What are we to take from this story about the importance of physical beauty?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Sadly enough, a message that comes out of the novel is that physical beauty is quite important to some.  In chapter 5, Shelley makes it a point to note that the hideousness of the creature, its grotesque appearance, is what frightens Victor and causes him to run away from it.  Shelley notes that the creature stands over Victor's bed and smiles at him, only to be repelled and rejected.  Part of the reason Victor reacts the way he does is because of the monster's physical appearance.  Shelley might be noting this behavior, if only to change it in the social setting.  It might follow as such in the novel, for we notice Victor's reaction to physical beauty, and the lack of it, and in his lack of compassion and care, perhaps there is a message that this should be avoided.  When Victor forges through with his commitment to take his scientific endeavors to another level, it is implied that he considered that the end product would be one that is aesthetically appealing.  The fact that Victor runs from his responsibility, in part due to its lack of cosmetic beauty, might be a statement that one must embrace creation in all of its forms, beautiful in their own right.

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