Who’s The Real Monster?

Everyone has heard the saying “Never judge a book by its cover.” This saying is important because as you should know, many things turn out to be different than they appear. Although we should never judge a book by its cover, most of us do all the time. Right now in PLP, we have just finished reading Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. Almost everyone has heard of the story of Frankenstein. It’s about an evil scientist who brings a creature made of human body parts to life. That creature is known as Frankenstein’s monster, but is it really the monster?

To fully answer this question, we had to do more than just read the book. We watched Frankenstein the movie and Gods and Monsters. The movie Frankenstein is very different from the book. The book goes into way more depth about the creature and his motives. Although the book and movie were very different, they both had the overall same message. Gods and Monsters is a movie about the director of Frankenstein, James Whale. It’s about his life in is elderly years and what he thought about making the movie, and the movie in general. It gives an in-depth view into the directors view of the message of Frankenstein.

From an outside glance, the creature that Frankenstein brings to life most definitely seems like the monster of the story. Even after hearing the full story, many people still believe it is the monster, but I have to disagree. In the book, even Frankenstein is afraid of his monster. The moment he brings it to life he is too afraid to face it, and abandons it. From the first moment of its life, the creature was completely alone. All it wanted through out the entire book was to be loved. At first it was a kind gentle creature that just wanted friends. The creature understood that it was ugly and people would be disgusted by him, so he took every precaution to make sure people wouldn’t be afraid of him, yet he was still hated and not given a chance. This hatred deeply effected the monster. After the creature knew he had no chance of people liking him he said, “There was none among the myriads of men that existed who would pity or assist me; and should I feel kindness towards my enemies? No.”(Shelley). It was only after society turned its back on the creature, that the creature turned its back on society.

In the movie Frankenstein, the storyline is slightly different. The monster is way less developed, and we don’t have the same insight into his emotions as we do in the book, but we are still able to understand him. In the book, Victor Frankenstein’s purpose of creating the monster is mostly about proving it is possible. In the movie his motive is slightly more evil. After he brings the creature to life he says “Now I know what it feels like to be god.”(Frankenstein), which shows that having power was a huge motive behind creating the creature. When the creature comes to life in the movie, it is calm and complacent. It isn’t until Victor’s assistant yells at and whips the creature that the creature turns bad and murders the assistant. Even after this has happened, the creature is still friendly deep down. There is a scene in the movie when a young girl shows kindness to the creature, and the creature returns the kindness. The creature accidentally murders girl and is labeled evil because of this. Once again, the hatred from humans turns the creature bad. The creature simply wants to be loved.

In Gods and Monsters we get to know the way the director felt about the creature. We learn a lot about James Whale and what made him direct the movie the way he did. Whale did not have an easy life. He grew up poor and different, and was not treated fairly by the people around him, even his father. He also fought in World War 1, which helped shape is perspective on evil. In the movie, James Whale right out says that the creature is not the monster, and was never intended to be. When he directed the movie he did not want the creature to be the monster.

After gathering information from these three sources, I feel confident that I know who the real monster is. The monster is not the creature, and it is not Victor Frankenstein. The monster is the judgment from society. In all 3 of the sources mentioned above, the creature is a friendly being until he encounters the cruel judgements of society. Society, whether it be villagers of a small town like in the book, or the assistant of Victor like in the movie, judged the creature simply based on its appearance, and the creature was never even given a chance to be liked. If society had more of an open mind and gave the creature a chance, the creature would not have killed anyone and would not be considered a monster. This monster is still reflected in society today. Society is full of judgment and the judgment of society can deeply effect people. This is why we can’t judge a book by its cover, and we have to give it a chance.

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