Prejudice in Frankenstein

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When someone is said to have created a Frankenstein's monster, it is shorthand for the creation of a force that has taken on a destructive life of its own. In many ways, prejudice is a Frankenstein's monster that is created out of fear. Prejudice is usually defined as an opinion formed without knowledge, but in fact prejudice is usually forged from fear of misconceived knowledge.


In psychological terms, the Creature can be considered as a manifestation of the Other, and the rejection of the Creature by Frankenstein and the other characters is an example of how the fear of difference works to instill prejudice against those who don't reflect the accepted norm. 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. ...
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