Melanney Giron

In Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein, Victor Frankenstein’s creation introduced us to the conversation of the struggle to find one’s true identity in a world of conformity. As the creature comes to the realization that he is not like the people he has read about in books, nor the people he has watched and learned from over the course of his existence, he grows infatuated with questioning his identity. The creature told Victor, “As I read…I found myself similar, yet at the same time strangely unlike to the beings concerning whom I read, and to whose conversation I was a listener,” (Shelley 115). In relation to Susan Stryker’s essay, she mentioned how she felt similar to the creature’s worries by stating, “Like the monster, I am too often perceived as less than fully human due to the means of my embodiment,” (Stryker 238). For the creature,  he struggled to discern his value and placement in the world, scrambling to gather any understanding of personal identity. 

As Jessica Rae Fisher mentioned in her post responding to Stryker’s essay, she mentions that, as a transgender author who faces a lot of criticism in regards to her gender and identity, “I think we should reclaim the words monster and creature. I think that if the villagers want to see us as unnatural, that we should embrace that.” Fisher goes on to agree with Stryker’s focus on reclaiming words that were so often used to degrade beings and turn them into empowering words. The creatures constant struggle to fit in as he tells Victor, “My person was hideous, and my statue gigantic: what did this mean? Who was I? What was I? Whence did I come? What was my destination? These questions continually recurred, but I was unable to solve them,” (Shelley 115). Identity is founded on many guiding principles, one fundamental impact being community and society. Clearly lacking the family unit necessary for appropriate development, the creature then seeks society to attempt to answer the questions he yearns to have answered. 

The rage that the creature faced when it came to finding his true identity in the world could be compared to Fisher’s own struggles. Fisher wrote, “So when I need to process emotions that might otherwise make me cry, I put on some music that will allow me to nourish my rage. There is great priority in living life in compassionate ways. I don’t think there’s any shame in living life in rageful ways,” (Fisher). She believes that rage should be expressed in any way that a person sees fit. Stryker also believed this as she mentioned, “Like the monster, the longer I live in these conditions, the more rage I harbor. Rage colors me as it presses in through the pores of my skin, soaking in until it becomes the blood that courses through my beating heart. It is a rage bred by the necessity of existing in external circumstances that work against my survival. But there is yet another rage within,” (Stryker 244).