Tag Archive: outsider


Nonmember

by Marco Hidalgo

In Frankenstein by Mary Shelly, the creature is an outcast from the rest of society by not being accepted by the way he looks. He is being alienated by everyone with doing so he is on his own and learns about individuals who also have the same outcast problem.

Internal colonization in order to have inequality and discrimination towards another ethnic group. Those affected by internal colonization are often looked at as outsiders or aliens, which are also treated very badly. Safie, a Turkish refugee, has the same problem as the creature which is how society sees refugees and immigrants as outsiders and make them feel not welcomed. I strongly feel like the creature gave Frankenstein the letters by Safie on her life story to help Victor Frankenstein understand the idea on how the creature is feeling alienated by the entire world just because of his appearance, because just like Safie feels  unwelcomed into the place where she hoped to find refuge in, the creature is unwanted and unloved by the entire world because of his appearance. All of these individuals are coming into the states to being a new life for them and their families but now the government/ president is making it very difficult for them to do so.isolation-cartoon-700x300

In the novel, the creature forms a relationship of familiarity and understanding with Safie, a Muslim Arab migrant from Turkey. Their relationship forms through the creature learning her story while also learning English along side her. They are both similar in that they are outsiders leaning the language and ways of a Christian man, Felix.

Their situation can be associated with the ideas of Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, who believed in the importance of staying true to one’s native language, especially through writing. The creature shares that Safie seemed to, “have a language of her own, she was neither understood by, nor herself understood the cottagers” (106). I believe that Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o would disapprove of Safie, as well as the creature, taking on a new language. Even if the creature never had a specific language to begin with. I feel he would see the creature’s situation as a  lost opportunity to create a new language if his own, that he could then teach to others like Safie, and in that way create a bond with those wished to reject colonization.

The creature insists on proving his story by giving Victor (and, indirectly, Walton) a copy of the letters because they hold the truths of both their struggles as well as their accomplishment in learning a language. In addition they demonstrate that although Safie and the creature may be the victims of internal colonization but, they will, for the time being, use it to their advantage.

By Galilea Sanchez.

A common theme of my previous blog posts is the creature’s position as the other. Being born in this role and being physically designed for it with his deformity inhibits his attempts to find his identity, since the society he is not a part of monopolizes identity.

When the monster is first born, he is an infant, with little memory of his original birth and a keen eye on the world. He watches the De Lacey family to find his own imago to project upon and identify with in my blog post “The False Imago”; with an imago, he can improve himself through presenting a more idealized self-image to look up to. Sadly, the De Lacey family differs too much from the creature’s natural appearance to effectively serve as an imago. He finds himself lacking in comparison to their forms when he sees himself in a puddle, and unlike the ideal Lacanian imago he cannot overcome this inferiority because his natural deformity sets him back.

Unable to pass the veil of human society, the creature asks for a companion in a defeatist manner: “Man will not associate with me; but one as deformed and horrible as myself would not deny herself to me,” (128). The monster accepts that he will always remain the outsider thanks to his hideous inhumanity, effectively denying himself the experiences he witnessed while watching the De Lacey household. He tries to compromise and still find an identity through requesting a female companion in a parody of the human family, but even then he sees himself as naturally wretched and unfit for a more beautiful companion. Effectively, he is trying to go with an approach that is “good enough”. This is also expressed in his desire to live somewhere else, far away; now that the creature knows he cannot find an identity through human society, he hopes to create one in a separate manner that does not tread on the toes of those who consider him other.

Frankenstein’s greatest fear that prevents him from finishing the female counterpart is that the pair of creatures will parent a race of monsters to doom the world. Having children normally requires the company of another human being; to deny it to the creature is to deny one of those basic rights human society takes for granted. It is an expression of identity through the creation of a new one. Frankenstein restricts the monster’s freedoms because he fears its hypothetical progeny, yet the only reason such a race of monsters would raise such concern is that they were inhuman. Because the creature is an outsider, Frankenstein bars the door to him from having children and leaving the prescribed role of the outsider, stifling the monster’s development of his identity.

The creature never had a choice in what it could become. Any attempt to escape his role as the outsider was flawed; he could not use humans as his ideal image, and when he attempted a different approach that merely copied the human approach, Frankenstein became fearful and betrayed his creation because he could not separate the creature from the role of the outsider.