Tag Archive: society


“… he was ugly then; but when those muscles and joints were rendered capable of motion, it became a thing such as even Dante could not have conceived.” (Shelley 52)

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COMPOSITION:

All I could remember were the sounds; people yelling at the police force ahead of us, holding up signs that ranged from ‘LOVE IS LOVE’ to ‘WE’RE HUMAN TOO.’ There were thousands of us rallying, yet the stretch of people could make you think of a much, much bigger crowd than just that.

I was one of the front pusher for the protest, holding a sign of my own as well. “Love! Trumps! Hate! Love! Trumps! Hate!” The mantra had turned from a chant into a screaming match, the police officers owning a mantra of their own to battle ours back.

“Just go home, you scum! This won’t make any difference, no matter how long you stay out here!” One particular officer snarled, before landing his impatient gaze onto me. I stared back at him as I continued to scream, to cry out for Justice from our government, as the officer took a small but menacing step towards me. “All you are is a freak. A goddamn freak of nature, you hear me?” I averted my eyes from him as he spoke, yet that only seemed to spur the man further. One more step towards me, towards us. “You’ll never fit in with society, you ugly piece  of human garba-”.

He was cut off as another protestor beside me shoved him back, a spunky-looking girl with chopped hair dyed as blue as the afternoon sky. While she did so, she continued to chant, her eyes holding a challenge towards the officer. He smiled wickedly. “Oh, you know it’s true. YOU ALL KNOW THAT IT’S TRUE! YOU DON’T BELONG HERE WITH US, YOU MONSTERS! LEAVE US BE! YOU’LL NEVER BE A PART OF SOCIETY WITH US!” The stranger pushed the officer once more, much harder, and knocked him to the ground.

Immediately after the girl shoved him once more, all Hell seemed to break loose. Suddenly all of the officers surged forward, their fiberglass shields raised and thrust into our faces, forcing us back as they helped their fallen man. Out of the corner of my eye. I could see one policeman push his shield so hard into a man’s face that it seemed to break his nose, blood gushing downwards at a nonstop. Shouts continued, but they changed from our mantra into shouts of fear as protestors were forced backwards. Someone linked their arm into mine, and in a daze of confusion I swung my attention to my side. There she was, standing like a beacon of hope for everyone around her; the girl with the blue hair, a triumphant smile planted on her dark-painted lips. She shot her eyes at me and winked, her smile growing larger. “Don’t even think about listening to them. We’re just as human as them, if not more.” She swung her attention back to the scene in front of her. “WE’RE HUMANS, TOO! WE’RE HUMANS, TOO!” In her other arm, another person was linked, then another, and another, until a wall of us were standing up against a wall of them. Even my other arm became captive to the cause, and I soon found myself shouting along with everyone else, begging for our voices to be heard by not just the force ahead of us, but the entire world; “WE’RE HUMANS, TOO! WE’RE HUMANS, TOO!”

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REVIEW:

In the novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, readers see the constant rejections from society that the creature must endure, as well as name calling such as “demon”, “monster”, and countless other terms. Although this novel was written in the 19th century, those elements are still present today. For my creative writing project, I decided to use the setting of an equality protest. The reason why I did so is because of the backlash that the protestors receive, not only from the police force, but also from pedestrian viewers and others who watch on a glass screen in the safety of their own homes. Instead of sticking to an exact scene in the book, however, I took the liberty of basing my story on a quote, which can be found in Chapter 5, after Frankenstein has created the creature; “… he was ugly then; but when those muscles and joints were rendered capable of motion, it became a thing such as even Dante could not have conceived.” (Shelley 52) This quote not only embodies the first rejections made towards the creature in its brief moments of innocent life, but also portrays the complete and utter helplessness that the creature is forced into. The creature, barely coming into existence, tries to welcome his “father”, Victor Frankenstein, by reaching out to him while he is lying in his bed, causing Frankenstein to panic for his own safety instead of trying to incorporate his experiment into society properly. This rejection causes the spur for the rest of the novel, from the creature learning life from a distance to the multiple murders committed. If it was not evident in my story, I had made a twist on the tale by creating a “happy” ending, with people rising up together instead of apart, in order to fight for what they believe is right and just.

