Tag Archive: life


Be Open

 

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Christopher Martinez

In the book Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, there are multiple parts that show the injustices of being different. Jessica states with passion and dignity in her blog post that there should be a, “reclaim the word tranny. For me, it is time to dull the impact these words have when used against us. It is well worth embracing who we are as monsters.” When she says that the word tranny should be changed and interpreted a different way it reminds me of Frankenstein’s experience as a lonely monster – maybe even part of the LGBTQ community like Jessica.

There is multiple parts in the book where the monster shows the willingness to try to be like everyone else, yet also having the idea of self-hate. An example of this can be found in chapter 15 when the monster begins to be eager to learn more about the world he is in and what he is in society. He reads books and discovers many different feelings. He states, “I can hardly describe to you the effect of these books. They produced in me an infinity of new images and feelings, that sometimes raised me to ecstasy, but more frequently sunk me into the lowest djection.” (115) Just like in Jessica’s post there is several mentions of wanting to be themselves, but society doesn’t allow them to. In addition, there is a connection between the monsters hate for the world he lives in and the world a queer or a lesbian lives in. When Stryker mentioned, “On January 5, 1993, a 22-year-old pre-operative transsexual woman from Seattle, Filisa Vistima, wrote in her journal, “I wish I was anatomically ‘normal’ so I could go swimming. . . . But no, I’m a mutant, Frankenstein’s monster,” this made me think of the ideas the monster had himself. The monster said, “Cursed, cursed, cursed! Why did I live? Why, in that instant, did I not extinguish the spark of existence which you had so wantonly bestowed?” (121) This gives evidence that the monster Victor created is no different from people who are homosexual or bisexual. They feel different like the monster in Frankenstein. Now I am not calling anyone a monster, but in fact, I am blaming the community for not allowing beautiful and unique ‘monsters’ into society. Just like Jessica said in her blog, “I can want to kill them with kindness, but their vitriol and hatred might wear down on me faster.” As humans, we aren’t seeing the right picture when interpreting someone. We saw the monster as a man, but is he really? Is the monster wanting to be himself, but the monster is furious about the close mindsets humans have.

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Victor against Anne Mellor’s beliefs

In Anne Mellor’s essay, A Feminist Critique of Science, it is demonstrated how dealing with the use of science in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein unraveled an important perspective into the manner that nature is viewed with a feminine perspective. Mellor makes it clear that nature should not be manipulated or controlled in science. She believes respecting it and constantly accounting for it when conducting certain experiments. As for in the novel, Mellor’s argument and rules can be seen being completely put aside and forgotten about. Victors arrogance and egotistic mindset ultimately revealed his repression towards the opposite sex by his aspiration to manipulate and control all nature and create life.

In Frankenstein, Victor repeatedly references nature and when he does this he depicts nature as a woman. This can be seen on page 46 of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein when Victor says “…but her immoral lineaments were still a wonder and a mystery.” This demonstrates that Victor does call nature a woman, however, he does not do it with the intention to harm or hinder her rather allowing him to interpret nature better. On page 46 as well, Victor states “…here were men who had penetrated deeper and knew more.” When Victor speaks about science he is stating that these scientists “penetrated” deeper into the understanding of manipulating nature thus allowing them to control and continue to learn from it. Victors enthusiasm to apply feminity to nature and to so discover secrets about it shows this strong sense of oppression towards it.

To conclude, we can see Mellor’s arguments continue to get certified when Victor views a lightning strike, and he describes it as something “…[curious] and [delightful]”. Victor describes this sequence as a sort of mystery, however, it can be interpreted as if it is a warning from mother nature or foreshadowing what is to come for Victor if he continues to question and attempt to unravel the depths of mother nature. Ultimately, despite this “warning”, Victor is left with sorrow and nothing due to his fascination with wanting to distort and manage “mother nature” for his own self-centered objectives.

