupation, within a workshop, with components sourced from an industrial butcher’s slaughter-house, reiterates that the monster is, in both a physical and philosophical sense, from industry. Much as how anyone with the time and effort to set up a factory can mass-produce objects, the monster is something human that can be made in the same way.
The Monster, obviously, doesn't live a joyful life enjoying the fruits of mass production: quite the opposite in fact. The monster is repeatedly dehumanized, and none of the characters ever treat him as a human being. Frankenstein Monster is referred to as such for the entirety of the novel – as something without a name. The lack of a name puts the monster into an animistic or objectified position within the story. This is reinforced when De Lacey, a generally accepting outcast, promises to “to be in any way serviceable to a human creature”, here meaning the Monster (Shelly 134). De Lacy is blind, which prevents him, like all other characters in the book, from recoiling in horror at the Monster's physical features. The fact that “human creature” is so crucial to De Lacy's (temporary) acceptance reinforces the idea that the monster isn't considered human. This attitude is later repeated by the monster himself when the Monster meets Victor and requests a Bride to satisfy his loneliness, the monster himself hopes that “I excite the sympathy of some existing thing” in an attempt to convince Victor to help him (Shelly 148). This is a few years after the Monster's creation, and it shows in the sense that even the monster doesn't think of himself in human terms. The monster, treated as inhuman, begins to think in inhumane ways, which soon turns to monstrous actions, including the murder of Victor's cousin, best friend, and newly wed wife. Ultimately, his excessive and unceasing dehumanization changes the monster from the erudite cultured creature into...

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