Frankenstein: The Story of Monster Abandonment
Victor Frankenstien had created life, to a man that is a great accomplishment. To a woman that is a biological blessing or a curse. Mary Shelley wrote of a man who brought life to the dead and ran away from his creation. It was a time after a failed pregnancy that she wrote the first real horror story. The wanting of a child of her own, her heart probably ached with sadness. So to hear of children being left to fend for themselves in the cold unforgiving forest must have pissed her off. Here she is suffering and every day comes a new story of child abandonment. Although Shelley wrote of a man abandoning his monster many women abandon their own children. It wasn’t so uncommon in the 18th century in fact it’s not so uncommon now. Abandonment can have many forms not just leaving their new born on the steps of a random house. There are also women who leave their children alone for men or drugs.
Child abandonment happens when a parent, guardian, or person in custody of a child either abandons a child without any concerns of the child’s health, physical well being or welfare and with the purpose of completely abandoning the child, or in some cases, fails to present basic care for a child living in their home. Historically, many religions followed abandonment of children, usually called ‘child exposure.’ Children were left on hills, in the forest, near services, and in other common places. If taken up by others, the kids might join another family either as slaves or as free family members. Roman cities in particular chosen captives to raise their kids rather than family members, which were often fair towards their children. Although being viewed by others would allow children who were declined to usually survive, exposure is seldom compared to infantside—as described by Tertullian in his Apology: ‘it is certainly the more cruel way to kill… by exposure to cold and hunger and dogs.’ Despite the connection, other experts report that child-murder and exposure were seen as possibly different in biblical circumstances.
Abandonment developed towards the end of the 19th century, especially in the United States. The most extensive movement of abandoned children in history took place in the United States between 1853 and 1929. Over one hundred and twenty thousand children (not all of whom were intentionally abandoned) were sent west on railroad cars, where families agreed to foster the children in exchange for their use as farmhands, household workers, etc. Children trains were very popular as a source of free labor. The sheer size of the displacement as well as developments and exploitation that happened gave rise to new businesses and a series of laws that encouraged adoption rather than indenture. By 1945, adoption was formed as a legal act with consideration of the child’s best interests. The beginning of the move toward privacy and the sealing of all adoption and birth records began when Charles Loring Brace introduced the idea to stop children from the child trains from returning to or being reclaimed by their parents.
Today, abandonment of a child is supposed to be a dangerous crime in many fields because it can be viewed malum in se (corrupt in itself) due to the immediate harm to the child, and because of wellness concerns (in that the child usually grows a division of the country and in turning, a burden upon the government fisc). For instance, in the U.S. state of Georgia, it is a crime to willfully and deliberately abandon a child, and a felony to abandon one’s child and flee the country. In 1981, Georgia’s handling of abandonment as a felony when the offender leaves the country was reinforced as constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court ‘Rehoming’ is still allowed in Arkansas where, in 2015, state representative Justin Harris made public headlines by rehoming two young adopted children.
I know of many stories of women abandoning their children for all sorts of reasons, but this particular one stuck with me. I know someone by the name of Stephanie who had four children, she was with a man who was only the biological father to her two youngest children. When she first got with this monster of a man her two older daughters were about 1 and 3 years old. Well stephanie ended up abandoning all her children including the two that did not belong to the man because she was out chasing drugs and worried about her own selfish needs. We all praised this man we all thought he was just amazing stepping up and taking care of his children and also raising two little girls that were not biologically his. He took them on trips bought them all the expensive things whatever they desired they had! Then one day it all changed this man’s sister finally spoke out to stephanie letting her know what was going on. In other words this man’s sister knew all along! These little girls were being sexually assaulted since 3 years old until 13 years of age and no one said a thing. Even the man’s girlfriend knew of it, she slept on the couch while the little girls slept with him. Every night they would pray and go to sleep holding each others hands and wake up to one of them gone and in his bed. They never knew what was being done to them was wrong they thought this was what all dads did. They loved that monster because thats all they knew in a father. Kids are abused, sexually abused, abandoned starved and so many more forms of abandonment but still love their parents because that is the only thing they know.
For instance in the book “Frankenstein” By Mary Shelley Victor Frankenstein creates a creature becoming his creator, God you can even say his father. After the monster comes to life Victor Frankenstein runs away because he is frightened by his hideousness leaving him alone in his apartment. The monster was left to fend for himself he didn’t know how to speak, interact with people he basically had the mind of a newborn baby. He was all alone in a world where not one person would speak to him and look at him without running away with fear. Can you imagine being brought into this world without choice and then left to fend for yourself in a cruel world all alone? And still when the monster found out Victor frakenstein was dead he was affected because that was still his father or should I say creator that was the only kind of love he knew.
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