Tag Archive: monster


Dear Friend,

December 30th, 2018

Dear Friend,

My first month of life was…confusing, I had woken up one night, completely bewildered and unsure. I couldn’t speak or make sense of anything, I was frightened, and I wasn’t sure where I was. I remember seeing movement out of the corner of my eye and I began to mumble try and get their attention, but when I truly saw them, all I could see was the face of a frightened individual who ran as soon as they saw me. This was the beginning of my heartache. The man—what I later came to realize was my father—the one who had created me, and he had ran from me, his son. I remember trying to follow him, but I just wasn’t sure how things worked. He lived in a very expensive and high tech house, so I became distracted with the many things in the house as I tried to find him. However, once I found him, I tried to speak to him but he just became frightened once again and looked at me with disgust and repulsion before fleeing down the stairs and out into the garden. That was the last of him I saw for a long time.

-M.

January 14th, 2018

Dear Friend,

I’ve been roaming the streets for quite a while now, I don’t have anywhere to go, no money or food. But I’ve picked up a few phrases here and there from people I hear, trying to sound out words that I seem to recall from a past life, I’m extremely intelligent you see. I’ve become friends this an old man who runs a small shop on the corner of R and Michigan Streets, he gives me candy when his son isn’t around. His son—Felix doesn’t like me hanging around, he says it’s bad for business, but I don’t care the old man is my friend. I often wonder how my father is, does he miss me? Does he ever think about me?

-M.

February 20th 2018

Dear Friend,

I saw my father, he seemed happy, but seeing him filled me with rage and an irresistible anger that I just had to let out. It led me to do something insane, and I am just a bit reluctant to share that what I did I enjoyed very much.

-M.

March 26th, 2018

Dear Friend,

I have found my father again, I have forced him to do something for me and luckily this maybe the last time I see him…this may also be the last time I write for you. Please know that I tried to be the best I could…I just wasn’t strong enough.

-M.

June 3rd, 2018

Dear Friend,

Apologies for the disappearance, I’ve been quite busy. But A friend recently told me I should tell my story of how I came to be. Of how I was created, and what my first few months of life were like. They said I should publish these letters it in a more public setting, like Twitter or Facebook, but these are secrets I have guarded for a long time, so I think a blog post would be best fit. Instead of a few characters on Twitter. If you read my story, thank you, you would be the first to willingly care to learn about me.                                                                                                                                           -M.

Review:

I chose to write diary/journal entries because I wanted to see what it would be like to write from the perspective of a modern monster and his experiences since he woke up. Obviously, I couldn’t fit all the important events, but I listed a few that seemed like major ones. I wanted it to seem like he was writing them as they were happening but unfortunately that would have been impossible because the monster didn’t know how to write or comprehend words. Therefore he writes them from the future as if he were in the past. I also tried to make it a bit more teenager-like as if a child were writing the stories rather than an adult. I also left it at a very abrupt ending because I wanted to show how realistically it would be if someone who just started writing and reading would be like writing in a diary. They would forget to write in the journal therefore missing a few pages and events, as well as writing in very incomplete thoughts.

If this were to be properly published as the speaker wishes, it would have been published on a private blog, I chose the blog site because I felt that even though Twitter and Facebook are very modern and very much the place where people share their stories, a blog would have been more personal to the creature because after all this is his life story which is very personal to him. And if he were to just post it on Twitter it would perhaps just be not as intimate as he would want it to be. Through his blog, the monster wants the readers to truly understand his motives, and reasons why he did what he did and to understand that this isn’t just some fictional story, it is his life. In a way he wants people to connect over his story as he did not have that connection with people for a very long time whilst he was experiencing the events he writes about.

-Laura Mateo Gallegos

 

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Acceptance

                             Acceptance

Eyes wide open in an unfamiliar, dingy room

They watch over me murmuring whispers.

I can’t quite understand; something’s wrong I presume.

The chilled air runs down my spine, sending shivers.

 

They called me son, the apple of their eye

Yet they left me there and waved goodbye.

Days….

            Weeks….

                            Months….

                                              I died inside.

Time passed, I lie there.

Lost within my surroundings,

My thoughts, my feelings, unlike any other.

Where is my place? Who am I?

 

Wanting the love from those who want nothing to do with me

Why can’t they accept me as I am.

All I want is to be cared for,

I’ve learned from my past, and

I’m sorry….

I didn’t ask for this.

 

I’ve realized, this is it for me,

It doesn’t get any better.

All I have is me, and that’s all I need.

