Emotion Commotion

In Plato's The Symposium, a discussion between Socrates and another philosopher, Diotima, arises on how man tries to attain goodness. They agree that man loves what is good and pursues the love of good. The next section of their discussion deals with the function of love, which Diotima argues is procreation. Diotima says that procreation must be achieved in harmony, and that ugliness is out of this harmony:

"That is why Beauty is the goddess who presides over travail, and why, when a person in a state of pregnancy comes into contact with beauty, he has a feeling of serenity and happy relaxation...But, when ugliness is near, the effect is just the opposite; he frowns and withdraws gloomily into himself and recoils and contracts...but has painfully to retain the burden of pregnancy."

Victor Frankenstein, as the creator of the monster, is the victim of exposure to ugliness. Victor has a violent reaction to the monster once it is first brought to life, as it causes "breathless horror and disgust." (57) Victor in this point as well as other times during the novel has his emotions towards the monster control his action. The sight of the monster triggers these emotions, which can be described as out of control and rash. However, the...

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