Is The Monster of Frankenstein Just A Monster?

Throughout Frankenstein; or The Modern Prometheus the monster is discriminated against by his physical appearance which reminds us of the qualities of a colonial subject in a colonial novel.

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Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus is a novel by Mary Shelly which is classified as a synthesis of a gothic novel, a traditional Victorian novel and a scientific story. Without reading the novel critically we may accept it as a science fiction novel with gothic elements. However, when we observe the depiction of the monster, we can clearly see that the image of the monster is similar to a colonial subject in a colonial novel since it has not a “proper” look. The monster looks like a savage as a result of his image he is not accepted by his own creator Victor and he is otherized.

 

 

IMAGE VIA WIKIPEDIA

 

 

 

 

Throughout the novel, the monster is discriminated against by his physical appearance which reminds us of the qualities of a colonial subject in a colonial novel. From the description of the monster, we can easily observe the feeling of otherization, such as Victor used the word “horrid” to prove his bad-looking appearance. Later on, Victor used the word “ugliness” for describing the monster again. The preference of words of Victor is about the dehumanization of the monster and objectification of him. Even though the monster is like a human being, he is not accepted since he is not an earthly creature. He is seen as a devil because of his appearance again. Although the monster states in a conversation, which reminds us of a conversation between the master and the colonial subject, the monster wants to be someone like Adam but he is like a fallen angel, Lucifer who is evil and he is punished by alienated from the society because of Victor Frankenstein. This part reminds us of the disobedience of Prometheus who is punished by Zeus because of his actions even though he believes that Zeus is wrong.

 

 

IMAGE VIA THE NATION NEWSPAPER

 

 

 

 

Later in the novel, the monster tries to normalize his actions by mimicry which is an example of self-civilization and self-domestication. Also, the monster has a self-image crisis because of his physical appearance again. The monster experiences cultural alienation and his attempt to fit in the mainstream dominant society is an escape mechanism. Using their language is an acceptance, like the colonial subject. This situation is also sort of an inferiority complex as well. Even he wants to interact with people, it is not possible for him since he is scared of being “otherized” and marginalized. The reader can observe the “accent is identity” idea in a conversation between Lacey and the monster which the significance of the use of the accent is clearly stated. Thus and so, when we analyse the novel from a critical point of view, it is seen that the novel has the features of the colonial novel as well through the image and acts of the monster.

 

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