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How does prejudice affect the monster in Frankenstein?

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irene48 | eNoter

Posted May 6, 2013 at 8:06 PM via web

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How does prejudice affect the monster in Frankenstein?

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kipling2448 | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted May 6, 2013 at 8:25 PM (Answer #1)

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The creature enters the world an innocent being, imbued with a sense of curiosity regarding the world in which he finds himself.  From his very first encounter with man, when he inadvertently surprises Dr. Frankstein while the latter lies in bed, he is treated as a figure of scorn to be feared and physically attacked.  His mere appearance provides the sole basis upon which he his judged by those with whom he comes into contact.  His appearance is grotesque, and for this he is shunned.

The key encounter in the story involves the creature's decision to introduce himself to the blind old man, De Lacey, in the hopes that, by comunicating as a rational, intelligent and nonthreatening individual to someone whose blindness precludes his ability to render judgement based soley upon appearance, he will be able to ingratiate himself into the family's company.  This attempt at acceptance fails badly when the old man's son, Felix, returns home to discover the hideous creature kneeling near his father.  Felix reflexively physically strikes out at the creature, who, shunned once again, surrenders to a life of misery while seeking vengeance upon his creator.

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