Frankenstein And Human Nature Essay, Research Paper
Reality is not exclusively defined in actual experiences. Real truth often comes from human ideas and emotions. Many authors express ideas that are often very true through the use of fictional stories. In fact, ideas expressed in works of fiction are many times more ?true? that ideas expressed by citing actual events. Ironically, this is often the case because writers of fiction are uninhibited by reality and are able to explore thoughts and feelings freely. This is certainly the case in fictional novels such as Frankenstein by Mary Shelley or The Color Purple by Alice Walker.
In Frankenstein Shelley explores some aspects of human nature, specifically human lust for power and the unfortunate way we deal with it once it is achieved. Dr. Frankenstein achieved the power of giving an inanimate body life. This is a Godlike power. He continues to play God by passing judgment on his creation. The tragedy is he (as well as all the other people the ?monster? comes in contact with) fails to see the good in his creation that is obviously there. If Dr. Frankenstein is the ?monster’s? God then the ?monster? is literally Godforsaken. Considering the situation, the ?monster? reacts in a very human way. It is largely agreed in American society today that a child who is isolated from human interaction cannot be blamed for his/her actions, and that neglect is one of the worst forms of abuse. In the same way Frankenstein’s monster is not at fault for his acts of destruction but is actually the victim. In fact if there is a villain in this story it would be Frankenstein for his abuse of his ?monster?.
Shelley is also commenting on human prejudice, especially concerning appearance. She avoids tapping into any prejudice the reader might already have by creating a person (the monster) that no one has experienced and therefore can have no prejudice towards. If the story had been about injustices suffered by a black person, a reader who are already has negative convictions about black people may fail to get the idea. However, everyone can see the evil of Frankenstein’s prejudice towards his creation. In addition, Shelley’s message becomes much broader. She’s not saying prejudice against blacks or Hispanics or Asian is wrong, but that any prejudice based on appearance is wrong. The truth this story presents to its reader is we as human beings are often irrationally frightened of things that seem different to us. And when we are scared we often react in very cruel ways, even if our fear is unwarranted.
Like Shelley, Alice Walker conveyed a great amount of ?truth? in her novel The Color Purple. Contrary to Shelley’s, the statement Walker was trying to make was somewhat more optimistic. Through this initially disturbing work of fiction Walker is trying to convey her belief that anyone, no matter what the situation, can live a happy life if he maintains a positive frame of mind and remains true him self. Poor Celie?s (the main character) situation was about as bad as it could get. She suffered rape, abuse, and the loss of loved ones. For a time she was understandably very unhappy. For a long time she tried only to please the people who abused her. There’s not much to life if your main goal is to stay out of trouble, especially if that is impossible. However, as she focused more on being true to her own feelings, wants and needs she became happier. Doing things such as opening herself up to her own homosexuality and achieving her dream of opening her own store vastly improved her otherwise dismal life.