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English_Frankenstein(4-28) - Greenberg 1 Samuel A Greenberg...

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Greenberg 1 Samuel A. Greenberg Professor Dula English 111 28 April 2007 The Monstrosity That Civilization Creates: Frankenstein’s Monster as the Archetype of Modern Evil in Society "If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being and who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?" (Alexander Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago ) The duality of good and evil exists in all men as the driving force of the natural right to choose among multiple options. Therefore, the existence of evil and the monstrosity of its human form becomes an expected anomaly of living in any civilization. However, the combination needed for the existence of monstrosity in civilization to occur is not determined by the quantitative aspect but instead relies solely on the qualitative. The creation of monsters by society occurs when three specific forces impact any individual as all individuals have the capacity for the greatest evil imaginable. The hubris of any parent in society ultimately leads toward a
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Greenberg 2 child’s transformation into a monster because expectations are created that lead to failure and then eventually a loss of self-identity. The ostracism of an individual creates a separation that challenges the conceived purpose of that individual’s existence. Furthermore, by victimizing any individual, society demonstrates some perceived or real intolerance that both inclines the affected to defend himself by causing harm in return or by ending his own harm through suicide. Often both if these factors pervade all of his existence. The culmination of these forces run through the history of monsters in literature and in our contemporary society. Although evil has never been a desired element of any civilization, we cannot define what is good without it. We cannot make sense out of the wrongs that happen. The reality is that we are our own worst enemies and in this case we are the cause, in a collective sense, of everything that we fear. Man can impact his own destiny and as such he creates monstrosity in society through blind ambition and the ostracism and victimization of his own creations. The blind ambition any parent has will lead toward a child’s transformation into a monster because that child can rarely fulfill those expectations and is thus guaranteed failure. Mary Shelley shows us the ambition of a scientist in Frankenstein .
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English_Frankenstein(4-28) - Greenberg 1 Samuel A Greenberg...

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