In my English 203 class one day, we had the chance to read re: f (gesture) by Percival Everett. We read the first section in class titled, Zulus. This section is in alphabetical order, which is an interesting thing to me for a poem section, hence my previous blog post. One of the poems caught my eye, and interested me. That poem is F poem. The part of the poem that caught my eye was the last couple lines. “F is for Frankenstein, who did not name his baby. Always name offspring. ‘De donde vienos, amor, mi ninos?’” (Everett, 20)
I remember when I first read Frankenstein in my high school college level English class. I got the Monster and Frankenstein mixed up. I remember thinking that the Monsters name was Frankenstein, I thought that the whole book was written about a monster who went around killing people. Not a doctor who created a monster, that went around killing people for love. I think this was because there’s movies out there, that depict the monster as Frankenstein, but in reality, the Monster doesn’t have a name. Dr. Frankenstein doesn’t give him a name. When my class spoke about the book, it all made sense and was connecting in my head. I reread the book on my own, and I understood it so well, and even better. This past summer, I took a Western Humanities Course, I had the chance to read this book again, and I enjoyed it all over again.
I had to write an essay on the final test of that course. In that essay I had to not only talk about the book Frankenstein, but also Man’s search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. “Frankl speaks about his basic concepts of logotherapy and how one can apply it to their own life, and to others in their life. Frankl argues against Freud’s Pleasure Principle of self-gratification, Frankl states that you must find meaning in life before anything else happens. Which is, meaning and responsibility to others, will bring contentedness, well-being, and as a by-product, happiness.” (Neeley, 1) Victor Frankenstein, the main character of the book Frankenstein, goes through this. He only cares about himself, he seeks only for the self-gratification of himself, he doesn’t care about anyone else but himself. He’s selfish. He’s more focused on his advances in his science career than anything else. “When he creates his Monster, this definitely shines straight through, and shows that he really only cares for his benefit, he only wants everything to himself, he doesn’t want to share. He’s like the kid on the playground that doesn’t want to share his Tonka Truck with anyone else.” (Neeley, 1) Victor doesn’t want to show love, he doesn’t want to show anything, he’s not happy with anything, he’s not even with his Monster, he doesn’t love his Monster. This is why he doesn’t name his monster, like Everett states, always name your offspring, Victor did not. “Victor created this Monster, meaning, Victor should care of this monster like a motherly/ fatherly figure. He should love his monster; he shouldn’t shut his monster out of his life.” (Neeley, 1) Victor is doing this to his Monster.
The baby is Victor’s creation, his Monster. He didn’t name his creation, so, that dehumanizes his creation. It doesn’t give meaning to his Monster. Victor is “the one that made th Monster, and his creation is killing people, his family ironically, so the Monster can try to get Victor’s attention, but Victor does nothing, and stays out of it. He’s selfish enough that when the Monster asks him to create a friend, he does, but he drowns the female creation; so, the Monster can feel what Victor feels in loosing people, loosing people he cares about.” (Neeley, 1) Since Victor is so involved in his work, science, he shuts himself off of the world, and into his own. He ignores everything and everyone, including his creation, hence why he is killing everyone that Victor knows and loves. “The thing that MIGHT bring balance to Victor is for to love. For him to stop focusing on his work so much, and for him to love the Monster for who he is. According to Frankl, ‘Love is the only way to grasp another human being in the innermost core of his personality. No one can become fully aware of the very essence of another human being unless he loves him. By his love he is enabled to see the essential traits and features in the beloved person; and even more, he sees that which is potential in him, which is not yet actualized but ought to be actualized.’ (Frankl, 111)” (Neeley, 1) Victor needs to love himself first, and become fully aware of himself before he can love another human being, or before he can love the Monster. When he starts to love the Monster, he will find out that the Monster isn’t as all bad as he thinks the Monster is. Since Victor doesn’t want another to do with his creation, he ends up killing his creation and fleeing, going crazy, and ending up in the cold North Pole. Talking about a big monster, aka his creation, ending up dying on a ship. Victor ends up going through all of this due to him not being able to love himself, and love his creation. “He found the meaning life, science, but he never connected with anything but science, he secluded himself and only took benefits for himself, and his science.” (Neeley, 2)
We could learn a lot from Victor and his Monster. We learn not to take things for granted when they are put in front of us. To love everything, we are given and take in. To cherish the little things in live, and to take signs seriously. The Spanish quote that Everett mentions, “De donde vienos, amor, mi ninos?” It means, “Where do we come from, love, my children?” This is a beautiful quote, and it fits perfectly with the book Frankenstein. Frankenstein creates a Monster, that he is not able to love, that he is not able to look at. His Monster has to kill people to get his attention, and sadly, that fails. Where do we really come from? Are we an experiment that is going to be ignored for the rest of our life? Or are we just walking around aimlessly like a bunch of airheads look for love, have a couple kids in a nice farm house, and then pass away with our lover on the front porch with a beer and a cigar in hand… That’s the real question. I, myself, don’t even know the answer to that.