Is Frankenstein a Creature or Monster? Essay Example


In Frankenstein, author Mary Shelley showcases the creature’s relationship with society as one of isolation, abandonment, and hardship. By doing so, Shelley explains the importance of appearance and that a person has more within them than what they look. Therefore, these perceptions on an appearance determine the behavior towards the singular person. Everybody in society wants to be accepted in some way regardless of their physical appearance like the creature. 

The first thing we see with the creature in Frankenstein is when Victor's creation comes to life with “His yellow skin scarcely covered the work of muscles and arteries beneath” (Shelley ch. 5), which symbols that his creation horrifies him. It shows us that when the creature's “dull yellow eye of the creature open” (Shelley Ch. 5), Victor values his decision and regrets it. Leading to illustrate that Victor regrets his decision based on his features instead of seeing what’s on the inside of the creature. Seeing that once Victor created the creature, it showed that his appearance horrifies him and refers to him as a “monster” (Shelley ch.5) and sees him as evil because he appears “ugly” (Shelley ch. 5) when unfinished and finished. After giving his creature life and his eye for “fixed” on Victor, he rushed out of his apartment because of fear, abandoning the life he created because it did not turn out the way he had imagined. The symbolism of Victor leaving that monster would be a reason the kind creature at birth will create a monster at the end. 

By Victor abandoning the creature, the monster has lost his innocence since Victor is his only family and will always be his only family. Because of this, the creature is alone and does not understand what to do or how to live. Since the night that the monster went off and found a “cave” (Shelley ch. 10), and learn the knowledge of humanity. The creature explains he struggles to create his own life due to being away from people but soon learns how to be part of society. Since the monster is a fear to the people, he begins to live in the cave by the cottage, leading him to be inspired to “masters” the “language” (Shelley ch. 13) to communicate with society. When Victor abandons the creature, it begins to learn the language that they speak while living alone, instead of his creator Victor showing him. Victor not being there for the creature leads to his loss of innocence and taking out revenge. 

That by abandoning the creature, he took his revenge out on Victor, thus referring to violence and making his life full of death throughout the novel. The creature admits to murdering Victor's brother William when he talks about that night “lay dead” (Shelley ch. 16) and shows that he was the one who created that fate. After the creature explains why he took revenge after being abandoned and having his life miserable, he wants Victor to make a “female” (Shelley ch. 17) companion, so he would have someone to understand the emotions of being an outcast. Once Victor sorts out his plan and agrees, he abandons the creature again until the creature appears once again. Once Victor started creating his “female” for the monster, he then destroyed it because the creature shows a “grin” (Shelley ch. 20) at him, leaving the monster abandoned for life. Then, leading to Elizabeth's murder after the creature explain that, "I shall be with you on your wedding-night” (Shelley ch. 20) by having Victor shares the same fate in abandonment. The creatures then realize that it will doom him for life with or without a family, considering the events that have taken place in his life. 

Because of the abandonment and the beginning of the monster's existence, it has always had isolation. The creature used to be kind throughout the opening of its time but then results in becoming evil. To illustrate the creature, turns evil as discussed, “Everywhere I see bliss, from which I alone am irrevocably excluded. I was benevolent and good; misery made me a fiend” (Shelley Ch. 10) because of the isolation he has faced. This displays throughout the creature's life tried to be a part of society, but his appearance pushes him into isolation. This forces the creature into isolation because his appearance terrifies any human, unlike Victor where he had a choice. The turning point of the monster's evil is when he realized that he has no society of his own and humanity is shallow. 

When the creature first left Victor’s apartment, he wandered into a village where men, women, and children “fled,” “attacked me, until, grievously bruised by stones and many other kinds of missile weapons” (Shelley ch. 11) without a doubt making the creature run and conceal from the world. When the monster fled out of the village, he found a “shelter” in the darkness away from the towns but near a family's cottage. Therefore, the monster begins watching the family and growing fond of them. Still, in isolation, the creature shows an example of sympathy for a family after taking their food by helping them gather wood. According to the creature, he believed that to get out of being lonely he will have to convenience society to look past his appearance. The children “struck me violently” (Shelley ch.15) by having the monster realize that he is doomed in isolation forever. Therefore by people attacking the monster based on his looks, the creature is pushed into isolation. 

Betokening that the creature’s isolation from society itself leads to a pathway of evil and hatred for someone. Therefore, the creature realized that there was one last chance in not having to go through isolation alone, which to have a female companion for himself. By the creature explain his demand to Victor, he agrees. Victor, without a doubt, betrays the monster’s trust by destroying the female that he had “affection” (Shelley ch. 20), revealing that Victor leaves the creature in permanent isolation. Having Victor destroy the only piece for the monster to be happy, he destroys his female. Therefore, leading the creature to have a hate for humanity and having evil to becoming a monster. 

Like abandonment and isolation, it’s a leading cause for the creatures facing many hardships in society, like being rejected. When Victor created the creature, it faced hardships by Victor rejecting him the way he appears and referring him to a “wretch” (Shelley ch. 5). Victor calling the creature a “wretch” resulting in that he is horrified by what he has created. Therefore, in his early days, the monster wonders why people feared him, attacked him, or ran away from him until the creature noticed his reflection and was “terrified when I viewed myself” (Shelley ch.12). This left the monster to understand that he was an outcast to all of society. Leading to the cause that his appearance will always be one of the many hardships he faces. The monster faces not being understood that there is more to him than his appearance, thus leaving him miserable.

When it comes to the monster meeting new people, he set to become that he will show them they can overcome the prejudices and see what he is on the inside. When the creature watches the DeLacy’s, it shows that he learns about their living conditions and each person individually. Therefore, learning that the head of the house is “blind” (Shelley ch.12) and to win the entire family’s trust, he must approach him first. Without a doubt, the creature believed that if he could win the head of the housing trust, then the rest of the family would follow in his footsteps. Then results in the rest of the household coming back to the house and seeing the monster that they “fainted,” “rushed out of the cottage,” and “struck me violently with a stick” (Shelley ch.15) using brutal force instead of seeing his personality. Illustrating that the children jumped to conclusions based on the creature’s appearance instead of hearing how friendly he was to them throughout the days he watched them.

Throughout the novel, Frankenstein showcases the creature’s relationship with society. Shelley uses abandonment to showcase how the creature was alone, leaving him responsible for learning everything by himself. When using isolation, Shelley illustrates how the monster went from having a pleasant personality to mankind to resulting in an evil personality to mankind. Therefore, Shelley finally displayed a hardship on the creature by having a life alone because of his appearance. Shelley proves throughout the novel that there is more to someone than what meets the eye. Therefore, having the readers be more considerate and more knowledgeable on how they are treating someone. 

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