By: Daniel Olmos

Maricruz Rivas

By analyzing Frankenstein and Anne Mellor’s essay it becomes obvious that there is much more to Victor’s desire of creating a creature than mere curiosity. Victor Frankenstein seems to be unfulfilled and he is looking for something to fill the empty space within him. In science he finds room to develop creations to fill those empty spaces…it’s a wonder that his first creation is life, a child to subdue his loneliness. By choosing to create a life Victor defies nature (often associated with femininity) and the idea of “natural order”…he uses science to bring life into the world for his own perverted benefit. Anne Mellor states in her article, “A Feminist Critique of Science,” that Mary Shelley intentionally made Victor the direct opposite of an emotionally aware person which by default means he was by no means prepared to be sensitive to the long term needs of his creation. I believe that in a semi-unintentional way the creature was created to suffer along side Victor – a partner in misery because Victor was in desperate need of a connection even if it was unnatural and miserable for all involved. We see that after the death of his mother (and maybe before though there isn’t a lot of textual evidence to go off of) Victor struggles with creating connections with people even those he cares about most like Elizabeth and his father rather, he develops a deep connection to his work. He consumes his life with studying and learning but not on cultivating emotional bonds with people. 

I believe that Victor Frankenstein puts his disregard for the process of “natural science” best when referring to the beginning of his interest in science and his disinterest of natural history, “…I at once gave up my former occupations; set down natural history and all its progeny as a deformed and abortive creation; and entertained the greatest disdain for a would be science, which could never even step within the threshold of real knowledge,” (48) in that passage there is purposeful language used by Shelly to depict the eventual creation of something “deformed”. In my opinion, Victor doesn’t actually have any regard for science and moreover he is unable to see outside of his lonely existence long enough to see that an unnatural creation is a bad idea! Sadly, his desire to give life is directly associated to his desire for connection – he is desperate for a bond and who better to know what he needs than himself. In Victor’s eyes there is no greater giver of life than him which directly goes against natural order because as biology would have it it is not within his ability to do so. 

Image result for frankenstein as a baby

 

Image result for science in frankenstein

Christopher Martinez
Throughout Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, there is a sense of Victor’s affection for life made by women. Based on Anne Mellor’s conclusion that, “the scientist who analyses, manipulates, and attempts to control nature unconsciously engages in a form of the oppressive sexual politics,” I can interpret that Victor Frankenstein is in need for the desire of a woman’s womb. This can be clearly be shown when Victor Frankenstein is practicing science with his professor. He wants the power to control nature – It is his fate. We see examples of this when he says “Natural philosophy is the genius that has regulated my fate; I desire, therefore, in this narration, to those fact which led to my predilection for that science.” (45) This view that Victor has is a curse that keeps on haunting him. He won’t let go until he is completely satisfied. Unfortunately, that never happens to Victor.

 

Also, we see Victors encounter with science when M. Waldman gives Victor a set of things to do to possess powerful knowledge. After having some sleep Victor states he, “only remained a resolution to return to the ancient studies, and to devote myself to a science for which I believed myself to possess a natural talent.” (53) This shows the intentions Victor has. There is a connection between Anne Mellor’s statement and this section in the book since Anne Mellor says, “Moreover, in trying to create a human being as God created Adam, out of earth and water, all at once, Victor Frankenstein robs nature of something more than fertilizer.” (7) Victor Frankenstein seems to learn about the sciences in the wrong way. Anne Mellor mentions that he wants that power. Additionally, this can relate back to the discussion about psychoanalysis. Since we now know Victor wants his dead mother’s affection, there is a conclusion that Victor is committed to getting that power to life to pursue happiness. Victor Frankenstein is a bit greedy with his actions. He is manipulating his sexual desire.

Motherly Obsessions

Esther Quintanilla

In Frankenstein: A Feminist Critique of Science, written by Anne Mellor, a depiction of nature as female is established. With the idea of “Mother Nature” and the stereotype of women being the ones who bring life into this world, this is a known idea. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein completely destroys this stereotype. Victor Frankenstein creates life, that is, artificial life, and expects to control the entity that he created. Mellor states, “the scientist who analyses, manipulates, and attempts to control nature unconsciously engages in a form of oppressive sexual politics” (12). Victor Frankenstein is contributing to the oppressive society that depicts women as sweet, naïve creatures and is expecting to dominate over them. Victor, therefore, is erasing the need for women in the novel, as life can be artificially made. This leaves the notion that Victor had a desire to give birth.

In order to achieve this goal, Victor turns to science. Instantly, Victor revels in the ideas of science and becomes obsessed with giving birth to artificial life. This becomes the focal point of Victor’s existence. The relationships that Victor had with various female figures in his life also may have had an impact on how he was picturing himself creating life.

