Tag Archive: victim


         -An imitation of the passage in Chapter 13 on page 108-109

     “The books from which Felix instructed Safie were George Orwell’s 1984 and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago. I should not have understood the significance of these books had not Felix, in reading them, described the magnitude of the ideas implicated by the novels. Through these works, I obtained a rudimentary understanding of the history and ideology behind the most infamous socialist nations of the past and present. I heard from Orwell of the social rigidity and homogeneity of Oceania and from Solzhenitsyn’s writings I heard of the avaricious and recreant Soviets and Felix even told of the cruelty of Chairman Mao in the People’s Republic of China. I heard of the collectivization of farms under Joseph Stalin and I wept with Safie over the hapless fate of the destitute kulaks.”

“ These wonderful narrations inspired me with strange feelings. Was man, indeed, at once so innovative, so virtuous, and conscientious, yet so brutal, envious, and insatiable? He appeared at one time a mere mouthpiece of an evil ideology, and at another as all that can be conceived as fair and compassionate. To be a merciful and just man appeared the highest honour that can befall man; to be envious and brutal, as many on record have been, appeared the lowest degradation, a condition more pitiful than that of the blind bat or harmless dove. For a long time I could not conceive how one man could go forth to murder his fellow, or why there were laws and governments put in place to assist such actions; but when I heard of how envy of the wealthy was being masked as compassion for the poor, my wonder ceased, and I turned away with abhorrence and a feeling of injustice.”

“Every conversation of the cottagers now exposed new forms of malevolence to me. While I listened to the instructions which Felix bestowed upon the Arabian, the strange system of socialist society was explained to me. I heard of the government’s ownership of property, of equal wealth for all regardless of occupation; of rigidity, groupthink, and malevolence.

The words induced me to turn towards myself. I learned that the purpose for such socialist systems was for the equivalence of power and wealth. A man should only be respected if he expressed compassion for those who found themselves at the bottom of any hierarchy and contempt for those who have succeeded much of their own accord. Thus, man was doomed to waste his powers to bestow uniform riches for all people. And so what was my place in this society? Of my creation and creator, I was absolutely ignorant, but I knew that I possessed no capital, no companions, no kind of property. Was I then to receive the pity and compassion of man or would I merely bear witness to the eradication of any man, who in any of his various identities, was considered a tyrant; I was not even of the same nature as man. I was more agile than they and could subsist upon coarser diet; I bore the extremes of heat and cold with less injury to my frame; my stature far exceeded theirs. In these attributes, I knew that I was superior to man, yet with regards to my capital I was an inferior being. What was I then? Was I, then, a victim, a child to be cared for, from which all people empathized with and whom all men pitied? Or was I then an oppressor, a taskmaster to be exterminated from the face of the Earth, from whom all men despised and envied.

I cannot describe to you the agony that these reflections inflicted upon me: I tried to rationalize the reasons for which such system would function without such pathology, but the more I tried to rationalize such ideas, the more I realized the incoherence of such ideas. Should I then separate myself from the society of man, ensuring my survival and evading my inevitable dishonest obliteration from the face of this Earth?

 

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            Regarding my short parody, I choose to imitate the structure and formal aspects of the passage on page 108-109 of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. This passage depicted the creature learning all about human history and the nature of human society in the present; He does this by listening in to Felix’s conversations with Safie as he attempts to teach her how to speak the same language as him. In reading this passage I realized that it often discussed aspects of capitalist based societies as being evil and in some senses unfair. This insinuation of the evils of capitalism is mentioned through constant mentions of a “division of property, of immense wealth” and of higher “rank” being attributed to those who had more money. In attempting to recreate this passage for a modern audience, I reflected on the constant recurrence of the espousals of socialist ideals and of the degradation of capitalism that I hear on a constant basis. Thus, I decided to use this parody as an admonition of the adoption of socialist ideals. Far too often I see the espousal of socialist ideals often grounded in the name of compassion without the recognition of the dangers that socialism has presented throughout history. While socialism is often masked by compassion, it often is motivated by the envy of those who succeed in a free market capitalist system and because of this socialism in many different variations and in different times throughout history has resulted in the mass genocide of those often seen as successful. Furthermore, those people who more recently have embraced the ideas of socialism are those ideologues – usually on the extremes of the political spectrum- who adopt a small number of incoherent irrational axioms to live their life by and center their belief systems around. Because of this adherence to ideologies and social systems based on faulty axioms, I found it incredibly important to broadcast the dangers of socialism. In keeping true to the original passage, I kept the original structure, form, and used similar language to that in the original passage. The original passage began with the creature learning about history from the teachings of Safie by Felix and in my parody, this remains true except he learns of the socialist dictators of the past and portrayed in novels. In this teaching, I chose to use George Orwell’s 1984 and Alexandr Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago to be the novels from which the creature and Safie learn from. This is because Orwell’s novel emphasizes the dangers of groupthink and of the danger of centralizing power in the government while Solzhenitsyn’s novel focuses on the horrors and tragedies that people- usually those with even a modicum of wealth- experienced during the Russian Revolution.  Next, the creature reflects on how man can value such high moral principles yet simultaneously act against them and in my parody I kept similar dialogue but made the dialogue apply in the context of a degeneration of socialism. Finally, the creature speaks of fundamental aspects of human society with an insinuation of an aversion to capitalism and thus in my parody, I used the same structure in my criticism of socialism. Overall, my goal in this project was to convey a caution against the adoption of socialist ideals often adopted in our modern society through a comparably similar imitation of the original passage.

-Steven Gonzalez

December 5, 2018

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.

VictorFrankensteinEsther Quintanilla

When thinking of the spooky tale of Frankenstein, most people usually think of the monster named “Frankenstein” who was created with lightening blasts and crudely sewn body parts. The image above says it all: a wacky scientist yelling “It’s ALIVE!” while a burst of lightening brings the creature to life. This, however, is not the case at all. The actual story of Frankenstein that was written by Mary Shelley has more depth and intricacy than what the watered-down Halloween stories depict.

I have read the novel Frankenstein many times before taking this course; it instantly became one of my favorite novels because of the different layers and intricacies that unfold within it. Immediately, one misconception being that the monster is nothing but an idiotic figure who lacks emotion and self-control. In actuality, the creature is highly intelligent and capable of seeing wrong from right. Another misconception being Frankenstein in the actual scientist who reanimates the “monster” and this “monster” being more human than most of the people in this story. I found myself sympathizing with the creature in various times of the novel because of the fact that he is like most human beings.

The creature did not have the life that he should have. He was abandoned at his “birth”, he was left to learn the world around him with no mentor, and he was shunned by the humans he encountered because of something as superficial as his appearance. All of this leads to a sad, helpless creature who just wants to be loved by another (this request being forbidden by the doctor himself) but is left to isolate himself in the mountains.

Victor Frankenstein is left to blame for the sad series of events that happen in this novel. Maybe the misconceptions have it right: Frankenstein IS the monster and the creature is his victim.