Tag Archive: acceptance


An Unaccepting World

 

An Unaccepting World

Composition

In a world abundant of people, I find myself alone
In a world where acceptance is a friendly interaction away, I find myself as an outcast

I was hopeful once
I was an optimist
Living a lonely life, but in anticipation of a future with companionship

My days were spent watching others through the shadows
My nights were spent in contemplation of how I was to gain the approval I desired

I quickly learned the ways of those I yearned to be like
Their manner of speaking
Their manner of acting
Their manner of being

Excitement filled my veins with every new piece of knowledge I acquired
Soon I would be accepted
Soon I would be acknowledged
Soon I would be “normal”

The day finally came
The day I emerged out of the shadows, ready to take on the world

A friend was all that I wanted
A friend was all that I needed
A friend was what I could have gotten
Perhaps in a different world this dream of mine could have become a reality
Perhaps I would have escaped my wretchedness and traded it for happiness

But a dream is all it was
They ran in horror at the very sight of me
They shouted insolent words that shattered my spirit
They rejected the improved version of myself I worked arduously to become

And there I was
Left to fend for my own in a world of people who abhorred me
Left with nothing but my melancholy
Left completely abandoned once again

Nothing had changed
Nothing at all

 

Review

Dear Reader,

       Loneliness, I believe, is something we all experience once or twice in our lifetime. It is also a very obviously seen theme in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. I chose to write a free verse poem of which mirrored the sense of isolation the Creature in Shelley’s novel felt because I feel it is something everyone can relate to no matter what time period you are living in. Following the Creatures abandonment on behalf of Victor, it finds the DeLacey family; these humans of which it spends months watching and learning from in hopes to one day be accepted by them. We all know that this hope ends in utter chaos and rejection. My poem, “An Unaccepting World”, is a different approach to telling the Creatures pessimistic emotions due to its constant loneliness. In the same way, its purpose is to relate with a more recent audience and their similar feelings when living life in a world where acceptance is something everyone desires yet can be very difficult to gain. Personally, when reading Frankenstein, the aspect of which I related to the most was the Creatures sense of isolation. In a world full of people, it is very easy to feel alone just as the Creature did. Many times, we spend our time and effort trying to learn the correct way to be “normal” but in all reality, it will never enough. The difference between my piece and Shelley’s original novel is that my poem is a shorter version of the Creature’s efforts and hopes to be integrated into humanity. Another difference is the fact that I do not mention the Creature or anything relating to the novel anywhere within my piece, although the resemblance is quite obviously there. My reasoning behind this being that I feel it helps my poems audience relate to it on a more personal level rather than relating it solely on what it is originally based on, Mary Shelley’s novel. In addition to the poem, I have also included a drawing of what I envision my piece to depict. The two swings, one empty and the other with a girl, represent feeling lonely. The fact that the girl is swinging alone above the Earth portrays isolation from the rest of humanity. I sincerely hope that my interpretation of a widely seen theme within Frankenstein serves the purpose I intend.

With all my gratitude,

Juanita Espinoza

“How Can I Move Thee?”

Self identification is a matter in which I have very little authority in. To define oneself as surely based on their emotion is something that eludes me, but which I work harder at everyday in order to understand the Individual. The ways in which Jessica Rae Fisher and Susan Stryker struggle in becoming who they are destined to be demonstrate to me that, despite the animosity thrown their ways from the very communities that should have stood at their sides in camaraderie, inspires within the soul a sense of distress. It must be understood that the use of pronouns and the celebration of using negative terms in resistance plays an important part within the narrative that Fisher tries to make in her blog post “I am Frankenstein’s Monster: An Echo of Susan Stryker’s Call to Action.”

