I suggest that this is a product of studying the humanities.
Science and technology may represent progress, but the humanities teach one how to feel, how to cope, how to experience life, and also how to nurture a sympathetic imagination.
Complications in the novel reinforce the necessity of critical thinking, and in my estimation, one can look particularly toward what I call the “humanities portion” of the novel for a broader human education. The monster reads Milton’s Paradise Lost, portions of Plutarch’s Lives, and Goethe’s Sorrows of Young Werther.
I assert that students can learn to learn from the monster. While many critics examine the texts in terms of their relation to different Romantic literary movements, I am more concerned with the effects of these texts on the monster himself. Perhaps it is best to use the creature’s own words to show exactly how he learns from these books and how the books affect his hopeful humanity.
As the monster puts it, “[These books] produced in me an infinity of new images and feelings, that sometimes raised me to ecstasy, but more frequently sunk me into the lowest dejection” (91).
Frankenstein S Monster Essays
While I am sure Mc Lane would argue that the dejection shows the failure of the humanities to educate an individual (again the “ruse of the humanities”), I argue that this becomes evidence of completing the human individual. Unlike Mc Lane, I believe the monster learns how to be human.
In fact, she mentions what she calls the “ruse of the humanities” as a particular danger for Frankenstein’s monster.
As she puts it, “In entertaining humanist fantasies, the monster forgets his corporeally and nominally indeterminate status: the community of letters presupposes a human community, and the humanities presuppose humans.
One of the more remarkable points I find in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is when the monster, watching cottagers and their daily lives, stumbles upon books and reads these texts in an effort to make himself more “human.” The monster, a creation of scientific experimentation and not human by birth, seeks to become more human, more acceptable, and more understood. In fact, I am particularly struck by how ’s monster could become an example for up-and-coming college students who, quite lost in the modern university, could discover themselves and learn about their own humanity through significant study in the humanities.
Indeed, the questions he asks of himself are central to the core of human self-understanding. The monster, feeling un-human (and quite honestly he really is) turns to the humanities to become a more functioning member of European society. He finds some answers in reading the classics of literature.