Practice essay #1

  • Analyse how one or more ideas were used to comment on an aspect of human nature.

Human nature is one of the many things that define why humans do what they do. Prejudice is an aspect of human nature that we can’t really control, everybody talks about how we shouldn’t “judge a book by its cover” and that we should “really get to know someone before we judge”, but we all know that we can’t help it. If you saw Frankensteins creature walking down the street I bet you would run and hide as fast as you could because “he’s hideous, and therefore dangerous”? Well we are definitely shown how Frankenstein, Society and the De Lacey family comment on the aspect of prejudice in the gothic novel ‘Frankenstein’. 

Victor Frankenstein is one of the main reasons that the creature becomes a monster, and this was all because of human nature and judging someone or something before you even give it a chance. In the novel, Victor completes his long time goal of creating a creature from the dead, once he comes to life we are shown Victors true feelings towards his creation. Victor displays instant regret towards the creature, leaving him to fend on his own in a world he does not know. The quote “How can I describe my emotions at this catastrophe, or how delineate the wreath whom with such infante pains and care, I had endeavored to form.” Shows me that Victor did not like the result and is scared and disgusted at what he sees. Prejudice is the main reason that Victor left the creature to die because he didn’t like what he saw, he was threatened but the creature and he did not want to give it a chance because of the regret and disgust he felt for the creature. 

Society also impacts on the creatures feelings as prejudice is shown more than once though out the novel. The first interaction that the creature has with society is not very welcoming, he is threatened and crushed by society as they instantly thought he was dangerous. “I was benevolent and good, misery made me a fiend.” This quote is said by the creature stating how his negative experiences with society made him do what he did, this is also an aspect showing how nurture influences a creature. Saying ‘misery made me a fiend’ implies that because society treated him horrible / miserable he then copied their actions, that it is their fault. Another example of how society judged the creature before giving him a chance is later on in the story when the creature is walking thought the forest and sees a little kid drowning in the river. He rushes over to to save the child but is mistaken by a human walking past, swapping what is really happening to what the humans really believe a monster like him would do. The creature is then shot at by the human and turned away once again by society just because they don’t like the way he looks. The man walking past saw the creature and didn’t think twice about what was really happening, he saw that he looked unnatural and instantly judged him by his appearance. 

The last idea that comments on the aspect of prejudice is the De Lacey family. In the novel most characters assume that the creature must be dangerous based on his appearance, but what they don’t know is that the creature was originally warm, open-hearted and just wanted to be loved. The only character who accepts the creature is a blind man, De Lacey. The man cannot see the creature and therefore is blinded by its own prejudice, he sees who the creature truly is and the creature feels loved for once. The blind man sympathises with the creature as mankind has been so cruel. Everything is going good for the creature as he has found someone who accepts him, this is until the rest of the De Lacey family comes home and sees the creature as a monster just as all the others. He is again treated like dirt and rejected by mankind, this is a turning point for the creature, as he becomes the monster that manning see him to be.  

In Mary Shelleys novel Frankenstein, she wants the reader to understand how the creatures life was turned upside down because of the people around him. Mary comments on the aspect of human nature, prejudice, more than once. We are told how Frankenstein abandons the creature because of his instant regret and scared feelings toward the creature, also how society assaulted and rejected him because of his difference in looks. We are also told how the creature was once accepted by a blind man that could not see what the others where seeing, to then be turned down again by the rest of the family. If only we were all blind then prejudice would not be a problem. 

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