Victor’s relationships with the women in his life may have had an impact on his desire to give birth. His mother, although Victor may or may not have had a desire to sleep with her, was caring and nurturing toward him. Elizabeth, who replaced Victor’s mother after she passed, was a loved figure who cared deeply for Victor. He may have seen the way that the women around him were nurturing and loving and developed a need to be in a similar situation. However, it turns in the completely opposite direction. Victor abandons his child at birth and forsakes any implication of motherhood in his own being. Without even realizing, Victor slowly begins to turn on motherhood and becomes a figure that destroys life. An example of this is the mere abandonment of his creature. Victor, by abandoning his creation, sets up a destructive fate for it.

A Continuous Reality

Throughout the course of human history, one concept has remained in constant discussion: the perpetual battle between men and women’s rights. The argument of women’s rights and equality continues to be discussed in today’s modern day society. In Molly Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Men, the author explains the importance of gender and social class equality for women and the need for revolution. Wollstonecraft explains “never was any man, much less a woman, rendered amiable by the force of those exalted qualities, justice, wisdom, and truth; thus forewarned of the sacrifice they must make to those unnatural virtues…they would be authorized to turn all their attention to their persons”. This statement explains that women are forced to conform with society’s values instead of creating their own self-images. A woman must comply with what is asked rather than following her own moral beliefs. Wollstonecraft’s ideas on society’s view of women directly correlates with the unfortunate fate of Justine’s death in Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein.

As Justine converses about her unavoidable death, she explains “I do not fear to die…I am resigned to the fate awaiting me. Learn from me, dear lady, to submit in patience to the will of Heaven” (Shelly 83). This passage exemplifies the distorted self-perception of women, and how women are made to justify and accept the cruel “punishments” that await them for their “wrong doings”. Justine’s perspective on her death validate Wollstonecraft’s statements that women become submissive to the distorted ideals that they are exposed to since birth. These ideas allow for Justine to submit to her “fate” of death without any justification of her being the true murderer. As a result, Justine continues the ever-lasting cycle of women submissiveness and is merely a product of the ideals that were passed down from the generations before her.

Written by Cathryn Flores

“A servant in Geneva does not mean the same thing as a servant in France and England. Justine, thus received in our family, learned the duties of a servant, a condition which, in our fortunate country, does not include the idea of ignorance and a sacrifice of the dignity of a human being.” I think Burke would agree with this quote because he saw the revolution in France caused because a lack of knowledge and civility. The importance of her death is, that it promotes the idea the mob rule is negative and that innocent people will die of it. Edmund Burke makes the same argument in “Reflections On The Revolution In France.” Burke thinks it would be best for the people to be prudent and keep their civility rather than running around chopping people’s head off just because of a frenzy. Burke believes that the only way to have freedom is through a system such as a government in which the working class can be happy in, and that by leaving the systems in play there can be a sort of checks and balances. But once you let the people take over in a form of mob rule, innocents will die, just like Justine did. The people grouped up in sort of a mob and accused her of murdering William. The people should have thought about everything reasonably instead of radically. The importance of Justine’s death and long backstory is to show the readers that this is a human being they are putting up for death. An attempt to humanize her to the mob and to the audience, an attempt to say who are we to say who shall live and survive. Burke says the same, except the people had already decided who to kill just as the people in Frankenstein had decided Justine was to be killed as well. Because of mob rule, Burke argues, the people will have freedom in one sense but wont be free from fear or loss or their safety. Which is what has happened in Frankenstein, they have killed an innocent person, if the people are killing innocents, then no one is safe. I still feel that Burke believes the killing of Marie was as senseless as the killing of Justice on Frankenstein.

  • Andres Quezada

MA_Lebrun.0

by Isaac Gallegos Rodriguez

In our world, there are observable and established institutions that should never be challenged; if our social institutions are challenged or rejected, only chaos will ensue. This idea was observed by Edmund Burke, in his criticism of the French revolution (Reflections on the Revolution in France). Burke recognized the purpose of France’s monarchy and refuted the senseless and ‘savage’ revolution that had rejected it. Applying Edmund Burke’s perspective (as a critical lens) onto Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, more specifically the character Justine’s death (pg. 65-67, 83-85), we can infer that Justine’s unjust death was a consequence of Victor Frankenstein challenging the oldest institution of human existence — life and death itself.