 

But still,

I do not wish this nightmare upon anyone else

Unaccepted, unloved, uncared-for…

-Alexuz Bejarano

Review: I decided to write a poem, kind of reflecting on the creature being abandoned. I felt it was one of the most emotional parts in the novel, only because the creature was vulnerable. When the creature was created he didn’t know any other feeling than loneliness, being abandoned by the only person he knew. I wanted to also incorporate the 2015 film, Frankenstein, directed by Bernard Rose. I started off the poem reflecting the beginning of the film as it started off with “Adam” in a room that looked much like a hospital room. Confused to where he was, as the creature in Mary Shelley’s novel when he first left Victor’s lair. This poem is in the creature’s perspective, he continues to explain the abandonment he felt, instead of the things he experienced like in the novel from pages 92-128. In the film Victor and Elizabeth portrayed mother and father figures to “Adam” and abandoned him, killing him even more  on the inside because even if he didn’t know what it felt like, he loved them and hated them at the same time. Modern time or not, it’s all the same. People till this day aren’t accepted because they’re different, because they don’t fit the criteria of normal. No one is normal. This poem is what the creature is feeling in the twenty-first century, which is the same as he’s feeling in the novel and in the film, empty and lonely. Still begging for the love and care he won’t get, feeling sorry for others because he was created. Accepting his past and In the end comes to an agreement with himself that he won’t accepted, and the only person he has is himself. At  the moment that’s enough for the creature, until then he’ll keep searching for his happiness, and doesn’t wish this for anyone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frankenstein and Disability Studies

5. I noticed that the “disability” potrayed in the film is “Adam’s” inability to speak and comprehend his surroundings. This is something that the doctors believed needed to be fixed. In doing so, they treated “Adam” like an animal; the scene in which they inject medicine into his body is very similar to when a veterinarian puts shots into a dog.

In Frankenstein (book), the creature is treated horrible and thrown out like trash, completely isolated from society. The reason why I chose this sample is because I believe that if the film focused this as a sole purpose for the movie, it would resonate more strongly with its audience members. In today’s time, “disabilities” are treated precariously by those who know little about them; about the person. If the film were to narrow their scope into this particular sample, it may be easier for those who do not understand, to understand; as well as the fact that the doctors tried to “fix Adam” when there was nothing wrong with him.

-Jody Omlin

The Activist

 

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Christopher Martinez

Throughout the book Frankenstein by Mary Shelley there is signs of migration. Safie, the daughter of a merchant, seems to want the feeling of family and unity. Safie comes from a Turkish background and she migrated to leave the political problems. With this in mind, there is a connection between the monster itself and Safie. They both seek shelter and just want to be accepted for who they are. In addition, there seems to be evidence of discrimination against migrants in the book. Safie’s father was sentenced to death in Paris for a crime that he didn’t commit. Clearly, this shows the bigotry and separation of class and race in the book. Likewise, Frankenstein experiences the same thing as Safie. He sees discrimination all around him and even the way that Victor describes the monster shows the ideologies people have against people that are ‘different.’

When the monster gave Victor the letters by Safie and wanted Victor to know his tale through another person’s words, there was a sense of connections. In the story, Victor is very closed minded with the looks of others. He finds certain looks superior. We can see this when Victor says, “His limbs were in proportion, and I had selected his features as beautiful. Beautiful! Great God! His yellow skin scarcely covered the work of muscles and arteries beneath; his hair was of a lustrous black, and flowing; his teeth of a pearly whiteness; but these luxuriances only formed a more horrid contrast with his watery eyes, that seemed almost of the same color as the dun-white sockets in which they were set, his shriveled complexion and straight black lips” (60).

Furthermore, the monster seems to try to tell Victor to look through his eyes. The monster tells Victor that he has figured out the truth on his own and has taught himself about the world he lives in. He tells Victor, “These wonderful narrations inspired me with strange feelings. Was man, indeed, at once so powerful, so virtuous, and magnificent, yet so vicious and base?” (108) The monster is questioning the ideas humans have about each other. Frankenstein doesn’t seem to understand why are humans so smart, yet can’t see everyone as equal. This is what stood out! It is as if Frankenstein is an equal rights activist!

“Monster”? How About No.

Stryker’s article on how the transgender should reclaim the word “monster” is insulting. I am not trans myself, so I can’t speak much about the topic; however, I have never heard the term be used towards trans, and therefore cannot agree with Stryker’s argument. She had a weak theory that I cannot accept. However, I can see the connection she makes towards Frankenstein, yet her argument is not strong enough to gain my attention overall.

See the source image

In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, we know that the Creature is victim to a society that alienates it because of its difference in appearance. But what does this have in connection with gender and sexuality as described through the eyes of a transsexual individual?

