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ExhibitionTransformation of a Monster: Poor, Helpless, Miserable Wretch

Mary Shelley gave her monster feelings and intelligence. Fatherless and motherless, the monster struggles to find his place in human society and wrestles with the most fundamental questions of identity and personal history. Only after he is denied human relationships and acceptance by society does he turn to rage, revenge, and murder.

  • Man seated against wall with his arms wrapped around bent knees and chin buried in a straightjacket.

    Aliéné en démence from Des maladies mentales considérées sous les rapports médicale, hygiénique et médico-légal (Demented lunatic from Medical illnesses as considered in medical, hygienic, and medico-legal perspectives), 1838

    Author: Étienne Esquirol (1772—1840)

    Courtesy National Library of Medicine