Language and Appearance in Frankenstein Essay

Language and Appearance in Frankenstein Essay

Length: 1029 words (2.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview



Importance of Language and Appearance in Frankenstein    

The individual identified as the monster in Frankenstein demonstrates, through his own problems with understanding and being understood by the world, the importance and power of language on the one hand and of outward appearance on the other. As this essay will show, the novel shows these two factors to have very different functions indeed.

First, let us look at the function of appearance as the monster perceives it. From the first time he views himself in a pool of water, he knows that he has the features which make up a monster. Then he states: "Alas! I did not yet entirely know the fatal effects of this miserable deformity" (p. 109). After this he experiences time and again how people, including the one who created him, flee in terror from his deformed shape, and finally, when all hope of a reversal of that situation has disappeared, he starts to use this deliberately for purposes of revenge.

The incident where he loses his last hope of ever being seen as anything but a monstrosity is when William Frankenstein, the younger brother of his creator and also a young and hopefully unprejudiced child, proves to see him the way any adult would, with disgust and horror. After completing the act of killing the child, he resolves to "carry despair to [Victor Frankenstein], and a thousand other miseries shall torment and destroy him" (p. 137). According to the monster, the function of appearance is to make society react to you. Whether the reaction is appropriate or not is beside the point; all that matters is the way you look.

Then we have language and communication. The first time he encounters spoken words, the monster reports that "this was indee...


... middle of paper ...


...and then in the scene with the blind man), but sooner or later you have to reveal your true shape to people you want respect from, and then a malformed outer shell will drive away the impressions left on them by your mind, however worthy and elevated that mind is. In the end, the only one who cares about who you really are is yourself, and everyone else sees just your surface. The exception from this is love, because love is the ability to see through the masks and understand who is behind them. The monster, understanding this, entreats his creator to give him an equal to love and be loved by, but his pleas are denied. He then sets out to destroy his creator and then himself, preferring death to a meaningless existence. In short: in order to stay sane and loved, nurture your mind, but in order to stay socially accepted and popular, nurture your body.

 

 

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Descriptive Language, By Mary Shelley 's Frankenstein

- “Yet I seek not a fellow-feeling in my misery. No sympathy may I ever find” (Shelley 223). Feeling sympathy towards the misfortunes of others is a human characteristic, and felt not only towards other humans but those who are considered less than human as well. There are people with the capability to feel sympathy for even the most monstrous of beings that have been rejected by others due to their actions or appearance. In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the monster’s flashback, descriptive language, and the theme questioning what defines a human are used to make the reader feel sympathy for the monster....   [tags: Emotion, Feeling, Frankenstein, Psychology]

Strong Essays
1011 words (2.9 pages)

Physical Appearance in Mary Shelly's Frankenstein Essays

- Physical Appearance in Mary Shelly's Frankenstein In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein we are introduced early in the story to one of the main characters Victor Frankenstein and subsequently to his creation referred to as the monster. The monster comes to life after being constructed by Victor using body parts from corpses. As gruesome as this sounds initially we are soon caught up in the tale of the living monster. Victor the creator becomes immediately remorseful of his decision to bring the monstrous creation to life and abandons the borne creature....   [tags: Frankenstein Essays]

Strong Essays
1265 words (3.6 pages)

Three Tragic Heroes in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Essay example

- In Mary Shelley’s novel, Frankenstein, Robert Walton, Victor Frankenstein, and Frankenstein’s Creation reach similar conclusions humanity by seafaring to the North Pole, delving into the dark depths of science, and observing the rejecting nature of humans. The three tragic heroes Walton, Frankenstein and the Creation are all character doubles in their initial enthusiasm for knowledge, inner dualist personalities, religiously glorified personal goals, possessive relationships and negative effects of gaining knowledge....   [tags: Frankenstein 2014]

Strong Essays
2100 words (6 pages)

