Social Norms In Frankenstein By Mary Shelley
Humans are emotional and fears, anxieties, desires, and ultimately become monsters. In all societies, people organize themselves and others into groups or categories based on the social classes, physical features, languages, religions, etc. Along with categories, society comes with a set of social norms as well. Social norms are society’s expectations or their set of guidelines embedded with rules on how one should and should not behave. When people violate these social norms they usually get excluded from the public because they are not up to par.
For example, someone with an extremely unique look and odd behavior may be looked down on and judged because they don’t quite meet society’s “norms”. Unfortunately, these unwritten expectations exist all over the world and every society has their own distinct set of them. Society places people, places and things into categories in order to make themselves feel comfortable. For example, people may place a certain race in a category based on their preconceived notions. However, In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the monster is not classifiable into any category. Frankenstein is a hideous creature with human like features. He is so abnormal looking, the public cannot see past his grotesque appearance. Because he cannot be categorized him and does not conform to the social norms, society rejects him out of fear. After he was rejected, he murdered several people out of revenge and the monster demanded the help of Frankenstein to create a female counterpart. It would give the monster someone to be with in this lonely and cruel society.
This monster story fully supports Cohen’s third thesis, “ The Monster is a Harbinger of a category Crisis. ” Cohen explains that monsters “are disturbing hybrids whose externally incoherent bodies resist attempts to include them in any systematic structuration. ” Frankenstein’s monster is incomprehensible with the normalcy and expectations of the societal concerns. This is what makes the monster a category crisis. He is something we cannot categorize, and because of this, we are scared of him. The Monster never Escapes Thesis II focuses on the idea that monsters always escape in the stories. Cohen explains that whenever people attempt to destroy the monster, it manages to disappear and come back through another form. In many movies, the endings show the protagonist killing the monster then cut to the closing credits. However, as Cohen explained in his theory, monsters always find a way to escape and they reappear multiple times. So the major questions is, the monsters that are killed in the movies, are they really dead? This theory can be supported by the monster Chucky in all the Chucky sequels.
In the film, Charles Lee Ray uses voodoo magic to transfer his soul into a doll. The soul caused the doll to come to life and he continues to be the notorious serial killer. Cohen’s theory that a monster never escapes is clearly portrayed in the Chucky series. Chucky keeps getting killed but he never ends up dying. The haunted doll just keeps getting passed down to people. Over the 5 movies have been filmed and Chucky, the evil monster, has not yet been killed. Therefore, he is the monster that always escapes that Cohen refers to. The voodoo magic that Charles Lee Ray used to possess the doll, is what keeps the doll alive and contributes to his survival. The doll keeps getting repaired continues to live on. Another way I interpreted Cohen’s second thesis is that the reason why the monster never escapes is because producers and writers of monster stories and movies want to keep the audience on edge. They keep bringing the monster back in films to have more sequels and keep the audience frightened. When finishing a horror movie with a cliffhanger, I get a very uneasy feeling afterwards. Even though I know that the movie was fictional, I get this feeling that the monster will now appear in my room and haunt me at night.
The movie puts these ideas in your head that the monster is still out there and might come after you too. In the movie, The Curse of Chucky, we are lead to believe that Chucky might finally be dead. However, he may not be finally dead because like Cohen said the monsters always escape. If you think about it, the villains always come back. So are deaths of the monsters in the horror movies really final? Forbidden PlanetAs I watching the Forbidden Planet movie, one question kept coming to mind, “ Why doesn’t Morbius utilize his robot, Robby, to bring visitors into his world?” Morbius was able to command Robby to do quiet anything with a simple voice command. The scientist had a deep spell over the robot so why wouldn’t Morbius command Robby to bring civilization onto his planet? Morbius’s daughter, Altaira never really had any contact with humans. Because she lived mostly all her life with only her father, she did not know the simple emotions, feelings and gestures humans have with one another. She was very confused on how to act once Adam kissed her. It was a foreign behavior to her and she did not know how to respond.
By living in her home, isolated from the world and civilization, Altaira missed the crucial lessons and memories people go through inlife such as falling in love. She only knew her father and when it came to interacting with the crew she was lost. Living in a bubble with one other person for so many years can become very lonely and your curiosity just begins to spiral out of control because you don’t know what is outside of your bubble. This is why Altaira was very surprised and excited when she saw that a group of human men were in her home. Since Morbius had so many creative machines at home that he worked on, I wonder why he couldn’t create a machine that would bring a new type of species or civilization onto the planet. The planet is very empty and they have no form of contact with the outside world or anyone in general. With a new race of people, they would actually be able to live similarly to the way humans live back at Earth or a civilization similar to the Krell. Altaira would also learn the essential components of being a human. She would be finally humanized.
‘Art is unimaginable without a matrix of culture… it is inconceivable without a history’ . Stephen Cox’s comment articulates the poststructuralist view that the meanings of a text always derive […]
Victor Frankenstein, a young doctor, creates a monster out of dead body parts. Shattered by his mother’s death, he becomes consumed with the idea of bringing the dead back to […]
Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin was destined to be an enigma. She was born August 30, 1797 in Somers Town, England to two highly intellectual, unorthodox, but profoundly influential parents. Her father, […]
In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the novel is formed of three interlinked but ultimately separate narratives. The outer frame for the narrative takes the form of Walton’s letters to his sister […]
The desires of discovering the secrets of the universe and becoming famous have always been human vices, but these quests mainly lead to ruin. In some people, these basic human […]
Frankenstein’s Cat The modern dog ? Canis lupus familiaris ? is now more physically diverse than it ever was. Scientists are still clueless as to how dogs nowadays have little […]
Frankenstein revolves around the conflict between two characters, Victor Frankenstein and the creature. At first glance, the discordant enemies appear to be nothing alike since they are adversaries from the […]
Erin Erkocevic 8 December 2010 An Analysis of Human Nature in Frankenstein, As it Connects to Freudian Psychology In her novel Frankenstein, Mary Shelley skillfully laces a chilling tale of […]
The story of how and why author Mary Shelley wrote the novel Frankenstein is a story within itself. Living as a young woman in 19th century England who experienced a […]
Humans are emotional and fears, anxieties, desires, and ultimately become monsters. In all societies, people organize themselves and others into groups or categories based on the social classes, physical features, […]