So not too long ago, my English 011 class was required to read a classic gothic novel. After hours of barreling through Mary Shelley’s famous novel, Frankenstein, I must be “frank” on my opinion on the book. See what I did there? Haha!
To cut right into the meat and potatoes, I loved the book. I absolutely enjoyed the story, the symbolism, and the many societal issues that are touched upon in the book. The average viewer would see “the creature” as a malicious evil that treaded upon the Earth. However, I see “the creature” as a product of neglect, discrimination, and pure hate which ultimately contributed to its characteristics.
“The creature”, since the beginning of its formation, had been denied and neglected by his father, his creator – his god. Since the beginning, the creature had been cast into a toxic, hateful environment. There was no room to grow, to learn, and thus to love. Why? Because of the way he looked. Not from its innocence or actions, but because of its demeanor and facial features. The scene in which the creature is made is symbolic to the idea that society often rejects those who look different, who come from different backgrounds, or who have different stories. Society rejects “the different”. I believe that this problem is still prevalent in our society today. We spend much of our time trying to look the best we can be. We try to get the most “likes” on Instagram. We force ourselves to conform as we are afraid to be different and hence to be judged. This novel perfectly exemplifies this very common and prominent issue that exists until now.
After being abandoned by his creator, the creature ventures into the cold, ruthless world. While traversing through the countryside and villages, he was only encountered with disgust, disapproval, and hate. Again, the only reason the people feared the creature was because of his look. Simply, he was discriminated by strangers for how different he looked, not the way he acted. In one instance, he staked out at an abandoned hovel and tracked a group of villagers nearby. The villagers comprised of an old, blind man, and a man and a woman that took care of their cottage. Noticing the arduous work the man and woman were putting in, the creature decided to help them out by secretly completing some of their chores (like fetching wood, or cleaning the garden). After some time, the creature decided to reveal itself to the tenants of the cottage. However, upon meeting them – although the blind man could not see – the man and woman flipped out in terror upon seeing the creature. Little did they know that the creature had helped them in their chores. In another instance, after saving a child from drowning in a river, a man – in fear – shoots the creature for no absolutely reason. These events are a perfect demonstration of discrimination and that regardless of the creature’s good actions, it was only met with hate, fear, and terror.
All in all, the novel outlined the impact of hate and its prevalence in society. Although describing the sublime and beauty of nature, it was often contrasted with the evil and ugly nature of humans and our ability to judge and easily cast hate upon each other. Yes, the creature killed some people, but that was only a symptom to the environment it had lived in. I believe that his owner, the townspeople, and the villagers are the real evil in this story. These characters killed the very soul and nature of what could’ve been a good, beautiful being. Even the creature gave life many chances. When given the opportunity to be evil, the creature often rejected it. The creature was brought into the world in pure innocence, and man had corrupted such being. It’s as if humans were the ones who murdered an innocent being, like murdering an innocent baby.
Frankenstein is a beautiful novel. And finally, after many years of not being exposed to such a fantastic read, I am happy and ecstatic to say that I have finally read it. On top of that, I am joyous to have read and learned from it. There’s much more to the Hollywood remake of a book, and there’s much more purpose to a book than it just being any other English assignment. The novel touched upon societal issues, while being written as a story that keeps the reader hooked and guessing. So, if I have to be “frank”. Frankenstein was “franktastic”!