Beauty is defined as a combination of qualities, such as shape, color, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight. In a world where we value the visual beauty of things so highly, it causes us to potentially lose the deeper and more substantial beauty the world has to offer. The story of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, questions the true concept of beauty.
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It dares to ask the question, can one’s physical appearance halt the opportunity for relation to others? I say yes, each character’s physical attraction has much to do with the way they were treated, and how they perceived the world.
Beauty tends to play a major role in how the Monster’s world is perceived. All humans crave to be accepted. The Monster is no exception, but the minute the Creature comes alive, he is given his first taste of the beauty-bound world he was thrusted into. Victor’s first lines after witnessing his creation, Unable to endure the aspect of the being I had created, I rushed out of the room… (Shelley 35) show just how painful the world was for the Monster. The very first breath of life the Monster takes comes right before his creator runs off disgusted by what he made. The creature was born into a world where he had nothing. He has no relatives or friends, nor acceptance. Although, this is not the only instance we can see this.
When the Monster first sees the family in the cottage, he attempts to learn their language, hoping to be accepted. I eagerly longed to discover myself to the cottagers, I ought not to make the attempt until I had first become master of their language(80) He literally hopes to be able to Discover himself within the family. He hopes to learn more about the life that he could live, soley through their acceptance. But this acceptance would be much harder to achieve being that each time he’s made himself known to them, it’s led to him being ousted and attacked. Society’s set expectations of what we see as beautiful and physically attractive can sometimes be seen as wrong and more harmful than helpful.
Beings like the Monster tend to be set lower on our sense of humanity because of their first glance. Society tells us what is beautiful and we just compare the things we see based off that expectation. Participants construct and pursue beauty ideals by mirroring views of their national identity through conformity and identification.(Smith) It’s the environments around us that create the standard we have for what is beautiful in this world.
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