The Relationship between the Creature and Society in Shelley's Frankenstein


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 illustrates that Victor regrets his decision based on his features instead of seeing what is 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 is living 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.

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