For, it is through science that the monster gains his being; the humanities only complicate his situation and make him realize that, indeed, he is not human, and as a creation of science he is simply not what he hopes to be.
While I admire Mc Lane’s study, and in many ways can understand her thesis and evidence, I still think that the lesson one can learn from the novel is that the humanities can immediately humanize an individual who otherwise finds him- or herself awash in a world that excommunicates the individual and enforces conformity.
He is a non-being, and in reading the humanities, from what Mc Lane suggests, the monster only marginalizes himself more.
In a very deep and difficult study, Mc Lane suggests that Frankenstein is a novel that appears to promote the sciences over the humanities.
Studying the effect of the Frankenstein story on students (referring quite often both to the novel itself and film adaptations of the text), Bissonette discusses the natural sympathy students reserve for the monstrous creation of Victor Frankenstein. It is that connection that I encourage us to exploit in this essay.
She notices that, “Armed with good-hearted native sympathy, students are quick to find parallels in our world” (108). If students can find sympathy with the monster, perhaps too they can learn with and from the monster, and become not only better students, but also students who are, in a world where this is ever decreasing, well-versed in the humanities.
Bissonette’s essay provides interest, but her study does not speak to the whole of my project.
Her concern is how to complicate students’ readings of Frankenstein and move beyond simple dichotomies and hasty generalizations.
The monster presupposes his potential humanity; in this he succumbs to the ruse of the humanities” (975).
For Mc Lane, the humanities only enable the monster to realize his own marginality.