Something For Everybody: Brooks’ Reasoning For Monsterism In Frankenstein

1276 words - 5 pages

Like all works that have been taught in English classes, Frankenstein has been explicated and analyzed by students and teachers alike for much of the twentieth and all of the twenty-first century. Academia is correct for doing so because Frankenstein can appeal to the interests of students. Students, teachers and experts in the areas of medicine, psychology, and sociology can relevantly analyze Frankenstein in their respective fields. However, Peter Brooks explains in “Godlike Science/Unhallowed Arts: Language and Monstrosity in Frankenstein” that Shelly had presented the problem of “Monsterism” through her language. According to Brooks, Monsterism is explicitly and implicitly addressed in Shelly’s language. While this may be correct, Brooks does it in such a way that requires vast knowledge of subjects that many readers may not be knowledgeable in. After summarizing and analyzing the positive and negative qualities of Brooks’ work, I will explain how the connection of many different fields of study in literature creates a better work.
Brooks attempts to prove his thesis by first explaining how the language in parts of the book relates to how the Creature is monstrous. He alludes to how the descriptions of nature in Frankenstein are more fearful when the Creature is around. For instance, a terrible storm occurs during the Creature’s creation and the “cold gales” in the icy glaciers of Mont Blanc surround Frankenstein when he meets the Creature for the first time after its creation (Shelly 80). Also commenting on the Creature’s story, Brooks finds that his lack of spoken language and attempt to understand these languages allude to the Enlightenment’s noble savage (594). Brooks then associates the Creature with Satan and many topics that society today would link with savagery and brutality to convince the reader of this monsterism. Although he mainly focuses on the Creature as a significant source of monsterism in Shelly’s novel, Brooks also describes Walton and Frankenstein as sources and creators of the monstrous (604). The indiscriminate association to monsterism allows Brooks to specifically address the parts of Frankenstein that he feels are monstrous without the restriction of attacking the Creature’s actions and role in the novel specifically.
Brooks uses his expertise in of many subject areas and pieces of literature, especially those referenced in Frankenstein, to reinforce the many valid points he presents as evidence to his thesis. He references Shelly’s “sinister parody” to Paradise Lost to demonstrate that the Creature is quite simple but can still recognize his form as a monster just like how Eve could understand she was beautiful on the day of her creation. Then, following the timeline of the Bible, Brooks alludes to the Tower of Babel by commenting on the number of languages in the de Lacey’s house ranging from Safie’s Arabic to the de Lacey’s French in a German region with the entirety of the events being presented to the...

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