Frankenstein -friend or foe

For centuries, society has placed stereotypes on those individuals who are different. Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein is an example of one specific stereotype, which is the discrimination of a person because of a physical deformity. Frankenstein shows how social prejudices against physical deformities can automatically classify a person as bad or monstrous. In gothic novels, visual codes were routinely used to identify good from bad and socially acceptable from socially unacceptable. By using these codes, it was possible to tell if a person was bad or, as in the creature’s, case, dangerous just by looking at his or her outward appearance. The creature walks, talks, thinks, and educates itself with the hope of becoming truly human and taking a place in society. The flaw in its plan is that it cannot overcome its physical deformity, which in society’s eye proves its monstrosity. The creature is Victor Frankenstein’s creation, built from old body parts and chemicals and brought to life. This creature enters life at eight feet tall and very strong, but with the mind of a newborn . From the instant the creature opened its eyes; it had all of human society against him. Its own creator is revolted by the look of the creature he has brought to life. He states, “Now that I had finished, the of the dream vanished and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart.” Victor discards the creature as a wretched, deformed monster. Although it is a giant man of grotesque proportions, the creature is, at heart well intentioned and gentle. Abandoned by its creator and confused, the creature goes off on its own into the world. It tries to integrate itself into human society, but the it meets either attack it or run away from it…

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