"Do you think, Victor," said he, "that I do not suffer also?

Category: Writing & Reading | Type: Discussion | Title: Frankenstein (in Context) | Author: Mary Shelley | Ch: Chapter 9

The monster's plaintive question is in substance identical to that asked by all demonized individuals whose appearance and conduct differ in race, religion, ethinicity, and sexual politics from the preponderant type. Tribalism is ubiquitous.

Shylock in The Merchant of Venice delivers a powerful speech on just that matter, and the slave on the Wedgwood medallion asks, "Am I not a man and a brother?" Being human and suffering are the defining features—everything else secondary and should be incidental. But an aspect of demonization is the assumption the object is sub-human and therefore its suffering far less. 

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