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A Monster Misunderstood

By hannahmccool Dec 04, 2012 787 Words
Frankenstein: A Monster Misunderstood
Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin Shelley's Frankenstein is a novel that was published in 1831. The story seems to center around Victor Frankenstein. As a reader, however, one does not appreciate the creature's perspective until the climax of the book. The monster is abandoned by his creator and is left to fend for himself in world that does not understand him. This paper will focus solely on the opposing side of the story. The creature's path is examined from his creation, outcast, learning process, voyage to locate Victor, request for a mate, and the subsequent revenge against Victor for not upholding his promise. Victor Frankenstein flees after bringing the monster to life. Alone and confused, the monster is left to interpret the world around him. Initially, the creature is completely ignorant to every aspect of life. The monster states “A strange multiplicity of sensations seized me, and I saw, felt, heard, and smelt at the same; and it was, indeed, a long time before I learned to distinguish between the operations of my various senses” (70-71). He lacked even the most basic knowledge in his beginning, and he had no one to guide him through this process. In the creature's quest for food, the monster curiously enters a stranger's home. “Finding the door open, I entered. An old man sat in it, near a fire, over which he was preparing his breakfast. He turned on hearing a noise; and perceiving me, shrieked loudly, and quitting the hut, ran across the fields with a speed of which his debilitated form hardly appeared capable” (73). After his encounter, with the elderly man the monster wanders, somewhat aimlessly. He happens upon a village, entering the one of the nicer cottages because of the allure of food. The townspeople immediately reject him and either physically wounding him with weapons or run in fear. The monster leaves the town to seek refuge against the villagers attack, gaining a new fear for human beings. “This hovel, however, joined a cottage of a neat and pleasant appearance; but, after my late dearly bought experience, I dared not enter it” (74). The monster begins to learn the more challenging characteristics of human behavior such as speech, reading, and relationships. “I found that these people possessed a method of communicating their experience and feelings to one another by articulate sounds. I perceived that the words they spoke sometimes produced pleasure or pain, smiles or sadness, in the minds and countenances of the hearers” (78). The De Lacey's directly taught Safie language, reading, and comprehension, while unwittingly providing knowledge to the hidden monster. “While I improved in speech, I also learned the science of letters as it was taught to the stranger; and this opened before me a wide field for wonder and delight” (84). Through his secret vantage point, the creature obtained more than just articulation and literacy. “My thoughts now became more active, and I longed to discover the motives and feelings of these lovely creatures; I was inquisitive to know why Felix appeared so miserable and Agatha so sad” (80). The creature finally collects enough courage to approach the family that he has grown to adore. This confrontation begins with the blind father whom the monster feels will have the least amount of prejudice against him. A meaningful conversion ensues only to be destroyed by the untimely arrival of the rest of the De Lacey family. He is cast out of the household. The mission then becomes to find his creator that has inadvertently caused him isolation, rejection, and countless suffering. “CURSED, CURSED creator! Why did I live? Why, in that instant, did I not extinguish the spark of existence which you had so wantonly bestowed?” (97). In his anguish, he begins his extensive journey to find Victor Frankenstein, the creator. Using the notes the he had procured after his creation he discovered Victor's homeland of Geneva. The monster travels for an extended period of time before reaching Geneva. He stumbles upon Victor's younger brother, William, and, in a moment of rage, strangles him with his bare hands. This action does cause Victor to come home, which is the desired outcome for the monster. The creature convinces Victor to meet and talk with him by a fire. He is certain that if he could have a mate created in his likeness, he could find true happiness. The monster is successful in persuading Victor to begin the long process of creating and female version of himself. Victor partly finishes the gruesome task before concluding that he is making another mistake. Victor states “Begone! I do break my promise; never will I create another like yourself, equal in deformity and wickedness” (122).

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