Character Analysis Of Frankenstein's Monster

1180 words - 5 pages

The Monster The mention of the name "Frankenstein" from Mary Shelley's gothic work conjures up an image of a grotesque, ogre-like monster whose only instinct is to murder and take life. Victor Frankenstein's scientific creation is, in fact, quite misshapen and ugly physically, yet it possesses mental qualities that are much more human than monstrous. As the Monster experiences more and more sensations in the world, he gains qualities that are increasingly human. In reality, the monstrosity of the creature is only skin deep, for within his wretched body resides the heart of a compassionate and gentle child. Frankenstein's creature is truly more human than monster based on his innocent nature, his thirst for knowledge, and the complex range of emotions he experiences throughout the novel. From his awakening, the Monster exhibits an innocent and gentle nature, one reminiscent of a curious child first entering the world. After awakening Victor and unintentionally frightening him away, the Monster becomes confused. He later admits that he "sat down and wept" (Shelley 129) after being left alone. He is not instinctively an angry or out of control creature; he is simply afraid, as would be any creature when left alone only hours after birth. There is nothing monstrous about this behavior that, though childlike, is normal human conduct. The monster later recalls that his soul "glowed with love and humanity" (96) during his childhood. The Monster confronts Victor again in the frozen wilderness. Victor immediately threatens the monster and tries to fight it. Rather than fight back (as he could easily overpower the feeble Frankenstein), he says, "I will not be tempted to set myself in opposition to thee" (95). This is a very advanced decision for the Monster. Even most human children would fight back in this situation, whereas the Monster does not wish to cause Victor harm. The Monster's experiences living outside the DeLacey's cottage also reflect his caring nature. When he realizes that his habit of eating their food is hurting them, he starts finding his own food instead and even begins cutting firewood for them at night. Even after Felix beats him severely upon seeing him, the Monster still has compassion for those in need and saves a girl from drowning, only to be shot afterwards. It is not until this occurrence that he develops a hatred of mankind. Had the monster never been mistreated, he might never have developed any kind of resentment toward normal humans. The Monster's innocent nature is reflected by the compassionate acts he performs and the childlike behaviors he puts forth despite being neglected since the first day of his life. The Monster's longing to speak the language of those around him coupled with his thirst for knowledge reveals yet another human quality that he contains: the desire to learn. He first becomes interested in speaking while he is living outside of the peasant cottage, and he learns by merely...

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