Looks Aren’t Everything

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Starting from where we left off, almost every being is put here with the ability to learn from experience. Sadly, we can’t change the way that Victor treats his creation and thus, it has to learn on it’s own. Given that it has no previous experience with the outside world, it takes a few screw ups and criticisms for The Monster to learn it’s own morals.

Victors monster is created, pure and without karma. If he was created looking like a normal person, he would be a lot more privileged and probably cut more slack by the locals instead of getting screamed at and scaring off everyone he meets. It only takes one mistake for him to be seen as a disgusting abomination. Starving, poor and ugly, the monster takes the liberty of stealing food from one of the locals. Even though he was fending for himself, he still shows remorse for the acts he committed. A good example of the monster showing proper empathy is when him and Victor meet on the top of the snowy mountain and have their first proper encounter. “How can I move thee? Will no entreaties cause the to turn a favorable eye upon thy creature?” (Shelly, Pg. 96) The monster obviously only wants Victors attention and wants him to acknowledge him as a sentient being and not just a walking abomination. Victor still decides to just see him as a mistake when he says “Cursed be the day, abhorred devil, in which you first saw the light! Cursed (although I curse myself) be the hands that formed you!” (Shelly, Pg. 96) He curses himself because he’d not yet willing to accept the mistake that is now his responsibility.

Mallonee, Laura. “Hunting for Frankenstein in Switzerland’s Melting Glaciers.” Wired, Conde Nast, 21 May 2018, www.wired.com/story/searching-for-frankenstein-switzerland/.

It seems as though Victor can’t see past what’s right in front of him. Standing there is his creation, nearly his child. He refuses to acknowledge his existence. At this point, I finally made up my mind on the type of man victor is (if you can even call him that). Given all the benefits of living a prestigious life, the schooling, the money, the house, he proceeds with blaring his arrogance. He’s unwilling to swallow his pride and see this being as his own. All that Victor sees is a walking, poetically talking, abomination. It wasn’t until he decides to hear his monsters story where he finally, “felt what the duties of a creator towards his creature where,” (Shelly, Pg 97). Victor, being the egotistical self he is, falls into a deep, suicidal depression. Victor is a man who’s only looking out for his own interests. I don’t think he really cares about what the monster wants. All he wants is this creature to be off his back. He acknowledges it as his creation but still doesn’t want to take responsibility to it.

Throughout the entire life of the monster, he’s looked down upon and scrutinized for being different. Not only by Victor, but the locals as well. This poor being is screamed at and never accepted by anyone. I think the demand for a companion is a fair one being how the only one who will truly be able to empathize with The Creature is, well, another Creature. When we look at this logically, as humans, we tend to stick by like minded people. We gravitate towards people we can relate to and praise the ones who can see past what’s right in front of them. If you ask me, that’s what true intelligence is. True empathy is something that’s lacking in this world we live in. Donald Trump, for example, looks at people south of the border as people who, “are bringing guns, bringing crime, they’re rapists,” claims like these marginalize people who aren’t from where they live. There’s still much to learn in modern society about properly examining people for who they are, not what they look like or where they come from.

There’s never a time where Victor stops and thinks, “maybe if I treated them nicely and accepted them, we could actually connect on some way.” This poor creature is forever condemned and scrutinized by the people around him. Victor wasn’t willing to see through his creation and see a kind hearted, friendly creature that he could’ve raised like a proper child.

Citation: Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft. Frankenstein, or, The Modern Prometheus. Modern Library, 1999.

Taking Responsibility

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One of the first things I’ve noticed after reading the first 8 chapters of Frankenstein by Mary Shelly was the very apparent marginalization that Victor shows his monster. Victor puts in a lot of effort to dehumanize his new creation that he’s obviously terrified of.

Let’s put ourselves in the perspective of the monster for a minute. First off, there’s the question of, “was creating the monster ethical?” The quick answer would be no. He created an artificial being with feelings and intelligence just like you and I. The monster did not ask to be created nor did it ask to be neglected and marginalized just for it’s looks and ability to emote. Obviously, when humans are born, we don’t initially have the intelligence to handle the world on our own. We need the nurture of our mothers to learn and grow. There’s legitimate clinical studies that show that babies who are born without the nurture of their parents have a higher chance of lacking empathy. Let’s say Victor didn’t run at first sight of the monster and instead, decided to raise it and show it affection. This book would be a lot less dark. Victor could’ve had the chance to develop a new, although uncanny, friendship. He wasn’t fully expecting his experiment to succeed.

Now, let’s put ourselves in the shoes of Victor. The question we can ask here is, “would you create a Monster like the one Victor created and if you did, would you be prepared to nurture it as if it where your child?” Personally, I would choose not to. Even if I had the ability to do so, I would see it as doing “The Devils Handy-work.” Referring back to my first paragraph about it being unethical, I believe people should be made the natural way by going through fertilization and fetal development. Now, let’s say you did create a monster. If you’re going to defy god and follow your pure instinct of human curiosity, you better be prepared to face the consequences. This new being is your responsibility, no matter how ugly it is. It’s not like you can put it up for adoption. You have to take some sort of responsibility. Even if other people would see you as “the Monster Mother,” or whatever they will try to label with, this sentient being is yours to take care of.

Finally, let’s say you decide to take the life of your creation. The last question we can ask ourselves is, “would murdering your own sentient creation be considered murder?” This question is probably the hardest to answer. You have to think, if you gave birth to a defective child that looked like a monster, would you want to take it’s life? This is basically the same thing. Regardless of looks, that being has thoughts and emotions. Personally, I’d consider it murder. If you didn’t want to take responsibility for a monster, don’t take the risk of creating one. You’re the one who produced this being and thus it’s actions are an extension of your will. The only thing it would know to do is take after your teachings. If you didn’t teach it proper morals or nurture it, you’re the one who is directly to blame. If you’re not ready to create something, you have the choice to abort it. Victor passed the “point of no return” after he flicked the switch and gave the monster life. Throughout his research, he had plenty of time to turn back and not create his abomination.

If you ask me, I think it takes a lot of personal reflection to create a living being. Not just countless hours of research. It doesn’t matter how many papers you read. They’re only other peoples experiences. You don’t fully understand what it’s like to bring a sentient being into this world until you do. Especially if it’s artificially.