Misconceptions Of Society In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

1342 words - 5 pages

Misconceptions of Society in Frankenstein  

Societies have a tendency to classify everything relative to local "norms", and lables are generously applied. Typical lables are: good or bad, rich or poor, normal or aberrant. Although some of these classifications may be accurate, many of them are based upon misconception or misunderstanding. This is precisely the case in the novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.

In Frankenstein, this act of erring by society is extremely evident. One example of this judgment is the way the family is looked upon. They are seen by society as the lower-class. They work every day on their garden to make food for meals because they do not have enough money to be able to buy food. They are viewed as poor and unfortunate, but are actually rich -- in spirit. They are good people. They do not complain with the status quo but enjoy what they have, which is an admirable trait for people in any standing. The old blind man sings songs to the others, plays a musical instrument, and adds a sense of experience and content to the family. The children do their daily work without griping as well. Just because they are looked down upon by society, it does not stop them from enjoying what has been provided for them.

            Society itself, which is supposed to be good, is actually ignorant. They wrongly treat the oversized creation on the assumption that he is a monster. They scorn, attack, and shun him just because of his outward appearance. This is not justified by anything except his demeanor. They are also afraid of him because they are afraid of things about which they know nothing. Society also unjustly kills Justine because she is the only person that could have possibly done such an evil act. They again wrongly label Justine as the killer. They do not look into the facts, but instead find a quick and easy answer to the problem. This again shows the ignorance of society in this novel.

            Two of the most inaccurate assumptions of society revolve around the central characters of Dr. Frankenstein and his creation. Society's labels for these two extremely different characters are on the exact opposite side of the scale from where they are supposed to be. Dr. Frankenstein is more of a monster while his creation is the more decent of the two.

            Dr. Frankenstein is socially irresponsible, stubborn, and extreme in his actions throughout the novel's plot. His irresponsibility shows through many times in his feelings toward his creation. While in the process of shaping his creation, Frankenstein is so caught up in his work and his yearning to be remembered for all time that he does not ponder about what will happen after life is breathed into this being. He is so consumed by his work that he does not sleep for...

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