Does Society Create Monsters? Analysis of Frankenstein

Does Society create monsters or are we born that way?

Society is the aggregate of people living together in a more or less ordered community. Does society create monsters or are they formed when someone is born? People in the world love to fit in and do everything one can do to be perfect. Children grow up watching elders and people in the world doing things whether it is good or bad. When people watch someone do something and that person gets attention for it, everyone runs to do that certain thing or wear that certain outfit or talk that certain way because people love attention and now day’s people are willing to do anything for it. The monster showed significant signs to prove he tried to be good, by trying to help people.

The story Frankenstein by Mary Shelly is a story about tragic events that happen because a creature is in need of love and attention, only because the monster sees people giving others love and attention. Victor Frankenstein creates a monster without knowing that there would be negative side’s effects to this powerful creation. Not knowing everyone Frankenstein loved would die because of him not making the right choice. The monster never understood what it was like to be treated normal, the only person who even treated him nicely was an old blind man who had no idea what he looked like until his children came home and told him. So should one believe that he was born a monster or did society make him this way?

The story “A Modest Proposal” shows that society can create monsters. The town’s people had many problems; the biggest one of all was the children. Many people couldn’t afford to have them causing people to lose money and then being forced to live on the streets. Finding a solution to this problem was very difficult but one guy did come up with one and many took it seriously. Many people thought that eating the children and infants would lower the population rate and less people would be forced to live on the streets, because they would have less people/children to fend for.  “These mothers, instead of being able to work for their honest livelihood, are forced to employ all their time in strolling to beg for sustenance for their helpless infants, who, as they grow up, either turn thieves for want of work, or leave their dear native country to fight for the Pretender in Spain, or sell themselves to the Barbados.” (Jonathon Swift) The quote above shows how desperate the mothers and people were because of the children. There is an honest question though; if one person had not come up with this idea would anybody else have thought about it? Is society to blame?

Although Frankenstein’s monster made many mistakes and did kill several people because he wanted Frankenstein to be as unhappy as he was, does not mean that he did not have a good heart.   In “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” the man sailing on the boat shoots the albatross for no reason but because he wanted to. “God save thee, ancient mariner! From the fiends, that plague thee thus! Why lookst thou so? With my crossbow I shot the albatross.” (Samuel Taylor Coleridge) The mariner had no reason to shoot it, but because he thought it would be cool and a good idea, to please society. In all truths nobody really agreed with shooting the albatross and everyone got punished for this mistake that could have been prevented.

Frankenstein was born and raised with parents who loved and supported him. Yes these people helped raise him and helped him become who he was but nobody forced him to be good or bad. A person could be born good or bad but society does have a big impact and helps one become who they will be for the rest of their life. “The innocent and helpless creature bestowed on them by heaven, whom to bring up to good, and whose future lot it was in their hands to direct to happiness or misery, according as they fulfilled their duties towards me.” (Mary Shelley)

So the question still remains, does society create monsters or are the born that way? With the evidence above could only make one feel that the monster tried to be as good as possible but with the events happening he couldn’t truly be happy and every time he tried to find happiness something bad ended up happening. The monster wasn’t treated the way he should have been, if society would have treated him better would the monster have hurt all the people he did?

Citation Page

Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein, Penguin Group, 1963

Swift, Jonathon., A Modest Proposal, Beverly Chin et, al publisher, Glencoe McCraw Hill 518-524

Coleridge, Samuel., Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Beverly Chin et, al publisher, Glencoe McCraw Hill 715-735