words :: books :: ideas

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Frankenstein and Mr. Hyde

The first lecture from my first year at Worldview Academy is also the one that I remember the best. Jeff Baldwin spoke on The Deadliest Monster, contrasting the worldviews portrayed in Frankenstein and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
Both Shelley and Stevenson indirectly answer the question, "What is the nature of man?" The former depicts man as being basically good. She blames society for the wrong actions of Frankenstein's monster. Stevenson, however, shows that man is inherently sinful and that the individual is responsible for his deeds.
I recently realized that I have subscribed to the thinking of Frankenstein.
When I do something wrong, I tend to rationalize (as Mr. Harris would say: "rational lies") and make excuses for my behavior. I'm not feeling very good. I have a headache. I'm working on a project.
I try to blame society [a.k.a. siblings]. You were in my way. You were being too loud.
I even apologize with disclaimers. I'm sorry for [fill in blank], I am just having a bad day. I shouldn't have done that, it's just [insert excuse of choice here].
This way of thinking is wrong. Instead of attempting to shift blame upon others, I need to admit my guilt.
I need to change my thoughts from Frankenstein to Dr. Jekyll.

1 comment:

Jake A. Smith said...

Interesting way of looking at things, and yet very true. It's so easy to deny responsibility for our own actions sometimes. Thanks for the reminder :)