27 November 2018
Frankentein Creature as a Romantic Hero
Aside from his appearance, the creature almost perfectly fits the description of a romantic hero. A romantic hero is a literary figure that has an understanding of themselves. This character is perceived as odd to the world around them. This term became popularized in the Romantic Era when literature, art, and scientific reasoning were advancing. Frankenstein’s creature was always an outcast even though without seeing his appearance we would presume him to be human. In the novel Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley, the creature can be labeled as a romantic hero because he rejects mankind’s normal standards and conventions, is incessantly rejected by society, and possesses a clear understanding of self and all the humanity around him. The creation of the creature may have been intended to be nominated as heroic intentionally. He was born to be good, yet, driven to be evil.
The mere existence of the creature in Frankenstein rejects mankind’s normal standards and conventions. Every human we come across in this story views the creature as a being spawned from the devil himself. Therefore, the readers are immediately surmised to view the creature as the “monster” and/or antagonist of the novel. How do we define a monster? They’re typically a being composed of grotesque and exaggerated features. When mankind is unable to acknowledge specific characteristics, they are labeled as abnormal and, in some cases, dangerous. Likewise, despite having a soul and basic human qualities (like feeling, touch, taste, etc.) they still perceived the creation as a destructive “monster.” The more prominent attributes of the creation that were distinctly monstrous in comparison to the standard man were his size, hideous appearance, and supernatural strength. The creation comes to the realization of his appearance when he says, “I was dependent on none and related to none. The path of my departure was free, and there was none to lament my annihilation. My person was hideous and my stature gigantic. What did this mean? Who was I? What was I? Whence did I come? What was my destination? These questions continually recurred. (Shelley 152)” Consequently, mankind causes the creature to become the monster he was because of the way they treated him. They were repulsed by the way he looked just as his creator was. “How can I describe my emotions at this catastrophe, or how delineate the wretch whom…I had endeavored form? (Shelley 58)” said Victor Frankenstein, the creatures creator. Society is so appearance based, even Victor Frankenstein gawked at the creature with “breathless horror and disgust (Shelly 59). He had a face that not even his creator could love.
The creature is incessantly rejected by society throughout his life. There are instances where the creature tries to do right, morally, in order to fit in with the rest of society. The creature is very misinterpreted especially when he is genuinely trying to do an act of kindness. When a young girl was running through the woods and fell into the water, he attempts to rescue her from drowning. As expected, if a human were to participated in this act it would be honored as heroic. However, the man that came to witness the scene saw the creature as a monster and immediately assumed that this was an act of danger and violence. The man snatches the girl away from the creature and shoots him as he tried to follow. The monster, in an attempt to be accepted is rejected by mankind. He tried to save a human from destruction and instead of being appreciated for his actions, pain of this wound was ” the reward of his benevolence (Shelley 169)” instead.