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Referring in detail to the books Frankenstein and the Fifth child, discuss the merits of the above statement. To what extent is society to blame for the behaviour of the "monsters" that haunt pages of the books?

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Introduction

"Society's prejudice is the root of all evil." Referring in detail to the books Frankenstein and the Fifth child, discuss the merits of the above statement. To what extent is society to blame for the behaviour of the "monsters" that haunt pages of the books? By Krishaan Sivalingaratnam - UVC Society always judges a person's characteristics by his or her physical appearance. Society has set an unbreakable code that individuals must follow to be accepted. Those who do not follow this "standard" set by society are outcast by the crowds and are hated for being different. In Mary Shelly's "Frankenstein", when the creature entered a town, the creature had hardly put his foot within the doorway before children shrieked at his appearance and the women fainted. From that moment, he realised that his appearance caused fear and hatred from the people around him. We must argue here whether it was the creature that decided to turn evil or was it the relentless acts of society that drove him to these extremes. However, it is later proven that his physical appearance does not do any justice for the personality that is masked by his monstrous appearance. We must also argue whether it was right of Victor Frankenstein to break the laws of nature and create the creature. In chapter 3, Victor is 17 and departs for the University of Ingolstadt. ...read more.

Middle

Frankenstein is all the creature wants to be and the creature is what Frankenstein fears of becoming. The monster also symbolises what Frankenstein has done wrong. Victor's description of the creature as a "wretch" and "filthy" demon affects the reader's perception. In chapter 8, Shelly introduces one of the key themes in the book, the political theme of the justice system. She shows the unfairness of the legal system and reveals the corruption in the religious institutions. The judges make Justine confess to a lie show the mockery made of the justice system. This is a macabre irony that a man of God would abuse his power. We must take note of the fact that the judges make Justine feel like a "monster". So we must ask ourselves whether a monster is a symbol of those mistreated by society? The creature's source of hatred towards humans originates from its first experiences with humans. In a way the monster started out with a child-like innocence that was eventually shattered by being constantly rejected by society time after time. His first encounter with humans was when he opened his yellow eyes for the first time and witnessed Victor Frankenstein, his creator, rush out of the. This wouldn't have happened if society did not consider physical appearance to be important. If physical appearance were not important then the creature would have had a chance of being accepted into the community with love and care. ...read more.

Conclusion

Their vision of the world as a simple and benign place is threatened by the mere existence of Ben. Though throughout the book, Lessing is giving us a look into society's unwillingness to accept people who look different. If society accepted that Ben was more needy than some of the other children, Ben might not have turned out to be the violent and angry child that he is. So in conclusion, is the prejudice of society really the root of all-evil? In my opinion, it is partly the case in Frankenstein because society first of all thinks that the monster is evil just because it looks different from everyone else. Though, the truth was that the monster was just a baby and did not know what was happening. Another good example is this essay. In this essay, I have referred to the creature as a monster several times but the correct term that I should have been using is creature. This shows how people can misinterpret things that they do not understand fully or are afraid of. Also, in the Fifth Child, it is the exact scenario. Yes, society does not accept Ben just because he looks different and thus this obviously makes Ben feel isolated and make him feel as if he is hated. So, yes, society is the root of evil in the books Frankenstein and the Fifth Child because they do not accept the two individuals just because of their appearances. ...read more.

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