– Jody R. Omlin

(SIDE NOTE: I do have a different version of Frankenstein that I am quoting from, so if you cannot find the passage on page 52, don’t worry! It is found in Chapter 5, when Victor awakens to find his creation staring down at him and smiling. :))

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Sabrina Vazquez

I pulled up to the house around 10 o’clock, 4 hours later than I told Frankie I would arrive. I sighed as I looked out to see the house enshrouded in darkness, she must have gone to bed. I rested my head against the seat thinking about all the work I still had to do back at the office. I got out of the car and saw that Frankie hadn’t brought in the trashcan, she was usually diligent about anything to do with the house, but as of lately had ceased to care.

I walked into the house, it seemed cold and lifeless, but anytime I arrived and didn’t have my 16-year-old daughter greet me, the house felt bigger, colder. I dropped my briefcase on to the dining room table and walked into the kitchen and spotted a plate on the stove, I thought back to this morning to the conversation we had while having breakfast,

“No altercations today okay hunny? I don’t want to receive another call about you snapping at your chemistry teacher.”

“Not my fault he is an arrogant assh…”

“LANGUAGE, I do not know where this attitude is coming from Franceska, you never snapped at teachers, or used foul language.”, She stared off into the distance instead of making eye contact, if she hadn’t randomly cut her hair into a pixie cut, I am sure she would have been twiddling with it, a tick of hers.

I looked back down at my phone, so much to do, I had a big case coming up and had worked on it nonstop for the past 3 weeks.

“Dad, I really need you to be here on time today okay? I’m making your favorite dinner, I need you to be here, I’ve been feeling out of sorts and…”

I looked up, she had a sentiment in her eyes that I couldn’t decipher, “I’ll try hun, you know how busy I am, with this case and all”

“I know, but I don’t want to be alone again today”

I grabbed my briefcase and slid my phone into my pocket, I drank the last drops of my coffee and kissed Frankie on the head, “Be good okay?”

She stood up and gave me a hug, “Come home at 6, daddy, we will have fun, I love you”

As I walked out of the kitchen I called out “Bye my little monster”

“Goodbye, Daddy.” I heard her say before the door shut.

As I heated up my dinner, I thought of the last few years, life had been hard since Frankie’s mother passed away 4 years ago, the love of my life consumed by incurable cancer, we lost her in the span of 7 months, it changed me, I buried myself in my work, tried to be a rock for Frankie, but she was the strong one. She never cried, she was such a good kid, I knew that I should have made more of an effort, but work distracted me, and made me lose track of time. I’d make it up to her tomorrow, take the day off, take her out to her favorite place, make a day of it.

There was a knock on the door…, if it was that pesky neighbor again… I opened the door to two police officers, with looks that could only be described as pity.

“How can I help you.”

“We are so sorry to have to inform you Mr. Munstrein, at 7:48 this afternoon we found your daughter’s body, she hung herself off the old bridge, we believe she died almost instantly…”

“No, no, no, no, no, what, wha… that can’t be right, my daughter is upstairs sleeping, what kind of cruel joke is this?” I couldn’t make sense of what they were saying, my baby was asleep, she had made me dinner and gone upstairs, she had to be upstairs.

Something in his hands caught my attention, Frankie’s gold necklace with her initial hanging off of it, “I am so sorry sir, but is…” “What is that in your hands? Is that Frankie’s necklace? Why do you have it?” I snatched it from his hands

“Sir, once again I am so sorry, you are going to have to come down to the coroners to identify the body, we will…”, the police man’s words blurred as I dashed up the stairs

I ran to Frankie’s room, she wasn’t dead, she was upstairs sleeping, she was fine. I opened the door to her room and the emptiness hit me like a gust of frigid air, I looked to her bed, but it was empty of her small body, she wasn’t there. “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, NO, NO, WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS TO ME, YOU WERE THE ONLY THING I HAD LEFT!” I screamed into the empty room hoping this was all a nightmare, hoping she would walk through the door and tell me she was fine, that it had all been a misunderstanding, that it wasn’t her body that they had found hanging. I crumpled onto her bed, unable to grasp why my baby, my daughter had cut her life so damn short, at that moment I could have died from the pain that consumed me on her small unmade bed.

