Frankenstein: Don't Judge a Monster Based on His Appearance

Powerful Essays
Do not judge a book by its cover. A famous American proverb that says a person’s character cannot by judged by their appearance. A prime example of this is the monster from Frankenstein. On the outside, he has a terrible appearance but he is a kind soul simply looking for a little compassion. He is a victim however due to his monstrous appearance and is left in bitter misery in the story. Both the book and the play present him as a sufferer in a cruel world but ultimately the book does a better job portraying his pain and creating compassion for him. The monster in the book details his suffering in greater detail, is more eloquent and persuasive and also experiences a more tragic ending and as a result a reader feels more sympathy towards him than an audience member would feel towards the monster in the play.

The greater detail about the monster’s experiences provided by the book is the first thing that allows a reader to sympathize with the monster better than an audience member. When the Frankenstein monster is retelling the story of the hardships he has endured, he mentions events that were overlooked in the play. One example of this is when the monster saved a young girl’s life. An act such as this would be praised with the greatest heroism if it was done by a human, but as a reward he is shot, receiving only “the miserable pain of a wound which shattered the flesh and bone.” (Shelley 135) The book also examines the months of hard work the creature put into learning about human nature and language in order to be fully accepted when he chose to reveal himself. The monster hid by the cottage for around a year, never leaving during the day and working to help the cottager’s at night in order to learn from them. The monster went ...

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... the monster from the novel. At the end of the play he appears to Frankenstein, appeals to him for a little bit and then Frankenstein accepts him and they live together. The monster from the book undergoes a much harsher life and end, and as a result the sympathy a reader has for him far exceeds that of an audience member.

The book goes into greater detail regarding the monster’s hardships, has a more eloquent and persuasive monster and has a more heartbreaking ending. As a result a reader feels greater sympathy towards the monster in the novel rather than in the play. The monster begins his journey a purely innocent and kind being, but because he has to suffer the misfortune of having such a monstrous appearance he is condemned by society. Frankenstein tells the story of a benevolent being persecuted by man, and has the reader questioning who the real monster is.
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