Tag Archive: empathy


As I ran and ran far away from the scientist who created me who I heard was named Victor Frankenstein, I felt free and alive! When I looked down at my palms I never wanted to look this way and portray a Monster because that was my appearance. After stopping and getting some air in my lungs I continued walking and letting the coldness touch every part of my body. Which I certainly liked, but after seeing my reflection on a store window I realized I looked appalling and couldn’t stand looking at myself any longer. So, I decided I was going to seek revenge from my creator for creating me the way he did.

After I found  an alley I hid there because I didn’t want people to see me or any parts of my body for that matter since I looked all disfigured. I looked down upon my body and saw that I was almost naked since the only item I was wearing was a thin sheet of plastic that the scientist had put on me. So I went in search of clothing and to my dismay I found a dumpster with clothing and food so I tore it apart looking for clothing that would cover my hideousness.

I never realized that people lived in the narrow buildings that I came across. Until I saw a family through a window watching a television program and chatting away. I was intrigued by this family because there was this girl who showed symptoms of this disability she had. Since, I was so fascinated by this caring family I observed them for weeks and I became knowledgeable by just listening and watching them interact amongst each other. I never even knew what a disability meant until I heard the father and the older boy converse saying how they needed money to pay for some medication for the girl. I soon realized that this girl was in a way similar to myself because she never went outside or was even able to communicate with her father and brother.

When her brother was teaching her sister vocabulary and how to pronounce words I had developed my mind and learned to speak thanks to this family. I saw how they cared for one another and from observing this family for some weeks I learned empathy. And I realized that maybe Victor Frankenstein my creator never wanted any harm to come to his creation so I disregard my plan to seek revenge. At last, I went back to reconnect with my creator, but when I return Victor and his partner both look at me in disgust. At that moment the only thing I could think of was hurting him for bestowing this upon me. So I retrieve a knife that was on the table and stab Victor in the chest. What I didn’t realize was as the knife penetrated his chest the other scientist slit my throat. We both collide against each other towards the ground and death took a hold on us.

 

Review

For this creative writing story, I offer a modern adaptation of Mary Shelley’s novel. I wrote this piece in the creature’s perspective and in this famous scene where the creature learns to speak and gain a better understanding of the outside world. In this short story instead of the De Lacey family, the creature stumbles upon another family who has also gone through some hardships. Especially because they have a daughter who has this disability that later on the creature comes to learn about. Although the ending takes another turn I wrote this scene because it was one of the most important events that happened in the novel.  The creature both in the novel and in the short story gains an emotional maturation without having any association with either family. I always wondered what if this creature never wanted to be created and because of Victor Frankenstein’s over indulgence of science he was created. Hence, I wrote about the creatures inner thoughts and how I feel he would have felt. Also, instead of the creature being in a forest like the way he is in the novel I used an alley. I wanted this story to be modern and an alley gives him protection from the outside world as well as a close view of society. I ended the short story slightly different from the original novel because I wanted the creature to express his emotions towards Victor, who only cared about his obsession of animating the dead. Even though both the creator and creature died in this piece I was able to bring out the being in the monster.

-Guadalupe Andrade

 

By: Leena Beddawi

America has been expanding its laws surrounding refugees and immigrants crossing its borders for decades, the most drastic set of expansions being created after the attack on September 11, 2001. Throughout these border security and law expansions, one thing that never changed is the law granting asylum for any refugee seeking protection from a country which defines a refugee as a “person who is unable or unwilling to return to his or her home country, and cannot obtain protection in that country, due to past persecution or a well-founded fear of being persecuted in the future ‘on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.’”.

Frankenstein’s creature insists on proving the “truth of my tale” in order to show that there are wildly different perspectives in this world and the means are just as valuable as the ends, how they became who they are, what they overcame to get here, is just as important as their very existence. I could only assume that in giving these letters to Victor, the creature hoped to change his mind about those who he considered being “other”.  One thing we see in many refugee or immigrant story is that they usually perfect models of W. E. B. Du Bois’ double-consciousness.

Double-consciousness is a concept in social philosophy which explains the presence of two apparently unconnected streams of consciousness in one individual, usually having to do with race, ethnicity, or originating country. This is something many refugees go through in order to search for a better life, they learn a whole new language, accustom to another culture, and try to peacefully integrate themselves in a space that is completely foreign to them because this is their only hope.

Safie is a Muslim Arab migrant from Turkey, but very much became a citizen of the world in accordance with Felix’s locations. Wherever he went, she wished to follow, and she made that place her home because they were together. I believe the creature’s pride in “learn[ing] from the views of a developed social life, to admire their virtues, and to deprecate the vices of mankind” helped him to empathize with the conquered native Americans and to see himself in the immigrant or refugee status because they each had felt that same sense of double-consciousness (114).

caravan

The president of the United States of America has chosen to demonize, criminalize, and verbally dehumanize the thousands of asylum seekers currently coming towards the border from Central America, most escaping Honduras, which many news organizations call “The World’s Deadliest Country”. Many of these people are young men, women, children, and elderly. Before they enter, they hope to apply as asylum seekers, which should technically aid them in a legal route of asylum. In the U.S., however, the immigration systems are severely out-of-date and meant to delay asylum to refugees for many small reasons, the main of which is just the subjectivity of opinion which goes with who gets asylum and who doesn’t.

I think if we were somehow able to share each individual story from the thousands of asylum seekers and hardworking individuals looking for a better life, searching for any life, we can actually start changing minds of politicians who see them as nothing but invaders. But if the president was presented with individual stories of the humanitarian crisis the refugees have been running from, one would hope that he would welcome those people with open arms, and allow asylum to those who need it.