As both Fisher and Stryker find a sense of similarity with Victor Frankenstein’s Creature, it is important to note the use of pronoun that the Creature uses to identify as. Within the novel, there are many instances where the Creature and his creator uses the masculine pronouns he and him to describe the being. There is never an explicit passage within the confines of the novel that say, “And Victor thus created a man in his own imagination” (Despite when Victor describes the features of the Creature on pages 59-60(“His limbs were in proportion […] His yellow skin […] his hair […] his teeth)); it is through the learning that the creature endures soon after his production that he starts to define himself as a man. As Victor chose and picked many of the bones from the charnel-house and gathered many other materials from the dissecting tables and the slaughter-house, there is almost no doubt that the creature could be an amalgamation of many different fleshes from man and woman. When the creature experiences the natural world, he makes discoveries of ecology and society and literature. It is through his understandings that he identifies as man, declaring on page 93 “I ought to be thy Adam” and demanding on page 129 “a creature of another sex” which Victor believes will bear children of a new monstrous race in Africa. The Creature himself shows that he believes to be of a masculine nature, and thus adopts the pronouns that he both has had assigned to him as well as using them to describe himself.

In the case with Fisher using rage to kill with kindness, it is absolutely promoted  that she continue upon the path of most resistance, as she mirrors the plight of the Creature: “If any being felt the emotions of benevolence towards me, I should return them an hundred and an hundred fold; for that one creature’s sake, I would make peace with the whole kind” (page 129)! As both of them are on the journey to become accepted for who they truly are and to finally come into acceptance with those that can share their experience, then they must continue to pursue that dream of the day in which they can finally live in peace with the rest of mankind and not be seen as a Monstrous Creature but as a Living Being.

-Alejandro Joseph Serrano

lgbt-egyptian-gods-x750_0

Vistima called herself, “a Frankenstein Monster.” Which is referencing Mary Shelly’s, Novel Frankenstein. She relates to the creature in various aspects as do many people who are rejected constantly by society. As we know the creature was scientifically created with the intent of perfection and beauty. However, Victor upon finishing his creation saw what he had indeed “labored.” He was disgusted and automatically rejected the creature. The creature to him was imperfect and deformed. The creature was that like a baby eager to learn and be loved.

However, countless times he was abused and rejected all due to his “abnormal” features. He was a new species and could not compare himself to others. The creature expresses, “still I desired love and fellowship, and I was still spurned. Was there no injustice in this? Am I to be thought the only criminal, when all humankind have sinned against me? Why do you not hate Felix who drove a friend from his door contumely? Why do you not execrate the rustic who sought to destroy his own child? Nay, these are virtuous and immaculate beings! I, the miserable and abandoned, am an abortion, to be spurned at, and kicked, and trampled on. Even now my blood boils at the recollection of this injustice” (188).

The creature wanted acceptance and love. He freely loved the cottagers and often helped them, and was inspired by them. He learned speech and tried to associate himself with them with passion. So, then questions how mankind does not blame himself for their own deeds. The creature was a friend and was turned away upon sight. He questions why Victor is not to blame for neglecting him, he is Victor’s child. Yet, mankind still calls themselves “virtuous” and “immaculate,” as if they are void of all fault. Similarly, how society justifies itself proclaiming and pointing out that they are not the “abnormal ones” which excuses their malignant actions against humanity. Instead of accepting the creature for who he is, instead, he is abused and is rightly angered. Why should he be the one suffering if he didn’t create himself? Why is that he is depicted as a monstrosity for what he is and not others for their actual crimes!?

Sexuality and gender under societal perceptions have been constructively binary. All opposition to one’s choice is obliterated and frowned upon. Even in today’s society having programs in support and LGBTQ+ community, is not enough for some people. If one crosses the bounds of binary idealistic lines, it is abnormal and to some an abomination. Religious denominations and universal societies proclaim that such views are “satanic” or “mental” illness that should be cured. Thus, if you cross the bounds or “normalcy,” you are condemned, bullied, abused, rejected and so much more. People that consider themselves within the LGBTQ+ community are always vulnerable. They have been Othered by their own friends, families, or society. All simply because they consider themselves a different gender, or sexual attraction, or just wanting to be who they truly are.

It is quite unfortunate and heartbreaking to hear how Filisa Vistima committed suicide as so have many of them. The statistics expressed in Jessica Fisher’s post, “U.S. Transgender Survey, 40% of respondents have attempted suicide in their life…” The reality is concerning and should be spoken about. Just like the Creature resonates with Filisa, and countless more, as a society should be less judgemental and narrow. Why must fiction tell us how to conduct ourselves instead of accepting loving one another? Why must people die in order for a word to be spoken? Rage expresses empowerment. The creature was also enraged by how much he was rejected and abused. Wanting to be yourself in any way shape or form should not be a crime.

