The Summary of Making Monsters: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

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Judith Halberstam’s 1995, Skin Shows: Gothic Horror and the Technology of Monsters novel includes a chapter entitled, “Making Monsters: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.” In this chapter Halberstam rethink’s Gothic horror in the sense of Frankenstein’s and the Monster’s motives and roles in Mary Shelley’s novel. Halberstam breaks down the chapter in six different sub-sections: “Monster Making,” “Monstrous Forms,” “Visual Horror and Narrative,” “Sexual Horror and Narrative,” “Pulp Fiction,” and “Gothic Realism” (Halberstam 28-52). Theses six sub-sections have a similar theme. Halberstam tries to define the true meaning of monstrosity. She does this by dissecting the humanistic view of a monster and what kind of characteristics a creature needs to posses in order to be defined as a monster. Halberstam begins the chapter with a section entitled “Monster Making,” Halberstam suggests that it’s important to rethink the Gothic genre and look at the making of a human being before analyzing the making of a monster (28). Halberstam picks apart the true meaning of monstrosity and what or who actually scares humans (28). She suggests that Mary Shelley’s novel really implies that people are afraid of people because humans are supposedly the depicters of what is good and what is evil (28). Halberstam infers to keep an open mind to what really is the object of terror (28). She advises that monsters are a figment of our imaginations, the fact that Frankenstein’s monster fits the perfect description to what a human would picture as monstrous (31). Society has created monsters based upon it’s own prejudices and experiences in mortality, gender, sex and even social class: “His humanness depends as much upon his status as male bourgeois and white as the monsters monstrosity depends upon his yellow skin, his gargantuan size, his massive shape and his unstable gender”(32). Halberstam

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