The Monsters


The Monsters Essay, Research Paper


To sacrifice oneself and save others is what we ve known as human love, and we have also learned that we should respect those who could perform that in any situation, but in reality, the numbers of those people who don t care about what others do seems much greater than the number of those who do. In Stephen Crane s story, “The Monsters”, Henry Johnson who sacrifices himself into the fire in order to save a little boy gets treated like a monster just because his face has “burned away”(84). This is very serious problem because it s not what happens only in the book, but also in our present lives.

Henry Johnson is a man who works for Dr. Trescott. One evening when Dr. Trescott s house is on fire, Johnson burns mainly his face and the body while he is saving Jimmie, the son of Dr. Trescott. Judge Hagenthrope tells Dr. Trescott that it is rather killing Johnson for the town, for Johnson wouldn t be welcomed by the people in the town. Then he says, “As near as I can understand, he will hereafter be a monster, a perfect monster, and probably with an affected brain”(86). From this line, we can see that Judge Hagenthrope is afraid and worried about Johnson s face because his face will surely scare the whole town. Dr. Trescott does not listen to him and keeps taking care of him. Dr. Trescott takes Johnson to the house of Alek Williams so that Williams can take care of him, but one night, Johnson gets out from the house and wanders around the town. When people see his face, they are terrified, and among them, one “hurled backward with a dreadful cry”(100). The chief of police comes to Dr. Trescott next day and says that he s got Johnson in the jail. He suggests that when Dr. Trescott comes to take Johnson out of the jail, he would better “bring a-er-mask, or some kind of a veil”(103). The chief of police and the people in th town s reaction to Johnson s face is as if it is to a monster. After few days, four men, including Judge Hagenthrope, come to Dr. Trescott and say, “we want you to get out of this trouble”(116). They are thinking that Dr. Trescott s care for Johnson is the trouble because Dr. Trescott is the only man who is doing what the whole town doesn t want, and this appears to be the trouble that Dr. Trescott is having against everybody in town. He refuses gently, for he believes that it is not a thing to do as a human to someone who saved his son.

Johnson was a perfect monster for everybody. The way people treated Johnson before the fire changed as his face changed. Miss Bella Farragut “anounced that she had been engaged to marry Mr. Henry Johnson”(85), but when she saw Johnson s new face, she was shuddering in terror and tried to get away from him. Miss Bella was one who was going to be closest person to Johnson – wife. The story shows that even a closest human being changes and sees with the different look. From the experience of what I ve seen, most of my friends avoid the eye contact with the handicapped people. Not just because to be rude or ignorant to them, but because they don t know where to put their eyes. One other example is that people normally don t want to hang out with those who are not normal. They are afraid of how the public would look at them. Like I mentioned earlier in the first paragraph, we have to respect those who sacrifice to save others. Not to judge people by their appearances is what we ve learned a long time ago. Even if one s outward appearance is far different from normal, we have to try not to be monsters ourselves by ignoring or keeping away from them. In “The Monster”, Johnson seems to be a monster just for the look, but the real monsters are those who don t treat him as a human being with the monstrous thoughts and perspectives inside of them. It is not that hard to know who the real monsters are when we see from a step behind. What I mean is that when one can put oneself in another s place, then there will not be any monsters.

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