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Frankenstein: The Real Monster

One who has only seen the Hollywood version of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein would assume that in the course of the book the true monster is Dr. Frankenstein himself. But upon analysis of the text it becomes clear that it is in fact the Monster who is the greater of the two evils. Although created by the doctor, his own hatred and consciousness yield an evil larger than even the doctor could have predicted. The monster himself, like Dr. Frankenstein, is an unbalanced being. He cannot keep his intellect in line with his emotions. The monster, outcast from society, seeks vengeance.

If I cannot inspire love, I will cause fear,” says the monster to his creator. The monster then promises to work on the destruction of Dr. Frankenstein. In the case, his emotions cloud what is rational. He should not try to destroy Dr. Frankenstein any more than any child should commit parricide. It is not morally, or legally right. Further more the combination of the monster being half person, half machine adds to not only to why the Monster is rejected by society, but also leads to connections between the classic monsters such as the Minotaur, which was half man, half bull.

Such as that, Frankenstein was also a monster in the common sense of the word. All too often we have seen movies or TV shows about a mutant of some sort, who, because of his looks, assumes that no on will love him, and because of that is angry and hostile. Such story lines are even present in The Beauty and the Beast. Usually, in the end there is a kind lady who saves the monster, proving that she can love, and he can too. However in this story there is only the De Lacey family.

The monster watches them though a window where he sees love in the family, but he is rejected by them due to his fiendish looks. This is the turning point for the monster much as being turned into the beast was the prince in the a fore mentioned fairy tale. The monster then goes on a rampage with the idea that if he cannot have love, than no one should. The fallacy in his logic was that he should try to satisfy his own needs rather than making every one else miserable. This is much like what the government did in Harrison Bergeron, the short story by Kurt Vonnegut.

In this story the government is the monster. In a search for equality, the government uses debilitating devices to stifle the concentration of the people, or impair them physically so that no one person is greater than the other. This is the same as the monsters action to kill whomever Dr. Frankenstein has ever been close to. Since the monster cannot be loved, neither will his creator. Or, if this one person cannot think in more than twenty second bursts, neither will anyone else.

This stunning lack of compassion on the part of the monster was not his fault. When Dr. Frankenstein originally pushed the monster away it was an act of utter disgrace on his part. Equivalent to disowning your own child, Dr. Frankenstein didn’t want to be associated with his creation. Although Dr. Frankenstein acted like a disgruntled inventor who threw away his last project because it wasn’t perfect, he didn’t realize that the monster had feelings. Some would argue that in this context Dr. Frankenstein was the monster. However just as disowning a child won’t necessarily make him go on a killing rampage, it takes more than that to make the monster kill. What the doctor did was insensitive and also very risky. He did not know the full powers of the monster at that time, so what he did was also very careless. But insensitivity and carelessness do not make a monster. Plenty an inventor have invented things that would now be considered careless to invent. The Atomic Bomb, or dynamite to name two.

And if Nobel once brushed off his wife, or dumped a girl friend for no reason, would he then be considered a monster? Unlikely. The first step in creating the Frankenstein monster was taken by Dr. Frankenstein. After the monsters creation the monster was brushed aside by the doctor. The monster was then helped along by the De Lacey family. In the end though, the monsters own emotional short falls brought both his reign of terror and his own fate upon him. No one person can be blamed for the evils of another, other than the person who committed those evils.

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