In Frankenstein, I believe it was best summed up by Safie when describing why she never want to go back to Asia, where she was “allowed only to occupy herself with infantile amusements, ill-suited to temper her soul, now accustomed to grand ideas and a noble emulation for virtue” (112). This showed not only her desperation to go to another country where she could be herself without constraints, but showed how this alone should be enough to pass through and see if you can make a better life in another country. The very idea of borders exudes a racist, xenophobic ideology which has yet to be updated after many decades of fear mongering anything “other” to us, much like how the creature is treated by everyone they come in contact with, as well. It is no surprise they see themselves in the refugee story since their own double-consciousness must be deafening within themselves.

Colonized Empathy

The tale of Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein is not only a tragic story of a deranged man who risks all that he holds dear to create life, but also a tale of said creation learning about the very world that is against his existence. His alienating features paint him as a monster and a menace to society that keep him from living the life he deserves. After setting off on his own however, he learns of the existence of other alienated humans shunned from society as well. The creature shares the letters that contain the difficult journey of a Turkish refugee named Safie to Victor as proof of the internal colonization aliens like himself share.

socialoutcast

Internal colonization consists of the oppression of certain ethnic groups over others within a social space.As such, those affected are often seen as unwelcome aliens that are separate from the society they wish to join. Safie’s status as a Turkish refugee paints her in the same ugly light as the creature, in which the rest of society attempts to outcast any alien or otherworldly elements as a direct result of internal colonization. After spending days feeling society’s wrath, the creature finally realizes the core of his discrimination after empathizing with Safie’s story. These two victims of internal colonization understand the pain of “the hapless fate of it inhabitants” and weep, knowing the rest of their lives are doomed to such senseless oppression (108). The creature decides to give Victor these important documents to prove the injustice that still exists in Safie’s and other’s lives. Together, the creature and Safie “will prove the truth of [his] tale,” the truth of internal colonization.

–Jose Ramirez

 After reading Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, I realized that I’ve been misinformed this whole time! For many years I thought Frankenstein was this horrible green monster who killed village people and had no feelings, but after reading the novel I realized Frankenstein is not the monster but in fact the scientist who created this creature. Mary Shelley’s novel definitely challenged my preconception of the Frankenstein myth and now I acknowledge that a picture does not always depicts the true image of a person and the characteristics of the inner part of a person.

Throughout the novel I was expecting horror and fear, whereas I felt empathy and pity for Frankenstein’s creature since all this creature ever wanted was longing to be accepted somewhere in this world. I felt that it was the other way around instead of the creature being the monster I felt Victor Frankenstein was the monster in this case because he neglected his creation, denied it companionship, and took no responsibility for the chaos his creature unleashed in his town. Often it seemed that the creature was more human than its creator.  I learned that Frankenstein was more than an illiterate monster, but rather an articulate, intelligent human inside a deformed monstrous humanlike creature.

 

Guadalupe Andrade

Mahealani LaRosa

My knowledge of the Frankenstein myth relied solely on Halloween and Scooby Doo movies before I read the novel. Growing up, the word Frankenstein put the image of a square-headed, green-skinned, illiterate, sewn-up creature in my head. What I never knew and never could have imagined was that there were so many layers to the story, so many complex characters and emotions. I always thought Frankenstein was the monster, not the scientist. That really shocked me. What really shocked me, however, was the rawness and intensity that poured out of every character. I never expected this simple, childhood story of a mad scientist bringing a huge green being to life to be so intricate.

I actually saw a lot of myself in every one of the characters. The longing, the fear, the exclusion. Right from the start, the novel resonated with me in ways I never thought it would. Although what I am going to write about is not exactly about the monster itself, it is about Frankenstein the novel, which is what this post is supposed to be all about.

In the first letter, Walton says “I bitterly feel the want of a friend. I have no one near me…” (30). Starting in a new place, as I and many of my other classmates are, feels a lot like this. I would never expect to find myself represented so clearly in a book about a monster. But that is the thing… The novel is not really about the monster. Every interaction the reader has with the creature is fleeting and brief. I was surprised to find much more of Walton and Frankenstein’s life, and even the French family living in the cottages life, represented in the novel. Walton expresses this craving for friendship right from the start, and he seems to be rewarded with Frankenstein. What is funny is that Frankenstein also expresses this craving for a friend, and a fear of making new ones, by saying “In the university, whither I was going, I must form my own friends, and be my own protector” (50). Once again, I share these sentiments. And once again, the scientist seems to be rewarded with Walton. They refer to one another as brothers, and in the short time they have together, they form a strong familial-like bond.

What I noticed is that the creature does not. There are many more instances in the novel where the monster yearns for friendship and connection. However, he is never rewarded. While watching the cottage-dwellers, he says “I longed to join them” (101). Aware of his absence of companionship, he asks himself “But where are my friends and relations? (110). He questions his own existence many times, thinking “Who was I? What was I? Whence did I come? What was my destination?” (115). All he longs for is a friend, much like the captain and the scientist, but he never gets one. He never gets anything.

And this is not what I was expecting. I thought the monster was exactly that. A monster. A killer. A mindless, numb murderer. I was never expecting to find someone so similar to myself in the creature. It is shocking, comparing myself to this being. He is a killer, but he has complex ideas and intimate thoughts, and in the long run, is just a lonely guy. And I get that. I wish him good luck, and I wish more people would read this novel and learn . the true Frankenstein story. I know everyone can find a bit of themselves in this story.

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