What are three main characteristics that make a monster? Explain why.  

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There's an anonymous quotation often seen in discussions of Frankensteinand of language: "Knowledge is knowing that Frankenstein is not the monster. Wisdom is knowing that he is." Humans constantly measure themselves against rules established within society. A monster is defined by the society he challenges or horrifies: we create our own monsters, and they are reflections of ourselves. This is a key theme in Frankenstein, a novel which was written during the rise of science, at a time when society was very uncomfortable with questions of God and his relation to man, in the face of man's growing power over life itself. 

Frankenstein's monster does possess three main characteristics that make him monstrous, in keeping with the Oxford Living Dictionary definition: 

1. He is a large, ugly, and frightening creature, unlike anything else in nature. And although he is not imaginary in the novel, he was designed out of Frankenstein's imagination. 

2. He is a thing of extraordinary and daunting size.

3. He is a "malformed or mutant" animal or creature. 

However, while the creation exhibits all these physical characteristics of a monster, it is interesting to note that his creator alone can be said to exhibit the definition that pertains to one's character: "an inhumanly cruel or wicked person." Should Frankenstein have brought this being to life—a being portrayed in his own words as a feeling, sensitive, and thoughtful person, trapped in a life of suffering—for the sake of science? Or was he monstrous to do so, a man behaving outside of the rules of society?

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A monster, as defined by Merriam-Webster, is as follows:

1 a : an animal or plant of abnormal form or structure b : one who deviates from normal or acceptable behavior or character
2: a threatening force
3 a : an animal of strange or terrifying shape b : one unusually large for its kind
4: something monstrous especially : a person of unnatural or extreme ugliness, deformity, wickedness, or cruelty.
Based upon these four definitions, one can define what makes a monster in many different ways. Since your question is posed under Frankenstein, it would be pertinent to address the monster depicted in the novel first. Victor's monster can be justified as a monster based upon all four of the definitions given. The monster deviates from the acceptable form of what one considers human. Throughout the story, the monster becomes a threatening force. Lastly, the monster is also seen as possessing a terrifying shape and extreme ugliness. That being said, there are also other ways society defines a monster when adhering to the definitions provided. People who commit crimes so hideous against society are, many times, deemed monstrous. For example, in  Walter Dean Myers' novel Monster, Steve Harmon is considered a monster simply based upon the fact he is being tried for murder. Lastly, is the supernatural monster. The monsters depicted in epics like Beowulf (Grendel), current nonfiction texts like Twilight (Edward and Jacob), and the mythological texts like The Labors of Hercules (Medusa) all are defined by the characteristics above. 
Therefore, a monster comes in many different packages. The defining of a monster is simply based upon a personal interpretation of what they deem monstrous.

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