Jessica Rae Fisher, a trans woman writer, voices her journey in finding herself through both Frankenstein and an essay written by Susan Striker within her blog post I am Frankenstein’s Monster: An echo of Susan Striker’s call to action. She speaks about the comparing of transgender people to Victor Frankenstein’s creation and how “[she] was enthralled” when first hearing of the idea. Fisher’s experience with this idea began with her exposure to an excerpt in Striker’s essay, My Words To Victor Frankenstein Above The Village Of Chamounix: Performing Transgender Rage,  that spoke about “a transsexual woman in Seattle [who] wrote in her journal, ‘I wish I was anatomically ‘normal’ so I could go swimming…But no, I’m a mutant, Frankenstein’s monster'” (Striker, 246). What really stood out to Fisher was the fact that this woman was driven to suicide two months after documenting this thought and it made her wonder, back when she was a 19 or 20 year old reading about it, whether she “would live past 22”. Although she has now surpassed the age she doubted living to, Fisher stresses that the transgender community is yet to be accepted and instead “remain no more than monsters”. Despite this, Fisher clings to other excerpts from Striker’s essay that speak of “asserting [ones] worth as a monster” and “[allowing your] rage [to] inform your actions and your actions transform you as you struggle to transform the world” (Striker, 254).

Now, you may be thinking, “How exactly does this connect with Frankenstein?’. Well, in the same way that Fisher explains what transgender individuals go though when dealing with society, Shelley depicts when writing about the Creatures first encounter with humans. The Creature, abandoned by its creator and left to fend for its own, encounters some villagers of which it frightens causing “the whole village [to be] roused; some fled, some attacked [it]” (Shelley, 98). This treatment of the Creature is similar to that of the woman from Seattle that Fisher speaks about in her blog post when she says, “What drove her to such despair was the exclusion she experienced in Seattle’s queer community, some members of which opposed Filisa’s participation because of her transsexuality”.  Here, although not physically, this woman was attacked like the Creature was at the hands of the villagers. Similarly, Victor abandoned his creation and left it to fend for its own the night he finally succeeded in giving the Creature life, “not [daring] to return to the apartment which [he] inhabited” (Shelley, 61). This mirrors Fisher’s information regarding The Seattle Bisexual Women’s Network when they “announced that if it admitted transsexuals, it would no longer be a woman’s organization” and that “the boys can take care of themselves”. Both this woman in Seattle and the Creature in Frankenstein were left on their own, alienated because of their subjective “differences” to society.

In the end, it is undoubtedly true that we live in a society full of unacceptance and exclusion for all those of which fail to conform to the “norm”. If you are different to what is viewed as “common” what is in store for you is labeling and use of false pronouns and “neopronouns”. However, Fisher makes it clear that what is to be learned here is “we should reclaim the words monster and creature. I think that if the villager want to see us as unnatural, that we should embrace that”. Being different is something that has proven to be difficult, but accepting that you are not “normal” is what will ultimately help you live though it.

– Juanita Espinoza

 

In Jessica Fisher’s article, “I am Frankenstein’s Monster: An Echo of Susan Stryker’s Call to Action”, she describes the inevitable perilous lives of marginalized people, particularly, the transgender community. Moreover, she purports that the antidote to this chaotic life is the use of their “transgender rage” -fueled by the reclamation of words used to demean the transgender community-  in a conducive manner to somehow change society. This means of combatting the chaos that transgender people will inevitably face is not only detrimental to the advancement of their cause but also to their personal development.

In Susan Striker’s essay, – which was the inspiration of Fisher’s article- she compares the creature in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein to the transgender body. Both Fisher and Striker use the words “monster” to describe themselves almost as a stand against the oppressive society which will inexorably judge them. “The transexual body is an unnatural body. It is the product of medical science. It is a technological construction. It is flesh torn apart and sewn together again in a shape other than that in which it was born” (Striker p. 238). Furthermore, both Stryker and Fisher use the reclamation of words like this to “fuel their rage” which they would eventually use to further their cause. She states, “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. It isn’t our responsibility to make the villagers understand or accept us, and maybe, in fact, we can’t.” Similarly, this sentiment is expressed in Frankenstein by the creature, “My feelings were those of rage and revenge. I, like the arch-fiend, bore a hell within me;  from that moment I declared everlasting war against the species, and, more than all, against him who had formed me, and sent me forth to this insupportable misery.”(Shelley, 121).  This is not a tenable solution- as evident in the quote due to the chaotic and menacing nature in which the creature speaks such words- to the chaos which the transgender community will face, this “solution” can only lead to either further alienation of the transgender community or the tyrannous imposition of the admiration of the trans community. In an attempt to showcase the struggle which trans people face in western society, Fisher cites a case where a boy in psychiatric care, who was alienated because he was trans, committed suicide. While this is an evident case of the horrendous malevolence which some people might use against others, the cause of this boy’s death is having more to do with his own reaction and feeling of despair to the alienation which he had faced.