I awoke the next morning, for one second or less, I had peace, than it all came crashing back, the police officers, having to go to claim the corpse of my child, my baby girl, having to think of the preparations of the funeral. I turned to my side, I had no will to get up, no reason, the small bed protested because of my weight, but it didn’t matter, nothing did. I glanced up and there, propped up on her mother’s picture was a letter, sealed with a butterfly sticker.

My tears saturated the flimsy printer paper,

“Daddy, for months I tried, I promise you I tried so hard to get better, to be better, for you, to not cause you pain. I know you’ll blame yourself, but please don’t, after mom’s death you focused on work, and I don’t hold that against you. I am sorry I couldn’t carry the pain, I am sorry I couldn’t be stronger for you, but my sadness was no less deadly than mom’s cancer, it destroyed me. I know that you can’t make sense of this now, but I had stopped living a long time ago, I was merely existing. I’m free now daddy, free from the burden of life, death to me will be the sweetest rest, and I’ll have mom with me, take care Daddy, always, your monster.”

Review

In remaking a scene out of Frankenstein, I choose the scene where the creature kills Frankenstein’s beloved Elizabeth. In this story it tells the sad events of the day the daughter of a busy lawyer decides to kill herself, and although it never is clarified she is suffering from depression. In this remake I wanted to focus on Frankenstein’s avoidance on anything to do with the creature, and in having to face the reality of the situation. Frankie’s father is a workaholic, and has ultimately left his daughter by herself, because he beliefs she is stronger than him, or at least that is how he justifies it. They are still living in the home they shared with Frankie’s mom, and it weighs on both, but he stays at work, while she must go home. Frankie is showing clear signs of suicidal behavior, she has made a drastic change with her hair, she is acting out, losing interests in all things, misbehaving. She is calling out for help, she has isolated herself and the one person she calls out to does not see her in distress, her father. In his own need to avoid his home, to avoid the reality of his wife’s death, he ends up avoiding Frankie as well. Much like Frankenstein, Mr. Munstrein is too late, they are not able to save their deeply loved beings. In the novel, Frankenstein’s creation kills Elizabeth, while in my remake it is depression that claims her life.

I wanted to bring the story forward and make the characters everyday people, to tie it in with a mental illness that is a bit of a monster itself, or in how it is viewed. Depression can come from anything, an event, a chemical imbalance, alongside another illness, and although it is quite easy to get help for, many people do not. Much like the creation, a bit more of attention and facing their realities could have saved the lives of their loved ones, but they focused on what was wrong with them; in victimizing themselves, Elizabeth and Mr. Munstriein’s daughter became the real victims. This short remake of the scene through this short story can convey the helplessness of the situation. How these men’s actions inadvertently jeopardized the lives of the people they loved most, which if they had faced their realities, the outcomes could have been very different.

Everyone is deserving

I believe that number 5 is very right on. It portrays disability as lacking and as something that should be fixed in order for “Adam” to be normal. In society, beings refer to anyone with special needs as disable or abnormal rather than acknowledging that nobody is less human than anyone else. In the film, we can see he is thought as less of a human only because he does not speak or comprehend what it happening around his surroundings. This proves that there is a certain image and expectations we must follow to be considered “normal” by society.  If not, we are labeled as less humans or have less value than those who meet society’s expectations. But, why should we fix things that are beyond or control to be accepted? Why does society find a way to make humans feel less than they are? We are all humans and all lack of something. One should not be portrayed as better or less than another and should rather make it normal that not everyone requires the same needs.

 

Dalia Ulloa

Arlyne Gonzalez

In response to #5, the student mentioned how Adam was treated and approached as to how a dog will be attended in a vet. This particular analogy captured my interest, because when Adam is being injected with a needle, it reminded me of when I took my dog to the vet. Given that Adam was not born like a normal human being, the scientists do not consider him to be an individual, but rather a “successful” experiment conduced by Victor Frankenstein. Therefore, they believed Adam’s life did not have any meaning nor value. Victor did not want to endure nor take responsibility for Adam’s violent fit toward the other scientists, and instead did not care as much as to search for him and prevent Adam from triggering another violent episode toward innocents, like Wanda and Eddie. This demonstrates how Victor Frankenstein did not encompass the intellect and the common sense that comes with experimenting and challenging nature by brining another creature into the human society. A place that is not all rainbows and happiness, much more a cruel and lonely place for those who encompass grotesque appearances and not two dimes to rub together. That is called the world. Unfortunately, that is where Adam was thrown into and had not one clue how to endure his hardships.