  • Karla Garcia Barrera

BlogPost#6.jpg– Mark Acuña

 

In Mary Shelly’s novel Frankenstein, we can see that gender roles between the main and minor characters throughout the story and plot up to Victors death; all determines what Shelly’s work was trying to depict for us. Most, if not all women there were placed as characters in the novel Frankenstein were no more used as a submissive of Victor Frankenstein’s work, in order to further move the plot forward and have a concluding message that men are the last thing to survive until their fall as men. Mary Shelly does however reveal something that the naked eye can easily oversee when first reading through the novel – which is that the “Monster”, created by man (Victor Frankenstein) is subdued into hiding, betrayed by his creator, and pushed away making the “monster” feel unwelcome and unappreciated.

The work of Mary Shelly has a parallel comparison to that of Susan Stryker (an associate professor of Gender and Women’s Studies, as well as a former director of the Institute for LGBT Studies) article, “My words to Victor Frankenstein Above the Village of Chamounix” where a transwoman writer named Jessica Rae Fisher expands on her ideas towards Stryker’s article. Jessica points out in Stryker’s article where a young transsexual woman named Filisa Vistima was tormented and outcasted – similarly how the “monster” in Frankenstein was. She writes, “I wish I was anatomically ‘normal’ so I could go swimming…but no, I’m a mutant, Frankenstein’s monster”. “Two months later Filisa Vistima committed suicide.” It’s not only the women that Stryker points out, but many other transsexual people have been affected by the community for not accepting who they are and what pronouns they would like to respectively be called by. Jessica writes about how, “For a long time my dad has called me a commie pink bedwetting faggot”. Stryker believes that if you are not with the norm and don’t identify yourself as masculine or feminine, then you are too considered a monster. Just like how the monster was created and brought to life in the novel Frankenstein, we shouldn’t shun them for who they came up to be, but morally respect them with how they portray themselves as and respect the new norms that come out of society.

The Creature’s Path to Peace

On reading the last two paragraphs of Frankenstein, I was struck by the number of different views on the path to happiness, peace and tranquility that were explored in this novel. The Creature’s thoughts on this changed drastically over the course of the novel, and they seemed to culminate in these ending passages. It is this theme that serves to resolve the curious paradoxes, tensions and ambiguity in these passages and provides the organic unity necessary for the new critical method.

The Creature initially believes that he can achieve bliss by finding somebody who will accept him regardless of his appearance. When this fails, he turns to revenge as a means of alleviating some of his rage and loneliness. However, in the end his experiences make him seek only death as his way to bliss, as his misery and isolation are too excruciating to live with. This is observed in the paradox of “sad and solemn enthusiasm” and the tension in “exult in the agony”, and it seems strange that he looks forward to his painful death, but not if you see that he does so because it is his path to contentment.

The motif of fire is very predominant here with words like “burning”, “flames” and “conflagration”. I think this is because fire is associated with peace. The passage brings us back in a circle to the beginning of the monster’s life, when the fire he finds in the wood is his most precious possession and he “was in the greatest fear lest my fire should be extinguished”. The fire gave him life and contentment, by providing warmth, comfort, and cooked food, while now he implores it to give him death, and so peace and rest.

These paragraphs seem to suggest that the Creature believes that, after his death, everything that he experienced and and everything that he was, will be as if it never existed. This is seen in the usage of words and phrases such as “extinct”, “fade away”, “lost” and “my ashes will be swept into the sea by the winds”. He desires this oblivion and believes that it will allow “his spirit to sleep in peace”. However he does not really achieve this as the Creature and the tale of his life have been immortalized in Robert Walton’s records, which is ironically how we are learning of it. We see that Shelley purposely leaves the ending vague saying that he was “lost in the darkness and distance”, making it ambiguous as to whether the Creature actually died and if, whatever the answer to the previous question, he truly obtained his peace. The lack of this certain conclusion in the ending forces us to question death’s role as the only final path to peace and bliss.