Taking Responsibilty

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Welcome to the final FrankenBlog!

As I have finished reading the electrifying final chapter of the novel Frankenstein, I have come to the conclusion that many questions remain unanswered, many of which may have several answers depending on the views of the individual reading. However, I have determined the answer to one concrete question, whether the theme of this story is clear to the reader or not?

In previous years this novel was claimed to enlighten readers on science, technology and the biological perspectives, now ask yourself is this really what Mary Shelley was trying to say? I say we need to dig a little deeper. Maybe Shelley was trying to prove how dangerous technology is? And for anyone who believes this, well you’re getting closer…….but dig even deeper into the story of Frankenstein and the monster he created.

I can understand how many readers can take away these themes from the novel, but it’s not enough. I wanted to analyze this novel from an unusual perspective. When I read Frankenstein, the themes of responsibility, disaster, destruction and impulsive planning came to mind. The monster Victor Frankenstein created caused many devastating problems in his life. When the monster came to life, Frankenstein ran in fear and neglected the responsibility of the problem he had just introduced to the world. Following his creation, his family and the people around them suffered horrible consequences, including deaths of many loved ones. His creation was harmful to the world and the problems it caused were irreversible. When Frankenstein thinks of solving the problem he has created, he feels powerless as the creature is uncontrollable when it comes to destruction.

I related these themes to the problems we as humans in the modern world have caused and the consequences of our disasters. The problem I would like to analyze has been an issue for many years. Recently it has been increasingly publicized. In the past year, people have been raising more awareness to this major problem effecting our families and the people around us, all over the world we are being affected by a monster we have created…. PLASTIC.

Image result for great pacific garbage patch

This is a photo of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, taken from Politico Explorer.

We as humans created plastic, we used it every single day and throw hundreds and thousands of pieces of plastic in the garbage that end up in our oceans, on our beaches and all over the environment. We are killing our planet one piece of plastic at a time and it’s not slowing down. Much like in Frankenstein, the monster he created, he feared, and the monster we created, we fear. Not only should every human being be scared that this monster is going to take away our planet, but we are scared to make a change. So many humans run in fear from the plastic problem we created. We neglect the fact that plastic is our responsibility, but who takes responsibility for the damage it has caused? Not me nor you. The truth is we are all responsible, but no one has the courage to take the blame. This is very similar to when Frankenstein had the opportunity to take responsibility for his brother’s death, because his creation caused the destruction. Frankenstein hid from his guilt, he did not speak up and take control for the mess he caused, he did not look at his monster and decide he was going to make a change to protect what he cared about, and neither have we. Frankenstein let the blame fall into the hands of another. We are as guilty as Frankenstein. We do not blame ourselves for plastic pollution, we blame big companies and manufacturers, but each and every one of us is accountable for the plastic we use. Every big company will blame another company, and the blame becomes a never-ending harmful cycle. We feel guilty for the harm we have caused but never take the responsibility or the initiative to do something about it. On account of the monster we have created, we have lost many of our loved ones. People are dying from hurricanes, floods, draughts and much more and it all starts with a single piece of plastic. Animals are being choked, suffocated, trapped, starved and killed by the plastic we use. Our plants and trees are dying because of the plastic we throw away. Everything we love is slipping through our fingers because we created a monster without looking at the future ahead of us.

Image result for great pacific garbage patch

This is unfortunately how many of our animals are dying, taken from The Inertia.

Now, take a moment and watch the video below to fathom a better understanding of the problems our world is facing.

I have watched this video many times, and every time I finish watching it, I am speechless with guilt, embarrassment and a desire to make a change. I try to show this video to as many people as I can as it needs to be known that our monster is taking over. Mary Shelley proves to her readers that creating without thinking has consequences. Large pieces of plastic will take about 400 years to breakdown. Like the video said, we don’t have 400 years, we have less than 11 to reverse the damage we have created. Watching the poor children in third world countries suffer, as well as watching many poor innocent animals die made me feel very similar to the feelings Frankenstein experienced after hearing about the death of his brother and poor Justine, he says “ I was seized by remorse and the sense of guilt, which hurried me away to a hell of intense tortures such as no language can describe” (Shelley 94). As I was speechless, so was Frankenstein. It’s the feeling of realization that your contribution to a creation has become a monster. In a few years our problem will become irreversible just like Frankenstein’s. He had a chance to fix his problem; he could have cared for his creation, he could have returned to the being when neglect was his first instinct, the monster even gave him an opportunity to avoid destruction to his family and many others. We have a chance to fix our problem too. Let’s hope there is just one difference between me, and you compared to Frankenstein. Let’s take the chance to solve our problem and stop the monster from taking over everything we care about. Let’s stop the use of plastic and clean up our planet. Instead of increasing climate change and the large masses of plastic pollution, we can stop using it! There is no “Planet B”, so let’s take care of our monster instead of neglecting it. We are all guilty of being a Victor Frankenstein but one person at a time we can be the change our world needs. Soon we are going to lose our planet and our lives, like Frankenstein lost his brother, Justine, Clerval, his dear Elizabeth and his own life.

