How To Raise A Monster

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Humans are shaped by their early influences which is the reason why education and morals are such a large part of books and television for young children. We are molded by the examples that we given from an early age. It is more likely that a child who watches violent television will learn to solve their problems with violence, unlike the child who watches shows that preach peace and moral development.

The same can be said for Frankenstein's monster. At an early age in his development he was subject to literary works featuring death and violence as the answer with no-one to help him comprehend the meaning of the works. Reading novels such as 'The Sorrows of Young Werther' and 'Paradise Lost' damaged his young state of mind and prevented him from developing a sense of empathy. If these were replaced with healthier alternatives such as, 'The Picture of Dorain Gray' and 'Of Human Bondage' the monster might have been able to achieve a state of enlightenment and sense of moral achievement over his creator.

'The Sorrows of Young Werther' is the tale of a man who experiences unrequited love and eventually commits suicide. (Woodbridge) It goes without saying that this would not be recommended for a young child to read. While the monster has a high literary comprehension level he is still not of a concrete developmental stage which takes years to form. He would be unable to grasp the deep meaning behind the work. Giving this to a child would be disastrous to their moral development. Rather than teaching that suicide is the answer when you are heartbroken a substitution of a work by Somerset Maugham would benefit greatly. Being a coming of age story 'Of Human Bondage' would be of his reading level and would teach him that while life is hard if you endure and make good choices you will be rewarded with happiness. The hero, Phillip, much like the monster is somewhat disfigured and without parents. This would be good reading for the monster to teach him that their is a reward in life in and out of itself.

'Paradise Lost' is a work by John Milton which describes the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden and the Fall of Lucifer from Heaven. There are many complicated themes in this novel that would not be understood by one who has not read 'The Bible'. Being stunted in his emotional growth the monster would only sympathize with Satan, not realizing that selfishness and greed is a vice that he should repent. If given ' The Picture of Dorian Gray' he would have realized that selfishness is punished and that murder only spawns guilt and rage. The downfall of Dorian would have made the monster realize that lacking empathy and possessing only beauty are the traits of a shallow sociopathic creature. After reading this he would have tried to change his ways and could have been a better balanced person.

For the monster, not being able to realize the faults of these works was his downfall. Being stunted in his emotional growth only aided in him being unable to comprehend the deeper meaning of the complex works that he read. A healthier collection of books such as 'The Picture of Dorian Gray' and 'Of Human Bondage' would have helped his development rather than stunted it.


Woodbridge, Kim A. "Literary Sources of Frankenstein." Mary Shelley and
Frankenstein | Essays, Bookstore, Research Materials. Web. 08 June 2010.
<http://www.marywshelley.com/essays/literary-sources-of-frankenstein/>.





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