Don't Judge A Book By It's Cover
In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Paul Lawrence Dunbar's poem "Theology" and Countee Cullen's poem "Tableau" they demonstrate that all people are different and that we shouldn't judge someone due to how they look on the outside. In Frankenstein we see towards the middle of the novel how the monster is not what Victor makes it out to be but instead we learn about the monster's growing appreciation and understanding of family. "Theology" and "Tableau" have similar scenarios where the problem falls with race and the failure of people to understand that white and black people are equal.
In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein when the monster is first created the reader develops the understanding, along with Victor, that the monster is horrid and evil. It's not till later on when Victor encounters the monster and the monster tells Victor of his growing understanding of family that it now has after observing his cottage neighbors secretly for an extended period of time. The monster appreciates the devotion of the family he is observing due to how lonely he is. The monster realizes that he is lonely due to the fact that he is much horridly different looking than human. He says, Of what a strange nature is knowledge! It clings to the mind, when it has once seized on it, like a lichen on the rock." The monster curses the knowledge he has now obtained because it brought him to realize that he is a monster that no one will ever love and this knowledge is irreversible. The reader now feels pity for the monster and realizes that maybe the monster is sought out to be as evil as the reader thought in the earlier chapters.
In the poem "Tableau" by Countee Cullen, one white boy and one black boy are walking through the town together. In doing so people who are observing this are confused and don't understand why two people of different races are walking through the town together. Cullen plays on the innocence of children here reminding us that children don't see color, only friendship. It's something important to remember that we all aren't that different and that the color of our appearance shouldn't matter. This is similar to Frankenstein because just like how the reader judged the monster, the people who judge the two boys for walking together are making assumptions solely due to the exterior of the two boys.
In the poem "Theology" by Paul Laurence Dunbar, the speaker talks about the existence of both heaven and hell. He distinguishes the difference between the two by saying heaven is where he believes his soul will go and hell is where his neighbors will go. The neighbors the speaker is referring to is the essentially white racist people from the speakers town. Clearly the speaker was mistreated by these people due to the color of the speakers skin. This is similar to the poem "Tableau" because in both poems the problem is racism. In both poems people are judging other people not based on their character but solely because of their skin color.
In Oz Bodick's modern retelling of Lliad by Homer he discuses many different characters but the character that was most dynamic was Achilles. In the beginning Bodick made Achilles out to be basically a machine thats only purpose was to kill and listening to him this is what I believed. Achilles though falls in love with a woman and realizes that there can be more to life then just war and killing. Similar to Victor's thoughts on the monster in Frankenstein, and the people that displayed racism in both "Theology" and "Tableau", I judged Achilles and made the assumption, due to the descriptions of his appearances, that he couldn't be changed and is just an asset of war.