Tag Archive: struggle


See My Struggle

Rilee Hoch

The reason Frankenstein’s creature is determined to tell Victor his narrative story through the letters of Safie, a young immigrant woman, is because he wants to make the deep connection between the two creatures. He can recognize that he too, falls into the category of a subaltern and that Safie and him are alike in many of their struggles. He knows all these things, but he wants to tell his story in context of her experience so that Victor too can recognize the immigrant like struggles his monster had to endure. He is trying to wake Victor from deep inside his Patriarchal blindness and expose the plight that he, and other groups considered subaltern, face from those who are not a part of the subaltern. Safie and the creature are both groups that have been oppressed by their surroundings and are breaking free to overthrow that oppression and change the culture, people, or things that have ruled over them.

Anzaldua speaks on barriers, which is a big theme in this part of the novel. We can see that Safie’s father has to get out of the country and find refuge in another, as do Felix and his family. The creature often crosses boarders much easier than Safie does, but neither have any hesitation in traveling across nations for their cause. Both are seeking love shelter and happiness in these journeys. Victor cannot see the pain that he has caused this creature by creating him in a way that he was destined to be an outcast of society and looked upon as a member of “other” rather than a part of “us”. Frankenstein is a colonizer, and his creature is the colony he has created, but he is not a colonized people. He has not only made him into an outcast of society, but he has refused to intercede into his life to control it. Both Safie and the creature are the same in that way, that they are mistreated and then left on their own to seek out their own justice which they find by leaving their oppression behind and going on a boarder crossing journey towards enlightenment.

Isolated

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.

Blog Summary Day 1

            At the root of the relationship between the creature and Frankenstein is the desire for control and the subsequent struggle by each party to assert control. Namely, we see that Frankenstein’s control over the creature is violently challenged by the creature, and Frankenstein responds in violence. The relationship can be generalized to the observation that all challenges to control is propagated by and is immersed in violence.

Frankenstein is born into a wealthy, upper class family, thus from the beginning he holds privileged station in life. His money and privilege allows him to not only exert control in a multitude of ways, but his exertion of control is never directly challenged. Frankenstein’s subsequent studies into biology and chemistry are an extension of his desire for control, as they are means for him to control a realm uninfluenced by human ideals of money and class: the natural realm. Frankenstein creates the creature driven not by an idealistic altruism, but rather a desire to control life, the ultimate untouched realm for man, and thus the ultimate expression of control. Although he reviles the creature and rejects its existence, he still maintains a passive control over the creature, by virtue of the fact that it is his creation, and he is its creator.

However, we see that the creature does not want to be under the dominion of Frankenstein. It learns language and learns of culture, essentially receiving the fundamental components of being human. When the creature attains this near humanness, it begins to display human qualities, most notably sympathy and free will. If it begins to display human qualities, it will inevitably begin to experience human desires, thus, the desire for a female companion, and more importantly, the desire for control. The sheer magnitude of Frankenstein’s control over the creature drive it towards violence, as it correctly determines that the only way to free from Frankenstein’s control is violence. This is the first direct challenge to Frankenstein’s assertion of power, and Frankenstein responds with violence as well. He does not try to reason with the creature and is willing to sacrifice both his ideals and his station in life to destroy the creature, not out of choice, but out of necessity. The deaths of William and Justine, acts of violence by Frankenstein, not only serve as catalysts for the transformation of Frankenstein, but they also ensure Frankenstein that he himself would be destroyed if he does not embrace violence. This antagonism between the creature and Frankenstein strikingly parallels the class antagonism elucidated by Marx. In conjunction with Marxist philosophy, their relationship can be generalized to reveal a somewhat dark and cynical portrait of humanity, in which struggle for control is ubiquitous and bloody.