Tag Archive: misconceptions


By: Maya Carranza

When hearing the name “Frankenstein” people automatically think of a big, green monster that was created in a lab by a mad scientist. But upon reading Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, that misconception was debunked. In reality, the creature was nameless all throughout the book and the name Frankenstein was the surname of the scientist, Victor Frankenstein.

While reading this book, I realized that the real monster was not the nameless creature but actually Victor Frankenstein. The definition of the word monster is defined as “an inhumanly cruel or wicked person” which is exactly what Frankenstein was. Shelley illustrates the image of the “monster” as a sensitive and emotional creature, who only wants to share his life with another creature like him. On the other hand, the creature’s creator abandons him due to the hideous sight of him. Frankenstein’s selfish actions led him to create life to achieve prominence but did not think about the feelings or wants of his creation. Frankenstein was also cruel to the monster when he told him that he would create a companion for him, giving him false hope. This neglect and mistreatment from the start led him down a wrong path. As a result, it gave people the misconception that the creature was the monster but if Frankenstein would have never deserted his own creation then the creature would have never hurt or killed anyone.

To conclude, while reading Frankenstein my assumptions about the book were questioned. Not only did I learn that the creature’s name is not Frankenstein but that he was not a monster at all but merely the victim of abuse and neglect.

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Before being introduced to Mary Shelley’s novel “Frankenstein” I had, what seems to be very common, misconceptions of the story about the creature. The first and most commonly incorrect held belief has to do with the name mishap that exists about “Frankenstein” itself. Growing up, and up until very recently, I believed that the creature himself was named Frankenstein when in reality, that is not the case. The reality is that the scientist who conjured up the being and brought him to life is named Victor Frankenstein and the creature himself has no given name. I held this idea for a very long time and was only corrected due to the reading of the novel and it came as a big surprise when I learned the truth. I realized that if something so simple and such a small detail could have been greatly altered and lead to such a long-time held misconception, then there was bound to be many other myths I was exposed to about the creature and the story of “Frankenstein”.

Aside from simply misnaming him all of these years, there were greater misconceptions that I held regarding his characteristics. As a child, I was exposed to the representation of the creature that mainstream media portrayed and created. I watched films and cartoons that mislead me to view Victor Frankenstein’s creation in a completely opposite manner than how Mary Shelley had written him to be. Before engaging with the novel, I held the belief that because the creature was created through science and in a laboratory – through the use of electricity – that he was a soulless being with the inability to care for others or have a necessity for love. However, in the novel we learn that Frankenstein’s creation longs to feel accepted, loved, and grows to feel isolated and alone in the world. For someone who always believed that such a creature was incapable of having any feelings, I grew to sympathize with the creature through the novel when I learned that he grows to long for a companion in the world so he would not have to face it alone – a very human being characteristic that I never expected him to posses. Rather than the soulless creature every platform of the media portrayed him as, it was interesting, and rather nice, to find out that in reality Dr. Frankenstein’s creation was capable of feeling and that the audience was capable of sympathizing with the monster.

In addition, I think the greatest long-held misconception I had about the monster was regarding the idea that he was an uneducated and unintelligent creature. However, through Mary Shelley’s novel I learned that he educates himself and soon enough, has vocabulary and knowledge as advanced and eloquent as his genius creator. In all of my years before reading the novel, I always had a misbelief of the creature being unintelligent and incredibly dense. The cartoons I watched always portrayed him as something that was unable to conjure an intelligent thought or even form a coherent sentence and I actually found it somewhat refreshing to find out that was not the case. When I read the novel and discovered that the creature was rather intelligent and had a very sophisticated way of speaking and thinking, it shifted my perspective and point of view that I held about this creature for such a long time before the reading of the novel. This, along with the other debunked myths, made me realize that Mary Shelley designed this creature to have more human qualities than one would imagine. What Shelley’s novel taught me is that the creature is extremely man-like and holds just as much knowledge and potential as an ordinary human being and therefore, is just as dangerous as mankind.

-Beverly Miranda

By: Leena Beddawi

In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, readers are told an emotional tale of self-discovery, one that arguably seems more human than the average coming-of-age story found ever so innovative. This has to do with the fact that this was an entirely new way to delve into the intersections of the human experience, bringing science and philosophy together, and how that contributes to the development of said characters as well as how one perseveres anything they find “other” to their “normal” as a barbaric way of thinking and feeling. In reality, the creature merely wanted to be understood, accepted, and loved.

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You take this novel at pure face value, humans began placing somewhere among the horror/thriller section, merely because it contains a “monster” who has a path of destruction in his wake almost anywhere he goes. In reality, when we hear the actual perspective of said monster, we see all the misconceptions our culture has strewn onto us.

This novel is not that of a horror or thriller, but a tale of one’s journey to self and environmental consciousness. The creature taught themselves everything through watching people live their daily lives, from simple to complex; such as acceptance, tolerance, hatred, language, empathy, economic inequality, power dynamics, social standards, and even gender roles.

One of the most touching parts of the creature’s story, for me, is when they first encounters a painful bone-chilling cold, and when the sun began to shine down upon them, however “surprised by the novelty of such sensations… [they] still dared to be happy”(186).

Before reading this book, the only idea I had of it was what the myth or legend was told, that Victor Frankenstein was a mad scientist who went rouge and started creating this big, and sub-human. This pre-conception of the misconstrued maverick has almost everything to do with the subconscious attitude we still have over people who do not look exactly “normal” in a very subjective opinion.

Truly, the deeper we get to know the creature Frankenstein created, the more we feel ourselves projected onto them, almost as if we are all still learning and growing as individuals all the same, while some only get a different reaction due to their own physical appearance, rather than what is in their hearts.