Discrimintion

In Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein, the creature wished to prove to Victor “the truth of my tale” through Safie’s letters written to Felix, because he too feels the same isolation as Safie. Though Safie is a Muslim Arab migrant from Turkey seeking refuge, the creature identifies with Safie because she is a foreigner. Like the creature, Safie is different from those who she is surrounded by and in the same way , they seek refuge from society after being rejected. To illustrate, it is stated that Safie “.. was neither understood by, nor herself understood, the cottagers” (106). Safie and her father both face hardships because of their appearance.They are all marginalized by the society they live in, trying to adapt to Europe and a culture that is foreign to them. Meanwhile on the other hand, Victor Frankenstein travels to several places in the novel without getting questioned if he belonged there since he is a white male and doesn’t face any obstacles doing so. This relates very much to today, because people are outcasted simply for their skin, race, or status.  They are dehumanized, called rapists, terrorists, and more. Immigrants who travel to America, in search for “The American Dream” and better opportunities that denied to them in their home countries, are seen as “inhumane” or “animals”.

-Dalia Ulloa

Strangers

By Jade Graham

The prompt inquires as to why the creature wants his story told through Safie’s letters. The simple answer is because he felt a connection that he hadn’t with anyone else in Shelley’s novel. The creature wants those remaining to understand his story and how he could relate to others. Yet in some ways, Safie (while a minor character) is everything the creature isn’t: alive, beautiful, and embraced by (the Delacey) family. Through her beauty, she is accepted and integrates herself into a good situation. One definitely better than before with her father. Safie becomes a part of a society and culture where the creature could only imagine about. However, once she is exiled much similar to the creature’s situation they find a common ground. Once the creature and Safie are both suffering and homeless, they experience life at its most desperate measures. Exiled and the other cast out, the two desire acceptance and family. Safie only receives this. There are two reasons, that includes beauty and social roles. The creature has neither of these. He is considered ugly and ostracized by other societies because he does not fit in by their standards.

Turkish Girl

Turkish Girl by Karl Briullov

As mentioned before, this falls in line with Safie’s appearance and her status. She is beautiful and has a role. That would be to be a part of a family, marry Felix, and continue that cycle. She’s young, a good age to marry, and already accepted into the family. The best part for Safie is, “remaining in a country where women were allowed to take a risk in society was enchanting to her.” where she could gain freedom through a marriage of Felix whom she truly does love (112). This idea of eagerly wanting to become a part of another society relates to Gloria E. Anzaldúa’s borderland theory. Safie wants to leave her past and culture behind in exchange for a better life in a new society. She and the creature want to pursue a better life and will give it all up because of their past experiences. They want to become a part of a different society and culture where they can have freedom and chances.

Outcasts

By Maya Carranza

In Frankenstein by Marie Shelley, the creature faces reality as many people treat him poorly and is seen as an outcast because he is different. Due to the fact that he looks so unlike everyone else and is a “monster”, the creature is alienated and becomes an outsider. Thus, the creature sets off into the world where he learns about others that have been discriminated and have been shut out by society.

Internal colonization was created in order to have inequality and discrimination against certain ethnic groups over others. Those affected by internal colonization are often seen as unwelcome aliens and are treated differently. Safie, a Turkish refugee, is illustrated in the same heartbreaking way as the creature in which society sees refugees or immigrants as outsiders and aliens. The creature and Safie form a relationship and connect as they are both viewed as outcasts and as different. This connects to today’s society as “non-white” people are seen as people that don’t belong in the U.S. and are treated unequally. The monster decides to give the letters written by Safie in order to prove the “truth” about the oppression the creature, Safie, and others like them face.

discrimination

By Mahealani LaRosa

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Although one may not think it, colonialism and racism are rampant in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. The most obvious examples of this are through the scenes involving the monster, but also through the story of Safie, the Muslim migrant lover of cottage-dweller Felix. Both of these characters are essentially isolated and discriminated against for being different than what society deems normal. Throughout the novel, the creature is pushed away by society, literally “attacked… bruised by stones and many other kinds of missile weapons” (98) when he tries to enter the world of humans. Undeterred by his horrific treatment, he “longed to join them” (101) and continues to watch the cottage-dwellers to “discover the motives which influenced their actions” (101). Although he is beaten and chased and cast away by people, he still wants to know why. He wants to understand what makes him different, asking himself  “Who was I? What was I? Whence did I come? What was my destination?” (115) to better comprehend the reason he is seen as lesser than man.

