Prejudice As Depicted In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

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English literary critic and essayist William Hazlitt once said, “Prejudice is the child of ignorance.” Throughout the course of history, human beings of all backgrounds, religions, and races have been victims of prejudice. Prejudice is the result of preconceived notions, superficial judgments, and ignorance of the lives and feelings of others. Ableism a form of prejudice against people with disabilities (“Stop Ableism”). People who suffer from mental, physical, and emotional disabilities are often denied the basic rights of inclusion in society and can face extreme discrimination in finding housing and jobs. Similarly, in Mary Shelley’s 1831 novel, Frankenstein, Dr. Frankenstein’s creature faces societal prejudice due to his outward physical appearance. Both people with disabilities and the creature suffer from preconceived prejudices towards their appearances, but their responses to these…show more content…
This prejudice has existed for centuries. The ancient Greeks, for example, believed that disabled and sick people were inferior and should not be allowed in society (Munyi). Prior to the late 1800s, people who suffered from mental illnesses such as autism, cerebral palsy, and/or epilepsy were cared for at home by family members. Beginning in the late 1800s, different agencies began to build institutions to care for the developmentally disabled. Often, these institutions were situated far from cities on the outskirts of towns (“Society’s Attitude”). The prejudice against the mentally and physically disabled was and still is based on fear and ignorance. By segregating the disabled due to unfounded and irrational fears, society seeks to contain the possible “danger” these people represent to what is accepted as

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