While prejudice and neglect may affect some more than others, it can almost always lead to moral corruption and misery.
In Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein, a scientist by the name of Victor Frankenstein attempts, and ultimately succeeds, to reanimate life by gathering dead body parts and putting it back together into one being. However, this creature’s appearance is hideous and this causes others to reject him for his appearance rather his internal feelings. This leads to the creature’s once benevolent outlook upon life to become corrupted due to the prejudice that he faces. Mary Shelley shows through the use of dialogue and inner thinking, that by shunning and rejecting outcasts, this essentially leads to the creation of monsters. After his creation at the hands of Victor Frankenstein, the creature’s mind is new and filled with the kind of innocence and thirst for discovery, like a child. However, Victor immediately abandons him, forcing the creature to seclude himself in the wilderness and essentially learn the ways of human life. Sight, smell, touch, taste, these are all new concepts the creature is bombarded with, and must teach himself in order to obtain the full grasp of them. While in the forest, the creature comes upon a fire left by beggars and begins examining it.
He states that “I thrust my hand into the live embers” (93). This shows that he knows very little of the world, as would a child. He was not born evil, but instead innocent and benevolent. It was only a society clouded by prejudice that caused the creature’s morals to decay and rot. Everyone is born kind, but that kindness can be replaced by anger and hatred, which is why it’s important to nurture these souls so that corruption of them can be only a distant dream. Throughout the novel Frankenstein, the creature is presented as a prime subject of prejudice and injustice.
He has endured the abandonment of his creator, Victor Frankenstein, and the heartbreaking loss of his “friends” the DeLacy family just because of his appearance. This has caused his moral fibers, the feelings of innocence and benevolence he was born with, to decay and rot as would an apple. In chapter ten, the creature states that “I was born benevolent and good; misery made me a fiend”(130). This shows that his corruption is not of his own doing, but of the people who have only treated him with resentment and disgust.
The creature even admits in chapter 17 that “I’m am malicious because because I am miserable. Am I not shunned by all mankind?”, which shows that he blames mankind for his wrongdoings, absolutely right in his assumption (129). His killing of William only meant to grab the attention of Victor Frankenstein which he never was gifted with, same with the murder of Clerval.
After this, he finally realized that no one would accept him for his true self, therefore he gave into the hate and anger that so harshly followed him wherever he wandered. This shows that any soul, no matter how good and pure, can be destroyed by only the simplest thoughts of greed and prejudice.In the book The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Jekyll, a well respected man of science, concocts a potion which would grant him the ability to transform into a twisted, evil split personality, Mr.
Hyde. Jekyll dares to challenge the oppressive status quo affecting his time by becoming the opposite of it, but evidently fails. The connection shared by Frankenstein and Jekyll and Hyde consists of an uncaring society that both must live in. Victor and Henry Jekyll try to combat this oppression through the use of science, but end up destroying their own reputations rather than the quo itself. For the creature, created by Frankenstein, society rejects him for his appearance and forces him into solitude. For Jekyll, however, he is his own creature and decides to use this psychology to usurp the status quo, but fails and ends up causing his own resentment from society.
Both of these men tried to change the world for the good, showing their intentions were for the best of interest. However, in the end how they carried out these grandeur plans was ill-minded. This shows that when people are presented with an oppressive, uncaring society, they can be persuaded to combat this status quo with an eye of insanity, which can result in the society becoming more corrupted than it was before. When one is presented with endless and excruciating amounts of neglect and prejudice, it can ultimately lead to the creation of outcasts and monsters. When these monsters are introduced into the world, they are entitled to rain down anarchy and mayhem upon those that have done them wrong, just as Victor Frankenstein’s creature exacted his revenge upon him. Without proper care, some can turn to evil to tussle with their inner feelings of loneliness and sadness. When there is no love shown to another, the person feels an absence of self love, which in turn leads to no love at all, just like Frankenstein’s creature. No love given to him by Victor caused him to feel a need for that love, never finding it, sadly, which ultimately lead to his incapability to express this love.
Nurture and care are important for a person to be accepted in a society, but for others with a limited supply of this, it is not easy for them. Outcasts and monsters have feelings as well, and to turn them aside only causes the black hole eating away at their heart to grow ten-fold. Therefore it is important that we nurture these souls and stray them from a dark path walked by the creature and many others.