Prejudice in Frankenstein - Essay Example

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Prejudice in Frankenstein

Otherness as a psychological term is a representation of the abnormal; more specifically it the representation of an abnormality that threatens the social fabric. Whenever this threat arises, the prevailing ideological power structure responds in one of two ways. Either the threat is rejected outright and destroyed, or it is rendered safe and absorbed into the mainstream until its threatening components are diluted and it becomes a replica of society itself. Regardless of which method is utilized, the first step is to distance the threat through language. Disparaging terms, epithets, pejorative descriptions of that which threatens normality is the historic stepping stone toward destruction or assimilation. When Frankenstein describes his creation as “'Abhorred monster! fiend that thou art! the tortures of hell are too mild a vengeance for thy crimes. Wretched devil!” (102), he is merely a following the methodology of distancing that includes such words as “kike,” “spic” and “nigger.” The Creature is a threat that must be belittled, made inhuman, and undeserving of respect.
However, it is not only the Creature’s hideous appearance, so different from the norm, that inculcates fear and prejudice in its creator and those with whom he comes in contact. Ugliness, of course, is belittled with cruel epithets every day, but something more is at work to turn the Creature from a monster to a devil. The Creature’s horrific appearance already distances himself from the norm, but his threat to society springs more from the deviant method of his creation. ...
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In the paper “Prejudice in Frankenstein” the author analyzes Mary Shelley’s novel “Frankenstein” as a tragedy in which the disastrous events that take place spring from the prejudice that is borne from the fear of the unknown as personified by the Creature…

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