To establish this interpretation, it’s important to take a closer look at the character Justine Moritz, and what she can represent in Frankenstein. Justine, a servant of the Frankenstein family, can be observed as the pinnacle of feminine sensibility. Justine is described as “the most grateful little creature in the world”(Shelley 66) as well being “gentle, and extremely pretty”(Shelley 67). Justine’s only acknowledged attributes are always connected to her innocence, beauty, and demeanor and nothing else. And because of Justine’s character, the validity for beauty and femininity is extended. Her charisma is of benefit to the Frankenstein family, Elizabeth even acknowledges that “if you were in an ill-humor, one glance from Justine could dissipate it”(Shelley 65). Burke himself strongly believed in the importance of beauty and femininity in society. In Reflections on the Revolutions in France Burke stresses on Marie Antoinette and her feminine mannerism, writing “with a serene patience, in a manner suited to her rank and race”(Burke 75). The established ideals of femininity have purposes, as do all other established institutions: Justine’s character was an individual who recognized and embraced these ideals, she saw her purpose as a woman in 19th century Western society and for that, she was respected. On the other hand, Victor Frankenstein was ignorant for not respecting these institutions, and because of that, he caused chaos in his personal life. Victor attempted to challenge the greatest reality of life: human mortality. Naturally, when we thing about our mortality, we accept them. Unfortunately, Victor viewed life and death as ‘ideal bounds’ and because of his ignorance, he created the creature, that filled his life with the very thing he tried rejecting — death. When applying Edmund Burke’s criticism to the death of Justine, it would have reinforced his theory on the necessity of social institutions: these social institutions are valid manifestations, and to reject them will only subject us to some unfortunate ‘unhallowed arts’.

Sabrina Vazquez

William Godwin in the excerpt from his book Enquiry Concerning Political Justice, writes about the common and basic axiom of embracing the good and bad in life. He states, “The cause of justice is the cause of humanity. Its advocates should be penetrated with universal good will.” (789). Justine through her trial and conviction seems to embrace her decision. Even after tried guilty states that she is prepared and has accepted that she will leave the “sad and bitter world”, because she has submitted to the will of heaven (Shelley, 83). She is innocent of a highly serious crime and sentenced to death, yet she does not let that taint her convictions. Even though her death is not just, she remains true to herself and her true sentiments. This very much compliments Godwin’s thoughts of who we should remain when tested in face of fairness.

Warren Montag’s essay, “The Workshop pf Filthy Creation’: A Marxist Reading of Frankenstein”, Montage establishes multiple arguments as to what the creature symbolizes, however, he ultimately writes that he is  “not so much the sign of the proletariat as of its unrepresentability” (480). This statement can be inferred, meaning that the creature represents not the proletariat, but he represents the fact that proletariat cannot be understood, especially when you consider the extreme social economic differences that elevated the likes of Mary Shelley, and oppressed the working class. This further draws emphasis to the inhumane differences of socioeconomic classes, as well as a further disdain for capitalism.

The position of unrepresented proletariat is first inferred when the writer established the hierarchy between Victor Frankenstein and his creation. Victor says, “A new species would bless me as its creator and source; many happy and excellent natures would owe their being to me” (57). As Frankenstein solely created the creature for his sole benefit, so did the industrial revolution with the creation of the working class. And the tone of innocence that is present within the quote, with words such as ‘bless’, ‘happy’, and ‘excellent’ could perpetuate the naivety that people hold to the idea of “progress”.

As the story continues, the conflict between Victor and the creature intensifies. The creature says, “I expected this reception, … All men hate the wretched; how, then, must I be hated, who am miserable beyond all living things! Yet you, my creator, detest and spurn me, thy creature, to whom thou art bound by ties only dissoluble by the annihilation of one of us”(92). The monster, through his sharp and dramatic word choice helps project an image of injustice: his creator subjects him to terrible punishments. And in context of Marxism, this analysis of creator/creation can be neatly applied to the relationship between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. And through careful analysis, there is some sort of foreshadowing in the quote, with “… to whom thou art bound by ties only dissoluble by the annihilation of one of us”. Equality can only be achievable through the destruction of the will of the proletariat, or the destruction of the bourgeoisie.

-Isaac Gallegos Rharry potter frankenstein