"This answer startled me, but I presently recovered myself. I was innocent; that could easily be proved; accordingly I followed my conductor in silence and was led to one of the best houses in the town. I was ready to sink from fatigue and hunger, but being surrounded by a crowd, I thought it politic to rouse all my strength, that no physical debility might be construed into apprehension or conscious guilt. Little did I then expect the calamity that was in a few moments to overwhelm me and extinguish in horror and despair all fear of ignominy or death" (Shelley 154). Frankenstein is now put in the position of which his monster was in when created. If the creature is human, would he have been thinking the same thing or was it his natural reaction to act out in rage and anger for being isolated from the rest of the town?
"Had I right, for my own benefit, to inflict this curse upon everlasting generations? I had before been moved by the sophisms of the being I had created; I had been struck senseless by his fiendish threats; but now, for the first time, the wickedness of my promise burst upon me; I shuddered to think that future ages might curse me as their pest, whose selfishness had not hesitated to buy its own peace at the price, perhaps, of the existence of the whole human race" (Shelley 139). Here, readers learn that Frankenstein feels as if it would be extremely dangerous and detrimental to create another monster. The original monster tells Frankenstein that he needs a female companion; however, regardless of the promise that was made, Frankenstein reveals that he can no longer keep his word. I find it very interesting and ironic that Frankenstein had such a passion for science and experimenting, but now he is completely discouraged by it and almost fearful. Furthermore, he is ashamed and embarrassed as to what he has created. I wonder if the physical appearance of his monster is the only factor that contributes to Frankenstein's hatred and abandonment of it. If Frankenstein would ignore his pride for a moment, is it a possibility that he would have different feelings towards the monster?
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I gazed on my victim, and my heart swelled with exultation and hellishtriumph: clapping my hands, I exclaimed, 'I, too, can create desolation;my enemy is not invulnerable; this death will carry despair to him, and athousand other miseries shall torment and destroy him.'(Shelley, pg160)Would Victor creates a female monster as the monster demanded if the monster did not kill William and Justine?
One thing that stood out, early on in the reading, was Shelley's perception and representation of Muslim culture. I'm not familiar with the time period in which she is writing, but i could understand the part about Safie's father being wrongfully imprisoned in France, due to the French's long standing racial issues with Arab immigrants. However i was surprised by Shelley's presentation of muslim culture as inferior to that of christian culture, especially in the area or enlightenment. I thought, being a romantic, she would have had a mindset that was more along the lines of cultural relativism.
I found it interesting that the roles of the monster and Victor seemed to have switched. While Victor is still considered the creator- for he was in the process of creating a bride for the monster, he is no longer so godlike. For one thing, he submits to his creation's demands after being threatened with future misfortune. Also, Victor is helpless to stop his creation from causing more damage. I think it's a relief he isn't God because he shows more abuse of his power. He goes on to rant about intervening the possibility of the monster procreating. "Had I right, for my own benefit, to inflict this curse upon everlasting generations?" (pg 189, Shelley) This should have been something he considered prior to his first experiment. He uses his creature as a scapegoat for causing harm on society in the future when it all goes back to his initial actions.
"Increase of knowledge only discovered to me more clearly what a wretched outcast I was." I found this quote from the monster to be particularly interesting because it reminded me of the harm that knowledge had caused Victor. Although it is a different effect that results from the "harmful knowledge", once again there is attention drawn to the potentially negative results of "too much" knowledge.
The last part of the reading left me a little scared of my own emotional stability. As i was reading, I felt rage toward mankind in general for being so inhumane to a monster that seeked nothing but love and affection, and also felt a loathing toward the monster for taking the life of so many innocent for revenge against one man. The more i heard the monster's story and got to know him, the more i was reminded of those drama movies where we know the villain is using sly, cunning words to fool the protagonist and we're sitting out here shouting "don't believe him! He's lying!" For once, I was literally breathless after reading this intense story. One thing I got curious about, that was related to the first part of the story, was how Walton, even after hearing what happened when the monster was left on its own for 2 years, let it go at the end trusting it to really go and kill itself. How can he be so sure that it won’t go out and commit more crimes again?
Last class, Professor Johns spoke of the racial implications of the monster and Shelley's sentiments towards other races. This train of thought can be continued into the second half of the novel as she depicts the Turk as an untrustworthy, malevolent individual. Perhaps this was not only a racial comment on Arabs, but a nationalistic one on the Ottoman Empire. In addition to portraying the Turk with these despicable traits, the De Laceys use Volney's Ruins of Empires to teach Safie. This could be an additional attack on the Ottomans in reference to their empire being eclipsed by the British.
“Who can describe their horror and consternation on beholding me? Agatha fainted; and Safie, unable to attend to her friend rushed out of the cottage. Felix darted forward, and with supernatural force tore me from his father, to whose knees I clung; in a transport of fury, he dashed me to the ground and struck me violently with a stick. I could have torn him limb from limb, as the lion rends the antelope. But my heart sunk within me as with bitter sickness, and I refrained.” (151)To me, this passage was a perfect example of the constant confusion about whether the monster is a human or not. To literally everyone but himself, he is a monster- to those who see him and even the man who created him. They immediately respond to him with violence when, as he says in this quote, he could rip them apart. Yet, he chooses not to.
I feel like the creature acts with more evil intentions in the second half. He seems to have stopped trying to convince others of his humanity and instead has accepted the idea that he is a monster. He no longer sees human life as a precious thing and instead he sees them as bargaining chips and ways to punish Victor. He no longer cares to do anything for anyone but himself and because of this he believes he is now more powerful then his creator (the same can also be said about victor in the beginning of the book). He tells victor "you are my creator, but I am your master;-obey!" (p. 191) The more single-minded and self-centered the monster becomes the more he is like Victor, but you know what they say, the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree.
"What I ask of you is reasonable and moderate; I demand a creature of another sex, but as hideous as myself; the gratification is small, but it is all that I can receive, and it shall content me." (Shelley, 164) As the plot develops, the monster becomes more intelligent, aggressive and demanding of his wants and needs. In this quote he asks Victor to create another monster, a female counterpart of himself. He wants a companion. He wants someone to accompany him on this lonely path of life. However, the monster contradicts himself when proposing this "reasonable and moderate" request and immediately after "demands" Victor to follow through with what he proposed. When the monster first came to life, he was not so clever. Now, he can manipulate words and use his intelligence to benefit himself. When the monster first came to life, Victor had the power. Now, the roles have reversed and the monster tells Victor. "You are my creator, but I am your master; - obey!" (Shelley, 191)
"This was then the reward of my benevolence! I had saved a human being from destruction, and, as a recompense, I now writhed under the miserable pain of a wound, which shattered the flesh and bone. The feelings of kindness and gentleness which I had entertained but a few moments before gave place to hellish rage and gnashing of teeth. Inflamed by pain, I vowed eternal hatred and vengeance to all mankind. " (Shelley, 158)This is a clear transition of the Monster's morals and opinions of humans. He always had an appreciation for humans and was such a gentle and kind person. This developed so much fury in the monsters head that he begins to be revengeful and starts to hurt human beings and ends up killing William, Victor's brother. This goes to show that even when the Monster went out of his way to save a life he still gets hurt because of his deformity.