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What defines a Monster?

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Julia Franchi

on 14 January 2014

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Transcript of What defines a Monster?

What defines a
Monster?

Insiders Vs.
Outsiders

Textual Support
Contemporary
Connections
What Do the
Terms Actually
Mean?
Who displayed
what?
Importance
of Theme to Novel
“Human beings, their feelings and passions, would indeed be degraded if such a wretch as I felt pride. Justine, poor unhappy Justine, was as innocent as I, and she suffered the same charge; she died for it; and I am the cause of this - I murdered her. William, Justine, and Henry - they all died by my hands.”
- Victor
Page 83
“Thus not the tenderness of friendship, nor the beauty of earth, nor of heaven, could redeem my soul from woe; the very accents of love were ineffectual. I was encompassed by a cloud which no beneficial influence could penetrate.”
- Victor
“God, in pity, made man beautiful and alluring, after his own image; but my form is a filthy type of yours, more horrid even from the very resemblance. Satan had his companions, fellow-devils, to admire and encourage him; but I am solitary and abhorred."
- The Creature
“I expected this reception,” said the daemon. “All men hate the wretched; how, then, must I be hated, who am miserable beyond all living things! Yet you, my creator, detest and spurn me, thy creature, to whom thou art bound by tides only the annihilation of one of us. You purpose to kill me. How dare you sport thus with life? Do your duty towards me, and I will do mine towards you and the rest of mankind.”
- The Creature
Explaining Contemporary Connections
"The Facebook and Instagram Effect"
Example Two
Someone who works for personal benefit
at the expense of others
Insider:
a person recognized or accepted as a member of a group or organization
Outsider:
a person who does not belong to or is not accepted to a particular group
Victor Frankenstein
As an insider:
was human
was accepted by his family
As an outsider:
was supremely intelligent
shunned his loved ones to focus on the Creature
The Creature
An Outsider:
was inhuman
had no friendships
had no place to call home
was not accepted by anyone
Elizabeth
An Insider:
was loved and loved others
had good looks
was a static character
no outstanding qualities
wanted a simple life
Robert Walton
An Outsider:
longed for a friend
supremely smart
searched for an unprecedented trade route
Page 164
Page 116
Page 89
Attempt at being an insider:
collected wood for his "protectors"
saved the girl in the woods
Page 83
"There is an expression of despair, and sometimes of revenge, in your countenance, that makes me tremble. Dear Victor, banish these dark passions. Remember the friends around you, who center all their hopes in you. Have we lost the power of rendering you happy?"
-Elizabeth
Plagued by Bad Luck
Her mother dies eleven days after her birth
Her father disowned her for eloping to France with Percy Shelley
Percy Shelley's first wife drowned herself
Out of Mary and Percy's four children, only one survived beyond the age of three
Mary almost died from miscarriage of a fifth child
Percy Shelley drowned in a boating accident at the age of twenty-nine
Mary Shelley might have felt like an outsider herself and reflected her feelings in "Frankenstein"
Eternal Concepts
People will draw conclusions based on the looks of others
Frankenstein's mother chose Elizabeth because she was "blonde with blue eyes"
Frankenstein meeting Mr. Krempe
No care for the emotions of the Creature, even by his creator, because of his monstrous appearance
Society places negative connotations on outsiders
Contributes to the creature realizing he is seen as a "bad" thing
Elizabeth plays the mediator of the family and attempts to pull Victor back in to be an insider like her
She comments that he is so consumed by this dark and twisted work that he has isolated himself from his loved ones
Comments on society’s perception of insiders and outsiders, as Elizabeth (an insider) finds herself disapproving of Victor’s (an outsider) work
Society has a tendency to dismiss things that are not fully understood
Here Elizabeth dismisses Victor’s work because it is unfamiliar
Is it the insider’s job to bridge the gap between themselves and the outsiders as Elizabeth attempts to do here?
Victor starts the story as an insider, but as demonstrated here he slowly excludes himself from society and his loved ones
Here Victor addresses the fact that he is an outsider by pursuing such dark “arts”
He is conscious of the love and friendship that is trying to penetrate his walls of dark woe but chooses to ignore it
By being conscious of this, Victor could have made himself an insider
Did Victor have a choice in being an insider or an outsider?
The Creature questions Victor’s motives and takes a turn for the worst
He vows to harm Victor and mankind as revenge
This quote displays “the straw that broke the camel’s back” by explaining that the creature had begun to expect to be treated terribly
The creature has turned against society due to the hatred and retaliation that he had received because of his looks
He is feeling the effects of abandonment from Victor
Was it selfish of Victor to create the monster?
The Creature realizes even the devil has people to relate to, unlike him
Outcast by both human standards and by God’s standards
Believes image is cause the cause of making him an outcast
Society's importance of image has brainwashed him from recognizing his inner beauty
No longer sees himself as a good “person”
Starting to believe what people say: his appearance makes him a monster at first glance.
Discuss...
Victor feels like an outsider because he created the monster that killed his loved ones
At first identifies himself as an insider by saying that Justine was “as innocent as I,” but then separates himself as an outsider by saying that he was the cause of everyone's deaths
Victor separates himself even further by saying that humans would be degraded if he were to feel pride
By bringing life to the undead, Victor inadvertently brought death upon the living.
Society does not want outsiders and outcasts to be successful, because that would mean that straying from the norm is not a bad thing, when the opposite is commonly believed
Do you think Victor could have avoided this tragedy?

Found in...
Religion
Politics
Socio-economics
Family
History
Theme Analysis
Stresses the idea of human injustice towards outsiders
The Creature shares characteristics of an outsider with his creator that are prominent throughout
alienation from society
unfulfilled desire for a companion
ongoing struggle for revenge
Shelley uses the idea of outsiders to paint a picture of a cruel society
Consequences
Today, labeling someone an "insider" or an "outsider" can have profound effects
Bullying can lead to depression and violence
Some people believe "outsiders" are threats to society
Columbine shooting contributes to this connotation
Sparked by perception of beauty
Media showcases unrealistic images of models
Striving for the idea of "perfection"
Contemporary labels create new definitions for the terms:
Insider
someone who reflects the stereotypical image of the media
Outsider
someone who DOES NOT reflect the stereotypical image of the media
Are Facebook and Instagram helping to connect people or places to showcase millions of pictures that may make others feel outcast?
Connection
Someone may be determined an insider or an outsider based on the number of "likes" on a photo
Nowadays this issue is twice as hard on people
Worry about being liked
Worry about what others will make of how much one is liked
The creature also struggled with image issues that caused him to be labeled as an outsider
The townspeople did not like him, causing the Creature to feel like an outsider
Example One
The Caste System
Pre-Determined Social Groups
Insider and outsider issues are not only the problem of the individual but that of a group of people
Some societies people are born into social groups that are hard to break out of
Like the Creature was separated from the rest of society, races of people are too
Example:
Hassan in "The Kite Runner" was a Hazara and looked down upon in Afghanistan
He was automatically an outcast since birth
Activity Time!
Wrapping it up...
What do YOU think defines a monster?
When Walton is talking to the Creature at the end of the novel, he is fearful of being tricked by him. Is the monster lying about his harmless nature in order to exploit Walton?
What makes somebody an insider or an outsider?
Full transcript