Mary Shelley 's ' Frankenstein ' Essay

- Sarah Barkan Essay One English 1B In the book “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelly, people are judged by their appearances on a daily basis. There is always an assumption of a person’s character or integrity based off of how they look. Unfortunately, these preconceived notions are more often wrong than they are right. It is no wonder that the very popular saying, “never judge a book by its cover” holds a strong truth because there is always much more to a person that what the outward appearance leads us to believe....   [tags: Frankenstein, Mary Shelley]

Strong Essays
1105 words (3.2 pages)

The Myth of Prometheus in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Essay

- The Myth of  Prometheus in Frankenstein   Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein as a modern day version of the legend of Prometheus. Prometheus created men out of clay and taught them the "arts of civilisation" (Webster's World Encyclopedia CD-ROM 1999). Zeus, the chief god of the Titans, wanted to destroy Prometheus' creation but Prometheus stole fire from heaven to help mankind. Zeus punished Prometheus by chaining him to a rock where an eagle would feed on his liver during the day and each night the liver would grow back....   [tags: Frankenstein essays]

Strong Essays
1188 words (3.4 pages)

Essay about Is Frankenstein a Creature or Monster?

- Is Frankenstein a Creature or Monster. Whether Frankenstein's creation is a creature or indeed a monster is a key factor of the novel as a whole. Mary Shelley successfully uses language to create and manipulate the reader's opinion of this nameless creation. Frankenstein is from a well respected and well educated family; "my family is one of the most distinguished of that republic". This immediately gives the reader the impression that he will be a benevolent character. The reader feels sympathy for Frankenstein when his mother dies as it is very hard for him "The despair that is exhibited on countenance" It is obvious that this affected Frankenstein deeply, which lead to the creation of the...   [tags: Frankenstein Mary Shelley Essays]

Strong Essays
2176 words (6.2 pages)

Essay on Self-Education in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

- The Importance of Self-Education in Frankenstein   Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein tells a story about the creation and the destruction of a man considered by society to be a “monster”. In the novel, there is profound meaning to be found in the monster’s self-education. Patterned after the evolution of human learning, the monster’s spontaneous learning proceeds through major stages. First, is the accidental discovery of fire, this is followed by a realization by the monster that knowledge yields power....   [tags: Frankenstein essays]

Strong Essays
1124 words (3.2 pages)

Essay on Sympathy in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

- Sympathy in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Mary Shelley was born in 1797. She had a difficult life with many family upsets’, miscarriages and suffered personal depression; she died aged 53. Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein firstly as a short ghost story but it was published as a novel in 1816. Frankenstein is a Gothic novel and it deals with two genres, Gothicism and science fiction. Gothicism is part of the Romantic Movement that started in the late eighteenth century. The Romantic Movement is based on freedom of thought and expression and the belief of living in an age of new beginnings and high possibilities....   [tags: Mary Shelley Frankenstein Essays]

Strong Essays
3360 words (9.6 pages)

Sympathy in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Essay

- Sympathy in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein In her novel, 'Frankenstein', Mary Shelley employs many innovative literary techniques to invoke feelings of sympathy for the monster. Sympathy is created by the author both by making the readers pity the monster’s loathsome existence and by leading them to understand his violent and cruel actions. We pity the creature because of the way he is treated by mankind and we can identify with his feelings and reactions and understand why he behaves as he does....   [tags: Mary Shelley Frankenstein Essays]

Strong Essays
2939 words (8.4 pages)

Essay Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

- Mary Shelley's Frankenstein We are first introduced to the creature when Frankenstein, his creator, is describing him. First he is described as something beautiful "limbs were in proportion" and "features were beautiful". However, his ability to self-contradict becomes apparent very quickly when he finishes his sentence by saying: "â?¦These luxuriance's only form a more horrid contrast with his watery eyesâ?¦" With words like "shrivelled complexion" and "straight black lips", this gives the impression to the reader that firstly the creature does not look a human being and, secondly, he is hideous in Frankenstein's eyes....   [tags: Frankenstein Essays]

Strong Essays
2239 words (6.4 pages)