Questions on Chapter 15
1. The Sorrows of Young Werter, Goethe (1774)
The Sorrows of Young Werter by Goethe is one of four books the monster finds. He teaches himself to read from it, Milton's Paradise Lost, Lives Plutarch and Victor’s lab notes. The story is a classic of German literature and describes a summer spent in the country by Werter where he falls in love with a woman already betrothed to another and eventually blows his brains out. Through it, the monster confronts the idea of suicide and weighs the options of living or ending his own life.
2. Lives, Plutarch, first century AD
This ext defined the history of the world for the creature. It was this text which allowed the creature to be introduced to "high thoughts." The text allowed the creature to think about others, outside of himself: He elevated me above the wretched sphere of my own reflections to admire and love the heroes of past ages.
3. Paradise Lost, Milton (1667)
Paradise Lost was the text which most impacted the creature. It was through this text that the creature first realizes how his "father" abandoned him, like God abandoned Satan. This text allows the creature to feel a connection with another being something he has lacked to this point in his "life." The creature read the text "as a true history," as he read the other texts. He believed the text to be historical and factual in nature. Essentially, the most important idea behind the text was the creature's engagement with another being - given to this point he has felt utterly alone.
4. Victor’s Lab Notes
After the discovery of the satchel, the creature finds Frankenstein's laboratory journal; from it, he learns the circumstances of his creation. He curses Victor and the day he received life; he grieves over his own ugliness and despairs of ever finding human friendship. The creature desperately reflects that even Satan is more fortunate than he “at least Satan has fellow devils to console...