“Water and air, the two fluids on which all life depends, have become global garbage cans.” -Jacques Cousteau

“The Problem.” The Plastic Tide, https://www.theplastictide.com/the-problem-main 

Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft. Frankenstein, or, the modern Prometheus. New York: Penguin Group (USA) Inc. 2013. 29 April 2019. 

Tyler Rocker. “SustainAbility.” Youtube, Youtube, 8 May 2019,  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rs4zj0ttRqU

Being Frank About Our Society

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Welcome back Franken Bloggers!

In today’s blog I would like to discuss with you, my thoughts on the monster himself and the world around him.

I have just finished reading chapter sixteen of the gothic novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, and I have a question that needs to be answered…

“Would the monster in Frankenstein be accepted in today’s society?

In the 1800’s, everyone was judged based on their appearance, status, character, lifestyle and clothing; these things determined where you fit in society. Being different, abnormal or even poor was frowned upon and this “perfect image” that was expected from many, created a very difficult life for some. The monster in the novel would be considered different to the people in this era as he was 8ft tall and born with a fearful face. He was abused mentally and physically. The era created a stigma which influenced people to believe that different was not acceptable. He was not accepted in this time period.

In 2019 this activity would be unacceptable. Our society has changed greatly for the better. We are taught to love and respect ourselves and the individuals around us. Being different is embraced, what we believe in is celebrated and how we look is enhanced. There is a chance for each and every person to fit in. In our schools, we are educated through inclusiveness and are shown to accept everyone. Through various leaders and peers, the people living in 2019 understand that it is good to be different and unique, because being the same would be boring.

Frankenstein reminds me of the novel Wonder by R.J Palacio. Wonder is a story of a young boy who was born with a facial deformity. Throughout his years in school he has difficulty fitting in, making friends and is bullied because of his appearance. I read this novel in my later years of elementary school, and now that I am in my second last year of high school, I can clearly understand the importance of this story and how effective it can be on society. Wonder and Frankenstein both show readers that being different is unique, and different should not stand in the way of being who you truly are. In Frankenstein the monster asks himself, “‘But where were my friends and relations?’”, obviously the monster felt excluded because he appeared different and therefore never had the chance to make connections with the other beings around him (Shelley 129).

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This is the young boy from the film Wonder, based off the novel written by R.J Palacio. (Photo from Wonder Trailer- YouTube 2017).

Today’s society accepts all people, all races, ethnicities, sexualities and genders. All straights, lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgenders and queers no longer feel like they should have to hid from society because our people are accepting. Frankenstein hid from society travelling only at night and in the forest so he would never have to face the pain of judgement from the society around him. In our society his differences would be embraced, he would be known as unique and not as an abnormal being. Everyone in our society is accepted for being different, and so would the monster.

Image result for equalityPhoto taken from Velindre NHS Trust-Health in Wales.

There are a variety of groups and public movements such as #BellLetsTalk and Jack.org to support the differences of today’s people, which leads me to my next point…. The monster experiences suicidal thoughts and appears mentally unstable due to the way people have treated him for being different and is unable to manage these thoughts. He acts in outrage and decides to take on revenge toward his creator. If he had lived in our society, he would be able to learn about his differences and understand that it is acceptable to be different. He could reach out to a variety of these groups so that he would not be suicidal anymore and embrace who he is. Not only would the monster feel accepted, he would fit in and change the themes of the novel greatly.

The video below presents a very important message. The young boy in the video tells us that being different is important by telling us a story of his best friend that has autism. The man with autism is greatly accepted and loved for his differences. Please watch this video and remember if a ten-year-old boy can understand the importance of being different, so can you. Everyone can be accepted in a society full of positive energy and creative diversity. No human being nor a monster should face judgement, we accept every person and every unique difference in our society, therefore the monster would most definitely be accepted.

Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft. Frankenstein, or, the modern Prometheus. New York: Penguin Group (USA) Inc. 2013. 29 April 2019.
Talks, TEDx. “We Are All Different - and THAT'S AWESOME! | Cole Blakeway | TEDxWestVancouverED.” YouTube, YouTube, 30 Oct. 2017, www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQuM5e0QGLg.

Frankly Speaking

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Welcome Franken Bloggers!

After reading the first eight chapters of the creative gothic novel Frankenstein, written by Mary Shelley, I was overwhelmed with mixed emotions. I greatly despised the main character Victor Frankenstein, but at times I felt sympathetic for his loneliness. Throughout the chapters the themes of neglect and ethics appeared. I questioned these themes and tried to put myself into the shoes of the main characters and here is why….

Victor Frankenstein was raised in a loving family, with an outstanding education, and the ability to create life from a motionless being. So, my first question was “why did Frankenstein create this being?” Later I discovered the answer to this question, Frankenstein had expressed “feelings which made me neglect the scenes around me caused me to also forget those friends who were so many miles absent, and whom I had not seen for so longtime”, I believe his creation was persuaded by the loneliness he felt after moving away from home (Shelley 55). Now ask yourself, “would you create a living being if you were isolated, neglected and lonely?” In my opinion, I would never create a life form from an artificial being, even if I had the ability to do so. Such a creation of your own is a huge responsibility, which Frankenstein greatly lacked. Later he faced the consequences of this matter. Every living human being created abnormally or not, is equipped with thoughts, feelings and emotions, learned from parenting. Frankenstein feared his creation and neglected the being; therefore, the monster was unable to be aware of morals and natural human activity. Frankenstein was not prepared to take care of his “child”, which leads me to my next question…

Is the creation of the monster ethical?

The easy answer to this question is no, the creation of the monster is not ethical. Look at it this way, in a modern-day world, if a human being gave birth to a child and immediately neglected the child, how would you feel? I know that each and every person reading this is thinking that those parents were irresponsible, unloving and unwilling to accept the responsibility to care for the child. They were also most likely scared of the new challenge they were faced with. The same applies in Frankenstein. If Frankenstein was not ready to take on the responsibility of a living being, why had he created one? A living being needs to be taken care of, therefore this was unfairly ethical towards the monster.

Then, I asked myself, how would the monster feel?

I felt very sympathetic for the monster and the way he was seen by others. In fact, I believe referring to this creature as a monster is unfair. The creature Frankenstein created was never born a monster, he became monster. The actions and physical features of the creature can only be fearsome and hair-raising because of the work of Frankenstein himself. The monster was not asked to be created this way nor can he change the way he looks, just like you and me. We all look different and act different because of the way we were born, and the way we were raised. You and I aren’t referred to as monsters, so why should the living creature? This thought reminded me of the very common debate of whether the actions of a human being are determined by “nature or nurture”. In my opinion, the creature is an example of nurture, or the lack of it. His actions were not instructed by nature or the genes he had but rather, his actions were a result of not having a nurturing parenting figure. He did not learn the rights and wrongs of the world. In society it is easy to learn from evil and bad influences if there is no one to tell you or teach you that it is wrong to act so violently. The monster was treated poorly and from the perspective of the author I was able to gain sympathy for the creature.

My final question is, after the crime the creature committed, is it fair to punish him or not?

Although the creature has not been revealed as the murderer, Frankenstein knows that the creature is the one at fault. In all fairness the creature cannot be blamed. The monster did not ask to be neglected nor did he learn how to act properly. Personally, I think Frankenstein is the person at fault; and therefore, proves why he is afraid to tell others that he created this being. He understands that his actions have caused him to take responsibility for the violent murder. I believe that Frankenstein should not have created this being if he was going to neglect the monster and run from his responsibility. In my opinion, a person as selfish as Frankenstein should be punished, not the innocent monster. A living being is more than just a science experiment.

So, answer this for me, if Victor Frankenstein had stayed and taken care of the monster, and acted as a “motherly figure”, would the themes of ethics and neglect be relevant in this story? And how would this change the end of the novel?

Citation: Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft. Frankenstein, or, the modern Prometheus. New York: Penguin Group (USA) Inc. 2013. 29 April 2019.