The three great American literature perfectly the tragedy of a common man, with the most
A common man fighting for what he thinks he deserves. “a character who is ready to lay down his life, if need be, to secure one thing— his sense of personal dignity” and “his rightful position in society.”
Humans lose their dignity only when they themselves have lost hope in personal redemption.
Frankenstein is not an American literature, but still reflects the struggle for the American ideals.
Disclaimer: monster = outcasts
Even though monsters may lack in standardized social traits, their dignity still remains because they have not lost hope in personal redemption. According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, human dignity is a defined trait of “reasoning, autonomous choice, complex communication, participation in social relations, sympathy, and empathy.” These traits are widely exclusive. The quote argues that if one person fails to embody any of these “dignity-grounding capacities”, then the person instantly loses his/her qualification of being “human.” The Christian narrative of a man’s completion is not the “fall”, but the “landing” and the “redemption.” Lacking of any abilities in reasoning or communication is not the last condemnation of man but simply the “fall” which can be redeemed.
In the novel Frankenstein, the creation which Victor has “reanimated”(pg. 32) back to life is constantly exiled, dismissed and isolated by society due to his hideous “appearance.” The monster, being aware of his flaw, requests Victor to create him a companion to cure his agony and evil intentions. He promises that he’ll exile himself “to the vast wilds of South America” and will no longer “destroy the lamp and the kid the glut my appetite.”(pg. 105) The monster reasonably confesses for his redemption by making “peace with the whole kind.” (pg. 105) His last act from his dignity presents us the last hope he wishes to seize and to restore his previous misbehaviors.
In the Scarlet Ibis, being born “invalid” and even dismissed by his own parents as a half-human who’s not “all there”, Doodle was not never expected to perform any of the “dignity-grounding capacities”. Later, his brother took pride in training Doodle and the two poured months into the training. When finally, Doodle first stood alone for a few seconds, “hope no longer hid in the dark palmetto thicket but perched like a cardinal in the lacy toothbrush tree, brilliantly visible.” With the tiny glimpse of success, Doodle hasn’t lost hope in pushing baby steps and restoring what was taken from his birth.
Now, what hesitates the readers to be convinced that both outcasts were redeemed was their deaths. In both literary works, Frankenstein and the Scarlet Ibis, the monster and Doodle died as the resolution to the ending…but none the of the deaths negate the dignity of the two main characters.
“Even death did not mar its grace, for it lay on the earth like a broken vase of red flowers, and we stood around it, awed by its exotic beauty.”
As the text presented itself, that death cannot erase the beauty and hope from its previous life. Shown in the detailed comparison of the scarlet ibis and Doodle’ corpses: his “vermillion neck” identical to the bird’s “long, graceful neck jerked twice into an S”; his “little legs, bent sharply at the knees” and “legs…crossed and claw-like feet…delicately curved at rest”, Doodle, the “fallen scarlet ibis”,fragilely dead, but “death did not mar its grace” and its “exotic beauty.”
Biff and his family were outcasted from the American Dream.
“The ideal that every U.S. citizen should have an equal opportunity to achieve success and prosperity through hard work, determination, and initiative.”
The play reached its climatic scene when Biff realized his dream lies in “the work and the food and time to sit and smoke.” He broke through the barriers of the business box and said “Why am I trying to become what I don’t want to be? What am I doing in an office, making a contemptuous, begging fool of myself, when all I want is out there, waiting for me the minute I say I know who I am!”
-commas go in the quotes
Don’t barred the main characters from redemption.
“phony” American Dream
– His death doesn’t negate his dignity
Not death that bars us from redemption
Outcasts (more inclusive than monster)
Biff is a failure
He qualifies for redemption
The redemption extends to him
He takes on the redemption
But later in the story, as his older brother trained Doodle to be like ever other boy in school, to run, to swim.When finally Doodle first “stood alone for a few seconds”, victory and pride filled the hearts of the two brothers. “Hope no longer hid in the dark palmetto thicket but perched like a cardinal in the lacy toothbrush tree, brilliantly visible.”
ashamed of his handicapped brother, the older brother decided to train him to be like everybody else in school.
What the “perverted” humans deserve: equal inherent human dignity that cannot be waived or diminished; recognization and respect; positive obligation from the states to realize their socioeconomic rights.