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It is evident that the nameless “Creature” of which Victor Frankenstein gives life to, is generally perceived as nothing more than a terrifying monster. In the same way, Victor can be labeled as the demented scientist who granted it life. But are these perceptions a reality or false judgment?

 

 

 

Previous to indulging into the tale that is Frankenstein, my views on it were stereotypical to the story of an insane scientist who invests his life into a creation that ultimately results in the birth of a monstrosity. However, as I now look back on the chronical, having read it, my understanding of both Victor and his creation were not entirely accurate.

Indeed, one can say that Victor Frankenstein is in fact “insane”; having devoted his college studies solely on natural philosophy leading to his obsession with the animation of an inanimate being. Nevertheless, when looking into the start, and later progression, of Victor’s involvement within this science, one comes to realize the reasons behind his infatuation. His unyielding desire for knowledge leads him to encounter philosophers’ who wrote about theories of which fascinated his imagination. By the time he departed for college, Victor idolized these individuals and their scientific endeavors. Continuing his studies in the subject and excelling within it, was the cause of his downfall. My views on Victor Frankenstein changed when diving deeper into his person because what you genuinely see is a person with an undying determination to learn, who some where along the way allowed himself to entirely cross the line.

 

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Now, my misconception of the “Creature” was like that of anyone who believes they are familiar with the story of Frankenstein. A mad scientist has given life to what used to be lifeless, creating this “thing” that now lives, breathes and walks among humankind. The nameless “Creature” is perceived to be exactly what it looks like; a monster. Those who lay eyes on it, including its own creator, immediately run for their lives in terror assuming that this hideous abomination’s first instinct is to attack. This wrong perception regarding Victor’s creation was completely replaced by compassion and understanding after I gained more perspective on the “Creature’s” true nature. Although responsible for several acts of violence, it is evident that the cause of these outbursts was the “Creature’s” lack of acceptance within humanity. In fact, Victor’s creation proved to be a kind, benevolent, and curious being from the moment life was given to it. However, because the “Creature” possesses a certain image, it was forced to live a life of solitude, loneliness, and melancholy.

My initial perception of Victor Frankenstein and his creation, proved to be not entirely accurate, in the same way many individuals formulate misconceptions on a number of topics they have not fully explored. Having looked into my reinterpretation of Frankenstein, I leave you with the question: Are Victor and the “Creature” monsters or are they simply misunderstood?

– Juanita Espinoza

 

 

 

 

 

 

  By: Sandra Tzoc

proxyI was dumbfounded at the truth of the “monster”: Frankenstein. All these years I had been holding onto the wrong picture of Frankenstein. In my mind he was just another myth made up to scare children with no deeper meaning other than entertainment. To me- he was analogous to Jason or Dracula, just symbols of Halloween and scary stories and never did I question more than what was fed to me. Before this class, I had no knowledge about Frankenstein besides costumes and that he was a monster, product of an experiment gone wrong. However, reading and listening to Mary Shelley’s writing has given me a completely different depiction of this creature, which has urged me to see “Frankenstein” in another light. He is more human than monster, he felt alone and all he asked for was a companion to share his existence with. Interacting with others is human nature and Frankenstein wanted to partake in that, which shows how there was humanity in him. Unfortunately, since he did not get an equally grotesque companion, he let out his resentment on innocent people. Frankenstein had emotions, emotions so strong that it led him to drastic actions but in the end he was more than just a monster because he had feelings. Reading about Frankenstein has made me realize how easy it is to be blindsided by the media. Finding this new perspective has definitely urged me to seek my own truth. To question whatever is around me, because sometimes it might be easy to judge a book by its cover rather than reading it. However, it is essential to really analyze the information that is out there because it might be misleading most of the time. This version of Mary Shelley has reminded me that skepticism is essential for the path towards wisdom. I was easily fooled into thinking that Frankenstein was just a ZOMBIE, when in reality he was a creature who was drowning in melancholy and who was on the search for acceptance and comprehension. Just like many of us. Although he might have looked different that did not make him any less human.

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Andres Quezada

One of the misconceptions that I had about Frankenstein was that Frankenstein’s monster did receive the partner he asked for. I thought that he had gotten a partner, a family, a chance at love. Now I see that that it was all Hollywood smoke. My first encounter with Frankenstein was through the Cartoon Network show “Johnny Bravo”, where the main character , Johnny, was turned into Frankenstein’s monster to go after the female monster. I was only familiar with Frankenstein through Hollywood such as “The Munsters”, “The Adams Family,” and other cartoon renditions. I always thought Frankenstein’s monster was also just a drone, a lifeless body with no purpose in life. I thought he was a monster as well, but what makes him a monster, is it his looks, the way he was created?

After reading Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein”, I see that the “monster does indeed have life. He feels a range of emotions just as the rest of us. He feels guilt and remorse for his actions. He think, he feels alone, just like we all do at one point or another. He wants another person he can coexist with, he just wants what we all want in life. After reading the story, I find that the “monster” is more relate-able than I would have imagined. He’s just trying to live the life that he did not ask for. He was brought into the world without his consent as we all are, to try and survive in a society that does not accept anything abnormal. Frankenstein is more human than some humans. He’s misunderstood and goes through life with most of society not giving him a chance just as a lot of us do. He finds a taste of acceptance with the blind man who offers to home him, but his family begs him to get rid of the “monster” because he is seen as a monster and nothing more. He chases after his creator for answers just as many of us do as well. Frankenstein’s monster is not a monster, he is us just as Dr. Frankenstein is also us. They both deal with parallel issues of not being accepted and both desire attention from one another through the story.