One should seek to adopt responsibility and focus on self-development and not dwell and pity oneself as a cause of life’s various misfortunes. Otherwise, one will fall into the domain of intense tribalism and collectivist ideology which can only result in the alienation of certain groups or the tyrannous rule of other groups or both. Yes, life is treacherous and full of evil fueled by malevolence, Yes, people are oppressed- although not as much as people would like to have you think-, Yes western society is unfair, but one is much stronger and formidable than one would assume. One is capable of being the remedy to their own suffering. One is capable of changing society effectively and incrementally by changing oneself first so that one is able to remain headstrong in the face of any adversity that we will face. The point is that we are all capable of being formidable and tenacious individuals through the adoption of responsibility and a focus on self- improvement.

 

 

 

by Steven Gonzalez

Image result for transgender pain

By Mahealani LaRosa

Reading Jessica Rae Fisher’s I Am Frankenstein’s Monster: An Echo of Susan Stryker’s Call to Action as a female, as a victim of bullying, and as a survivor of sexual, mental, and verbal abuse was very difficult. I could never fathom the idea that I understand the pain that transgender people go through, but I DO understand the pain of the experiences I went through listed above. Although I found it difficult to read, I actually was interested in a lot of the points Fisher and Stryker made. Jessica pushes forward the idea of taking back words like “monster and creature” to describe transgender people. Stryker further emphasizes this idea by going into depth about the real definitions of these words and how people should even be proud to be called these things, even going as far to say “words like ‘creature,’ ‘monster,’ and ‘unnatural’ need to be reclaimed by the transgendered. By embracing and accepting them, even piling one on top of another, we may dispel their ability to harm us” (240). I feel like this is a very crucial idea, especially in modern society. People still use words like “gay” as a negative thing, so there is a lot of work that needs to be done in regards to reclaiming words that were originally slurs and insults and making them positive and affirming instead. Susan Stryker neatly explains this in her essay My Words to Victor Frankenstein Above the Village of Chamounix, saying that “transsexuality more than any other transgender practice or identity represents the prospect of destabilizing the foundational presupposition of fixed genders upon which a politics of personal identity depends” (238). This relates to Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein because one of the most important characters, the creature, is seemingly genderless. Although repeatedly referred to as a man, it seems to have feminine features, and honestly doesn’t’ need to conform to the these “fixed genders”.

As I mentioned in a previous blog post, Victor Frankenstein does not want to create a female mate for the creature because they would want “children, and a race of devils would be propagated upon the earth” (144). We can assume that in order for the creature to mate and have children with this female creature means that he is a man, and he has male genitalia. However, in modern society, having a penis does not make you a man. This is mostly apparent in cases of transgender people. Women born in a man’s body constantly have to go through people not understanding who they are, mostly based on their genitalia. Genitals do not define gender. The Merriam-Webster dictionary says gender is “the state of being male or female (typically used with reference to social and cultural differences rather than biological ones)” which in my opinion is completely incorrect. Sex is the state of being male or female. Gender is a spectrum, and I honestly believe it is TRULY an individual choice. Gender is whatever you as a singular person want it to be. What Stryker and Fisher are saying is that being a ‘monster’ or ‘creature’ is sort of like a kind of gender, but it also represents being transgender. The LGBTQ+ community is just like any other community, it excludes anything that is found to be ‘too’ different. In this case, it is transgender people. In Frankenstein, it is the creature. In this way, the creature and transgender people are linked. They are a type of gender that is misunderstood and discriminated against. The thing is, the creature does not have to commit to being the man. He is restrained by societies constructed ideas of sex and gender being these strict ideas of only male and female. Stryker says she “want[s] to lay claim to the dark power of [her] monstrous identity without using it as a weapon against others or being wounded by it [herself]”(240), so she is basically explaining how she is going to turn the hate and pain people give her into power and strength. Overall, this is what we should all do. Pain will always be something we internalize, but if we simultaneously reflect inwardly while also speaking out against the inflictor, we create a power that no one can stop.

