A reputation is the views or opinions that are generally held about someone or something. They are a widespread belief that someone or something has a particular habit or characteristic (dictionary. com). A reputation is impossible to remove. There are many reputations and judgments demonstrated in the novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. People are prejudiced towards the fiend created by Victor Frankenstein. The monsters outward appearance assures the monster is not accepted into society.
He is a completely functional creature with the ability to perform primal tasks. He has human capabilities, although his unusual appearance is shocking and sets him apart. Do everyone’s judgments of the monsters looks have an effect on his personality and behaviour? The author demonstrates that people’s outward appearance will determine their personality. This is established in the novel since at the beginning of the book; Fiend created by Frankenstein is a good person with feelings and empathy. As the story develops, he keeps experiencing judgment from many people including Victor, his creator, because of the way he looks.
Everyone sends the fiend away and rejects him without even giving Dr. Frankenstein’s creation a chance. He ends up changing throughout the novel into the monster everyone expects him to be, by killing the various people in Victor’s life for revenge. At the beginning of the book, the fiend is in fact a reasonable person. When the fiend is created, he does nothing wrong to Victor. He does not harm in Victor any way because Victor had done nothing wrong to him. All he does is looks at him when he wakes up and his appearance was enough to make Victor leave him. The fiend was judged literally from the moment he was created.
Furthermore, he observes a family that live in the middle of the forest in a cottage for months and does not lead to violent actions of any sort. He would observe them in hopes to maybe one day integrate himself with humans. At night, he would go collect fire wood and do work for the cottagers, in hopes that they would eventually accept him. When he decides to finally meet the people who live in the cottage, he is turned away. He was aware that he was capable of harming these strangers, although decides not to due to the fact that he knows it’s not right even if they were not the most accepting.
Evidently, this creation that people labeled as a monster does have a heart and is capable of caring. “I could have torn him limb from limb, as the lion rends the antelope. But my heart within me as bitter sickness, and I refrained. I saw him on the point of repeating his blow, when, overcome with pain and anguish, I quitted the cottage, and in the general tumult escaped unperceived to my hovel” (136). It can be observed that fiend did care about those people even though they sent him away. He didn’t want to cause any trouble. All he wanted was to be accepted.
He was a creation who started his life with decent intentions, but those would soon change. The fiend was constantly judged and abandoned when people saw him due to his appearance. He is a terrifying creature. He has yellow skin with lustrous black flowing hair, and pearly white teeth. His eyes are dun-white; he has a shrivelled complexion and straight black lips. He is also much bigger than any human. When he was given life, Victor runs away from him and neglects him. This quote shows that Victor had no intention on staying with the fiend because right when he was living, he ran away from it. […] I escaped and rushed downstairs. […] fearing each sound as if it were to announce the approach of the demoniacal corpse to which I had so miserably given life. “ (49). This shows the complete horror that Victor had when he saw his creation, even if it did absolutely nothing wrong. Likewise, the cottage people are instantly terrified of him. They were scared because they have never seen anything like him. When the fiend first goes into the cottage to meet them, a blind man answers the door. The fiend was able to talk to him without being judged and the older man enjoys his company, because he doesn’t know what he looks like.
This is how it is obvious that based on his personality alone; the fiend is a good person and is able to function with humans. But when the rest of the family walked in and saw him, they went into panic and assumed the worst of him. He was never given a chance. “Who can describe their horror and consternation on beholding me? Agatha fainted, and Safie, unable to attend to her friend, rushed out of the cottage. ” (136). This displays how fast they were to judge when they saw the creature. Because of his appearance, he would never be able to live a normal life.
Being judged by so many people everywhere he went, it had an effect on the fiend. He started to become angry and resent his creator, Victor. He asks Victor to create a female so he can go live with her somewhere where no one would find them. When he agreed, he decided to destroy the female creation soon after. The fiend couldn’t deal with it anymore. All those negative experiences in his life, the creature had changed. He decided to start killing everyone close to Victor for revenge. He killed Victor’s brother, William, as well as his best friend Cleval and his love Elizabeth.
He wanted Victor’s attention and he got it after just his first killing of Victor’s brother. It made the fiend’s creator very angry. But after Victor neglected the fiend for so long, the fiend started to make immoral decisions. “A flash of lightning illuminated the object and discovered its shape plainly to me; it’s gigantic stature, and the deformity of its aspect, more hideous than belongs to humanity, instantly informed me that it was the wretch, the filthy demon to whom I had given life. What did he there? Could he be (I shuddered at the conception) the murderer of my brother? ” (69).
Not only did the fiend kill Victor’s brother, but he stayed to watch his creator in pain, because he thinks that’s what Victor deserves. All his killings were in attempt to wound Victor and make him feel alone in the world, almost like what the fiend is feeling. Murdering someone’s family is immoral. He killed people around him just as society killed his spirit and identity. This shows that he clearly changed throughout the novel. It is evident that the author was trying to prove how people’s outward appearance will determine their personality. He reveals it by the change in the fiend’s personality after being constantly judged and neglected.
At the beginning he was a nice person with morals, but at the end, he is an immoral monster. The author is right that people’s outward appearance will determine their personality because even now, people who are different are not as accepted in society. People are constantly being labeled and reputations are always being formed, whether they are true or not. People’s outward appearance has a huge effect on how people see you. This is why Dr. Frankenstein’s creation never stood a chance. Work cited SHELLEY, mary, Frankenstein, tom Doherty associates, LLC, united states of America, 1998, 236 pages