The chief difference between the creature and Safie is that although she is different than the cottage-dwellers and the other European citizens of the novel, she is somewhat more accepted than the monster. Felix was “ravished with delight…. every trait of sorrow vanished from his face” when he sees Safie for the first time. Although Safie has “a language of her own” she somehow still manages to make all of the cottage-dwellers overcome with “ecstatic joy” (106). She manages to make the humans happy, while the creature makes the humans scared and angry. What is the difference between these marginalized people?

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o wrote a book called Decolonising The Mind in which he explains that language has the power to define individual identity. Those who are oppressed, like the monster and Safie, must learn to use their own language, not the language of their oppressors. This does make sense in Safies case. She spends weeks stumbling to learn the language because she feels the need to be internally colonized in order to truly connect and understand Felix and his family. However, the creature is never born with it’s own language. It is created in the middle of its life, without anything to call its own. It is kind of ironic how fast the creature picks up the language though. The monster says it could “imitate almost every word that was spoken” while Safie “understood very little” and “conversed in broken accents” (108).

I think that the creature uses Safie’s letters to ‘prove the truth of it’s tale’ because it strengthens this idea that they are both internally colonizing theirselves. While the creature does it in a more blatant way, easily picking up on the language and speaking eloquently, while also longing to be a part of society, Safie demonstrates this idea more. She is accepted and loved by this family, technically a part of society, but she will never be understood because of where she comes from. She stifles her own language, therefore stifling her own growth as a human, to be loved by people who tell her that her life will be better with them. She is free to become whomever she chooses, but society has enforced this idea in her brain that in order to be truly accepted she must be like everyone else and internally colonize herself.

Acceptance

Marginalization is radically expressed in Mary Shelley’s novel “Frankenstein”. The creature and Safie both share a major thing in common, which is feeling or being outcasted from society. The connection between the monster and Safie is hard to miss because on one end we have the monster who feels utterly alone. His physical appearance is what alienates him from the rest of society. He realizes that he will never be fully accepted within society because he does not fit in with the social norms. For a while the creature feels alone, and completely exiled from a world that he was artificially brought into. When the creature discovers Safie’s letters he realizes that he is not the only one going through this situation. Safie’s story revealed to the creature that social injustices exist everywhere amongst many people. Safie, the creature, and Safie’s father are all victims of oppression. Safie being a Turkish refugee was trying to escape the injustices in her homeland only to enter a land with similar controversies. Both Safie and the creature find themselves in the same predicament, trying to fit in but no matter they will never be fully socially accepted. “I soon perceived, that although the stranger uttered articulate sounds, and appeared to have a language of her own, she was neither understood by, nor herself understood, the cottagers.” (Shelley 106).The letters was a way for the creature to show Victor the struggles that he now faces, because of him. He is now a victim of colonization, just like Safie, however they come from two completely different backgrounds. The discrimination presented in Shelley’s novel is very apparent in todays world, it exposes the struggles of being “different”.

~Dariana Lara

 

By: Sandra Tzoc

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In Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein”, the character of Safie and the creature as well as her father find themselves mirroring each other. They are all marginalized by the society they live in, trying to adapt to Europe and a culture that is foreign to them. The creature in a set of letters describes Safie’s experience as, “the truth to my tale” because her story resonates with his isolation from the world around him. Both face obstacles when trying to adapt to society and are looked down upon by the rest of the public. Safie’s father was wrongly accused and this is important because it portrays the truth of foreigners even today. Mary Shelley wrote about issues that are still prevalent today. The immigrants in this country are described and seen as rapists and criminals who steal American jobs. Everyday there is a struggle for belonging in this country and this is analogous to the experience of both Safie and the creature. Although they try to fit in and be understood by those around them, the community doesn’t seem to be very accepting or tolerant. Both characters are voyagers on this unknown land because Safie and her family are trying to fit in into this new world away from home and the creature who was abandoned by his creator had to educate himself. Their stories intertwine, and they find comfort in each other through their misfortunes.