by Mary Shelly
Society puts labels on everything as good or bad, rich or
poor, normal or aberrant. Although some of these stamps are
accurate, most of them are misconceptions. In the novel
"Frankenstein" by Mary Shelley this act of erring by
society is extremely evident. 

One example of an invalid 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 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, does not stop them
from enjoying what has been provided for them. 

 Society itself which is supposed to be good is actually
ignorant. They scorn, attack, and shun the monster just
because of his outward appearance. This is not justified by
anything except his demeanor. They are also afraid of it
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 have 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 the
monster. 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 the monster is the more decent of the
Dr. Frankenstein, the so-labeled decent, no-fault man, is
actually 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 he was 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 days on end, go outside, eat meals, or write to
his family. After his creation comes to life, he refuses to
accept his obligation as the creator to his creation. He
does not care for it, shelter it, provide it with food or
love, or teach the creation. Eventually all the monster
wants from the doctor is a companion like himself.
Frankenstein even refuses to accept the responsibility of
providing a source of companionship for the creation since
he does not allow for any connection between himself and
the monster. 
The doctor is intensely set in his ways. Even after the
monster kills his son and frames Justine, Frankenstein
still will not change his attitude toward the monster. He
still does not want any association between himself and the
monster even after what has happened. Frankenstein is so
convinced that the monster will kill him next, he does not
stop and think about what else the monster could have meant
by, "I will be with you on your wedding night." The thought
does not enter his head that the monster is foreshadowing
the death of his bride. Then after the monster has taken
this action, Frankenstein is wrathful towards his creation
for not killing him. Frankenstein again shows his
persistence when he tries to kill the creation. The monster
leads his creator through all kinds of rough terrain, and
then into the snow covered arctic. Frankenstein does not
care that the monster is vastly superior in physique
compared to himself, and that he will never be able to
seize the monster unless the creation allows the doctor to
catch him. He does not let any of this affect his thirst
for revenge. 
The doctor has varying opinions at different points in the
novel At the beginning, Dr. Frankenstein lives for the
monster only. He forgets everybody and everything that he
had before he became infatuated with his creation. He puts
so much time and effort into making this thing live that he
gets only the best of each part, and makes him anatomically
correct to every finger, toe, and nerve. This concentration
in making the monster live is in direct contrast to his
later wish to kill the beast. He travels to all extents to
hunt and destroy this monster, going through forests,
mountains, and glaciers, and depriving himself of people,
food, and sleep. There is no gray area in Dr.
Frankenstein's thoughts; only black and white. He either
loves the monster totally or wants to slay it. He fully
devotes himself to his task. 

 The monster on the other hand has gotten the worse end of
the deal. The creation, or as society has labeled it "the
monster", is actually one of the only characters in the
novel that actually has rationale behind his thinking.
Society has mislabeled this creature as dumb, savage, and
brutal, whereas he is actually intelligent, kind, and
humane. This creation knows absolutely nothing when he
first begins to exist and yet in a very short amount of
time (compared to human learning) can walk, talk, read,
write, and think logically. He learns to read, write, and
talk from the family. Proof to his logical thinking is
throughout the novel but especially in his plan to make
Frankenstein feel his solitude and misery. Also in the
creation's flashback, the reader sees the organized thought
process of his mind. The creation does not skip from one
time to another randomly but narrates his story in
chronological fashion. Anyone who can remember such a long
story with as vivid details would be labeled a prodigy. The
creation's supplying of wood and helping in the familial
chores indicates the kindness of this being. He feels
obligated to help the family in some way considering he is
using their house as shelter. He even stops taking their
food because he sees that it causes them to suffer. The
creation is also humane despite the fact the he actually
kills in the book. He saves a girl from drowning in a river
while in the forest. This concern for human life in
addition to his feelings of love toward the family is
evidence to his kindheartedness. He does not even mean to
kill the boy at first. If any character in this tale should
be labeled as a monster it should not be he.
 Frequently, society mislabels people based on
misconceptions and ruin lives. This is especially evident
in the novel "Frankenstein", where labels placed on the
main characters by society are skewed.


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