In regards to the original cover of Frankenstein, I think it has a lot to do with the sexual organs of the creature. The creature is looking downwards at their genitals, as if they are surprised or shocked by what they see. It leaves the viewer questioning gender and sex already. It is also interesting to see the creature hovering over a skeleton while Frankenstein is running away. It is similar to all that we have been talking about. Victor is running from the reanimated life he created while also running from the shroud of death that will follow him for the remainder of his life. He is running from his mother and the creature he made to try to symbolize her. However, in terms of this blog post, it is most important to focus on the part where the creature looks at their genitals in such a stunned way. I wonder what made the creature so surprised…

 

 

 

 

Fisher calls attention to the mutual feelings the LGBTQ community and Frankenstein’s creation both share, in terms of feeling unaccepted by their community, the feeling of exclusion and marginalization, and the feeling of low self esteem/lack of love for themselves. For one, Fisher points to her relation to the “monster” by mentioning how “so many other transgender people have been bullied, brutalized, pushed to suicide or murdered”, alluding to how the “monster” was treated by the villagers. In chapter 12, the “monster” explained that he longed to join the villagers but he “remembered too well the treatment [he] had suffered the night before from the barbarous villagers”, deeming him an outsider marginalized because of something he could not control. This is why Fisher stated “The villagers still refuse to accept us. We remain no more than monsters”, because members of the LGBTQ community are also marginalized due to something out of their control, something that makes them them. Fisher and the creature both have in common their lack of self love, considering the monster stated “I had admired the perfect forms of my cottagers—their grace, beauty, and delicate complexions; but how was I terrified when I viewed myself in a transparent pool”, revealing his hatred for his looks and his desire to change his looks, which transgender people strive for as well. Another thing transgender people have in common with the creature is how the creature doesn’t identify with either gender. Although Fisher and/or members of the LGBTQ community may feel like “monsters”, ultimately who’s to say everyone else isn’t the monsters, therefore they need to love themselves that much more for being different.

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-Jaimee Watson

By: Sandra Tzoc

individual-different

The creature is an outcast in Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” and so are the members of the LGBTQ+ community. Society for a long time has had restrictions on those who are different whether it be because of their physical appearance or their sexual preference. Stryker gives her two cents on pushing forward and gaining back power that has been neglected to the transgender community. She suggests that derogatory terms such as “faggot” and “monster” should be reclaimed by the community in order to crush the negative connotations to seize empowerment. The words can no longer be used to hurt if they are reclaimed and given a new light. This movement is supported by Jessica Rae Fisher, writer of “I am Frankenstein’s Monster: An echo of Stryker’s call to action” where she states, “It is well worth embracing who we are as monsters. It isn’t our responsibility to make the villagers understand or accept us, and maybe, in fact, we can’t”. This further emphasizes the exclusion that transgender people face, but also the importance of claiming these nouns in order to unarm the transphobics. However, this sentence also raises questions such as: why isn’t it our responsibility to make them understand? Is Fisher implying then to remain quiet and let the villagers marinate in ignorance? If this is the case then I disagree, I think there are people who have transphobic views because they are ignorant and because they have huddled so tightly in their close-mindedness that they won’t accept anybody that is different. It is important to get information out there and educate people because everybody deserves to be who they want to be and love who they want to love. If discussions and advocacy of these important topics are not pursued, then there won’t be any steps to take forward.

Both Stryker and Fisher include the story of Filisa Vistima who was a male to woman transgender but was excluded from her own community. She searched for acceptance from her own community, her own family but was banished. This occurs to the creature as well, where even his creator, Victor, abandons and neglects him. Vistima wrote, “I wish I was anatomically ‘normal’, so I could go swimming… But no, I am a mutant, Frankenstein’s monster” before she commit suicide. She felt like an outcast, like a monster. Similarly, the creature felt no sense of belonging because he did not look like the rest. In chapter 12 he says, “I had admired the perfect forms of my cottagers- their grace, beauty, and delicate complexions; but how was I terrified when I viewed myself in a transparent pool!”. These renderings by Vistima and the creature demonstrate the inner tension built by the rejection of society and those who were supposed to love them. So much that they desired to change their appearances in order to fit in with the rest. This is why it is important to continue to share everyone’s stories and to advocate in order to make them heard.

In class, there was a discussion on the gender of the creature and this was the depiction of what goes on in society. We try to label each other and put everyone into a mold. Some said that the creature was male because he said so himself. However, what if the creature called himself a male because his creator, Victor, referred to him, labeled him, a male. Perhaps, he followed what everybody else called him. This shows the creature forced into the “heterosexual economy” as Stryker states. I can also recall a student’s argument that the creature was a male because “he” asked for a female partner. However, this argument portrays restriction upon the creature’s sexual preference. What if the creature was a lesbian? Who knows. We are nobody to question or force any label onto anybody else. Perhaps, Mary Shelley wrote this novel for introspection, because it reveals the way we think in the manner in which we interpret the text.