In this week’s readings I was able to connect Walt Whitman’s poems with Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” quite easily. Each of the readings relates to the body and the individuality that goes along with each human being. The workings of the body and mind of a human are evidently present in each piece of literature.
In Walt Whitman’s poem, “I sing the Body Electric,” he goes into great detail about the human body. The first line of the poem struck me as the most important, “O my body! I dare not desert the likes of you in other men and women, nor the likes of the parts of you.” Whitman means that he would not change his body to model somebody else. In today’s society, appearance is often keyed upon and outer beauty takes the helm over someone’s personality or inner beauty. Whitman goes on in the poem to celebrate the aspects of the body in great detail. The message I received from Whitman was that individuality and your own body is your greatest asset. You should appreciate yourself no matter how you look.
When we watched the Dove commercial “Real Beauty” in class I never realized how much effort goes into making somebody look perfect. Today you can go on a computer and air brush, virtually tan and almost do anything to make a person look as perfect as possible. Today’s world is all for perfection and Whitman tries to go against that.
The second of Whitman’s poems “One’s-Self I Sing” conveys a strong message of independence and democracy. Whitman believes in freedom of a person (within the laws of a society.) Men and women of every creed, color, race and religion deserve freedom of speech and everything written under the constitution onto which our country was founded upon.
In “Frankenstein”, the monster is discriminated against because he turns out to be an ugly creature. Victor Frankenstein created the monster for the sole purpose of fulfilling his own dreams of re-creating a person. Instead of trying to teach the monster how to live in this world that Victor brought him into, he abandons him leaving the monster to learn on his own.
In conclusion, today’s world relies on perfection. Material things take the places of families and outer beauty outweighs inner beauty. Through Whitman and Mary Shelley’s writings they tried to show that not everything is based on appearance. The monster in “Frankenstein” has good intentions when he tries to help others but because he was neglected he makes terrible decisions and hurts innocent people. If everybody on earth could see through the masks and mirrors life puts ahead of us, then we could truly be an equal society as Whitman believed.