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The Plague In Society: An Analysis Of Prejudice In Denis Lehane’s Mystic River And Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

2193 words - 9 pages

A Toronto man with a mind of a six year old, is currently behind bars with no where to call home. Leroy Humphrey was removed from his group home and sent to Maplehurst Correctional Centre, where he has been teased and bullied by inmates. (Trish Cawford) This man is excluded from the basic rights and luxuries offered to the common citizen because he is different and society does not yet know how to accept and incorporate such people within the mass. Similarily, Mystic River by Dennis Lehane and Frankenstein by Mary Shelley are two books that highlight the prevailing element within society that forces humans with more ability to oppress the lower classes of society. Dave Boyle from Mystic River and “Frankenstein” the monster from Mary Shelley’s work are both characters that suffer the prejudice of society for reasons they have no control over. The former is a victim of a child molester and the latter is a hideous monster created yet abandoned by a scientsidt. Both characters are constantly pushed away from society which flames an inner desire to take revenge, to simply just fit in. Dave Boyle and the monster are both similar in how they are mistreated by society for abnormalities overwhich they have no control; both are also willing to use violence as a tool for vengeance against those who are the cause of their problems. However, the two stories differ in that Mystic River has a less just ending, and its protagonist does not have the capability to justify and explain his actions, whereas “ the monster” is sane enough to do so, but has no one to listen to him.
Both Dave Boyle and the monster unwillingly get changed into misfit members of society and thus get used as symbols to explore one of mankind's most persistent and destructive flaws: prejudice. First, Dave Boyle gets molested as a child when he decides to enter the strangers car, moreover when he returns he is a victim of bullying by both adults and children. When Dave returns to school he is further harassed in the washroom by a boy named Junior and his friends. After slapping Dave Junior says to him, ‘“You got something to say, queer? Huh? You want me to hit you again, faggot?”’ Dave is hit with emotions such as, “Hate, disgust, anger, contempt” yet he does not “ understand why. He’d never bothered anyone his whole life. Yet they hated him” (Lehane 28). Dave Boyle, is an innocent kid who does nothing to affect the lives of others, but the events he is forcefully put into, make him a victim of prejudice. Adults and children alike show negative emotions towards him, excluding him from the mental rights normal people get. In Frankenstein, similarly the monster is not given an opportunity to find a place in the community because of his outward hideous appearance. Walton in his final letter to his sister, recounts the words that the monster speaks, to convey the gist of his life. Walton quotes, “I, the miserable and the abandoned, am an abortion, to be spurned at, and...

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