The Beauty Of The Dream Essay

1480 WordsSep 10, 20086 Pages
In Mel Brook’s classic film Young Frankenstein, Gene Wilder’s creature struggles to overcome his revolting appearance in order to prove himself capable of human emotions and reasoning. While Brooks’s work is only a loose adaptation of the classic novel by Mary Shelley, it is worth noting that this specific theme – that moral character is unfairly judged by appearance – transcended both versions. Perhaps Brooks, like the audience that first read Frankenstein, realized that judgment by appearance is one of the most developed themes of the original novel, and one that continues to be the most poignant. Throughout the novel of Frankenstein, Mary Shelley argues that society unfairly judges by appearance, casting out anything that is socially displeasing, be it natural or not. From the moment he is given life, the creature of Shelley’s novel is described as hideous. “I had selected his features as beautiful,” Frankenstein says with astonishment, “but these luxuriances only formed a more horrid contrast with his watery eyes” (34). Frankenstein, who for so long labored solely on his creation, is immediately swayed to abandon it based on its appearance. “The beauty of the dream vanished,” Victor states simply. Thematically, Frankenstein’s choice is the most dramatic example of superficial judgment, for in abandoning the creature Frankenstein passes judgment on himself as well. “Oh! No mortal could support the horror of that countenance” he claims, thereby absolving himself in his own eyes. The most dramatic choice of the novel – Frankenstein’s initial rejection of his own work – is also the one to which the reader is most sympathetic, given that neither Frankenstein nor the reader are aware of the creature’s moral character. The reader is, for the moment, forced to don Frankenstein’s own perspective and forsake the monster as the “miserable monster whom I had

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