Frankenstein: Monster’s Appearance & Visual Interpretations Essay

September 29, 2020 by Essay Writer

Frankenstein: Essential Features

First of all, I would like to point out that Frankenstein is considered to be a novel. The author who wrote the story about a monster was an English novelist and dramatist, Mary Shelley. Generally, Frankenstein was a character who was transformed into an ugly creature because of a scientific experiment.

The story of Frankenstein’s appearance is quite interesting. Thus, the novel appeared because four writers decided to write a horror story. It was the so-called competition. So, Mary Shelley took part in the competition and created the character mentioned above.
The novel represents not only the science fiction genre but also combines the Gothic horror genre and the Romantic era. Frankenstein is recognized to be the first true story.

In her novel, the author reflects two sides of the character. On the one hand, it seems that Frankenstein is a real monster as he has killed many people; however, his primary aim was not to kill other characters, he just wanted to get some support and companionship. On the other hand, the character seems to be a human being, whose ill-considered actions led to a catastrophe.

Taking into account the psychological point of view, one can make a conclusion that Victor Frankenstein had some personality disorders. The monster Victor created didn’t want to be cruel; he just wanted to be accepted by others. “The monster needed a friend. Someone he could talk to, someone to love him, and someone to love back” (“Frankenstein: Man or Monster” 3).

The main character wanted to find a friend, but his desire to drift towards civilization became fatal. The most interesting point I would like to highlight is that most of the people are more interested in a person’s appearance than his or her inner world. Unfortunately, the monster experienced the so-called unfair law of life.

Visual Interpretations of the Monster

In my opinion, the monster’s appearance can tell numerous things about the circumstances the main character experienced; however, while judging, people do not draw their attention to the factors, which may cause ugliness.

I suppose that the most impressive appearance of Frankenstein is represented in an American horror film, The Bride of Frankenstein. The film appeared in the mid of the thirties. Boris Karloff was an actor who played a part in Frankenstein. Although the main character of the film really causes the feeling of fear, the picture and descriptions in Mary Shelley’s novel do not coincide.

Thus, according to the novel, the creature was raised from the pieces of human beings’ bodies, while in the film, it is said that Frankenstein was sewed from the bodies of human beings. However, to my mind, the difference in the contexts of the novel and famous film can be neglected as the monster’s appearance is repulsive enough.

According to the novel the monster “is created from various different body parts, he has yellow skin which scarcely covered the work of muscles and arteries beneath, he has lustrous, flowing black hair and white teeth, he has a shriveled complexion and straight black lips” (“Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein” par. 24). The description is rather vivid, as well as the appearance of the monster in The Bride of Frankenstein.

I suppose that the director of an American horror film was focused on the visual interpretation of the main character. However, nobody can deny the fact that Frankenstein is a human being, even when he is depicted as a monster. In my opinion, his appearance reflects pain and suffering.

Unfortunately, people do not take compassion on the ugly creature. In other words, the only reason for Frankenstein’s unhappiness and dramatic events which occur in his life is his appearance. The monster wanted to make contact with people; however, people’s fear prevented the monster’s desire to make some friends. I suppose that the monster’s facial features can tell about his inner state and emotions.

Thus, Karloff’s in Bride of Frankenstein expresses tiredness and hopelessness. The monster is tired of being exiled. The monster’s sharp features tell about his strong mind and willpower. As far as I know people with a pointed chin are rather purposeful, but vindictive. They remember offences for a long time. So, Boris Karloff, who had exactly the same appearance, reflected the inward nature of Mary Shelley’s main character.


Finally, I would like to disclose Frankenstein’s mental state. Thus, in my opinion, nobody can say that he was mentally unstable. I would like to provide you with a quotation to confirm my suggestion or idea. “I also remembered the nervous fever with which I had been seized just at the time that I dated my creation, and which would give an air of delirium to a tale otherwise so utterly improbable” (“Frankenstein: Man or Monster” 3). The quotation confirms that the main character couldn’t be mentally unstable, as he could feel fever. On the other hand, I would like to point out that facial expressions usually reflect mental disorders.

Works Cited

Frankenstein: Man or Monster,” n.d.,, Web.

“Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein,” n.d.,, Web.

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