For a lawyer, his ‘admission’ ceremony is a rite of passage where his ‘mover’ (usually his ‘sifu’ or Master, in Chinese) would plead to the court that his young little trainee or pupil is ready to be admitted to the High Court to play with the big kids (or ‘called to the bar’ for barristers). Due to life’s ironies, I was admitted on Halloween in 2015.
The following is an excerpt from my admission speech which was cut out from my mover’s submissions because it was too long but would be appropriate and meaningful to share:-
The story of Frankenstein
“Since Godfrey’s childhood, his mother had exposed him to the literary arts. He vividly remembers as a child that his mother had him read Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, a child’s horror. As today is Halloween, it is only fitting to share his encounter with Frankenstein.
In the novel, Dr. Victor Frankenstein created a “monster” from tissues of the dead. The monster turned out to be so hideous that Victor abandoned him. The monster, or “Frankenstein,” we call him, faced loneliness and alienation. He was eventually driven to a murderous path to seek vengeance on his creator.
Contrary to his mother’s expectation, Godfrey did not find a horrific monster in Frankenstein. Rather, he saw a dejected and tormented child. He longed for acceptance, but was instead traumatized by rejection. Finally, he committed murderous crimes only to spite his creator for having created his misery.
Frankenstein taught Godfrey much about humanity. One should never judge a person from his appearance. Deep inside, there is always a human being within. This idea would shape much of Godfrey’s outlook in his future years.
Apart from today being Halloween, Godfrey shares the story of Frankenstein for yet another reason. In getting to know Frankenstein, we will discover that if human emotion is what makes us human, then there is no doubt that Frankenstein too is human. Or to put it another way, we are all Frankenstein.
Lest we know, there are many Frankensteins lurking within our society, ostensibly hidden. The foundation of our legal system is that everyone is equal before the law, even our Frankensteins. The law should serve to help and protect them. That is what the law means to Godfrey.”
– 31 October 2015