Friday, May 10, 2013

Reading Responce 1&2

Reading Response 1: Creator/Creation

At the beginning of Frankenstein, Victor sets out to create a being that is his own creation and seeks to build a species that will honor him as their all-mighty creator. In his haste, Victor ‘s laboratory practice and experiments completely engulf and consume him. One of the most interesting themes within the novel is that you are what you create. Victor ends up creating a monster that is in actuality a reflection of his own feelings of isolation, anguish, and contempt. The monster isn’t created to be a wretched being, but his encounters with humanity and his longing to be loved push him into acts of revenge.
By the end of the novel Shelley has reversed the roles of Victor and the Monster. Victor becomes the monster once he becomes responsible for the fate of his loved ones. Victor is so worried about what the community and his family would think if he admitted to creating such a monster that he hides behind it. 

Reading Response 2:  John Stuart Mill, On Liberty Response

While reading along and listening to On Liberty, one of the things I found interesting was how Mill stresses the importance of individuality. He sets up many of his arguments around the premise of the act of making choices vs. accepting customs. Earlier on in the second part of chapter two, Mill discusses that without a counteractive force on any opinion to an individual thought, the conviction looses its vitality. I think it’s very interesting that Mill is suggesting that all of our own thoughts and beliefs are become relative to one another. Without that kind of individual thinking and free discussion, our beliefs don’t matter because there isn’t an objection or force against them. In the middle of chapter three, Mill goes on to argue that Europe is headed in the same direction as China and that civilization often means a growth towards conformity. Mill points out that this is all happening because the majority of society is already conformed into a social standard and is blinded to the fact that individualism is not something that should always be looked down upon. Every person has a natural intuitive reaction that should not be penalized unless the individual acts out in a harmful way.
I can agree with most of what Mill writes. To have an individual identity and belief, there will always have to be a mainstream or societal opinion to contrast it. It’s important to have some kind of friction that helps keep our own convictions alive. 



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