Victor Frankenstein wanted to create life. His conflicting motives, whether self-centered or for the betterment of humanity, is one of the driving forces in Mary Shelley’s Romantic novel Frankenstein. She vividly depicts Victor’s self struggle as he bitterly regrets animating a hideous monster who is responsible for the deaths of his friends and family. Although the novel mainly centers on Victor, a differing internal conflict is experienced in the mind of the horrid creature that he created. In the beginning of the Creature’s life, he questions who is and his place in the world.
He asks himself is he really a monster? The Creature possesses all the characteristics of a human. He only turns into a monster when rejected by society. The Creature is continually conflicted on whether or not he is actually a monster by nature or if that is what humankind made him. On the night Victor Frankenstein animates his creature, he immediately regrets it after seeing it’s revolting, gigantic figure. He runs away leaving the Creature alone and as ignorant as an infant. The Creature leaves Frankenstein’s apartment to wander the wilderness frightened and confused.
He stumbles upon a village and because of his hideous form, the villagers scream, throw rocks at him, and run away. The Creature didn’t understand their reactions and flees to find shelter in a hovel at a cottage. He begins to secretly watch the family who lives in the cottage and is fascinated by their beauty, their occupations, and their gentleness. Right away he starts to want to be apart of them. “What chiefly struck me was the gentle manners of these people; and I longed to join them, but dared not.
I remembered too well the treatment I had suffered the night before from the barbarous villagers. ” As the seasons pass the Creature observes the cottagers and learns from them. He learns to speak, read, and about the society they live in, but as he learned more and more he grew confused and isolated. He admired the cottagers and acquired a great love for them. He observed their compassion and generosity. He secretly helped them by bringing them wood and quietly doing other chores for them.
He called them his “friends” and “protectors. He felt the human qualities that he saw in the cottagers, their need for love and companionship, but he also saw how different he was from them and disliked it. “I had admired the perfect forms of my cottagers-their grace, beauty, and delicate complexions: but how was I terrified when I viewed myself in a transparent pool! ” “I became fully convinced that I was in reality the monster that I am, I was filled with the bitterest sensations of despondence and mortification. ” As the Creature learned more about human society he questioned his place in it.
He felt human, he felt love and compassion, he hated to be alone and he hated his own deformity as humans seemed to. He learned that “a man might be respected,” by possession, wealth, and family, but he had none of these things and knew not where he originated. “I knew that I possessed no money, no friends, no kind of property. I was, besides, endowed with a figure hideously deformed and loathsome; I was not even of the same nature of man. ” “When I looked around, I saw and heard none like me. Was I then a monster, a blot upon the earth from which all men fled, and whom all men disowned. The Creature didn’t feel like a monster, but according to the things he learned about society, he couldn’t be human either. Still he longed to be a part of the family that he has learned so much from.
The creature desperately desired to be loved by the cottagers as he loved them, but he was terrified of rejection. He so despised his isolation that he resolved to finally reveal himself to his adopted family. “I formed in my imagination I thousand pictures presenting myself to them, and their reception of me. I magine that they would be disgusted, until, by my gentle demeanor and conciliating words, I should first win their favour, and afterwards their love. ” He finally presents himself to the cottagers, but seeing his enormous stature and hideous features, they shriek in fear and the man beats the Creature with a stick.
Hurt and angry he escapes to the woods. Feeling betrayed, the creature wanders the woods hating humans for rejecting him after he was kind to them. He also hated his own being and the one who created him. There was none among the many myriads of men that existed who would pity or assist me; and should I feel kindness towards my enemies? No: from that moment I declared everlasting war against the species, and, more than all, against him who had formed me, and sent me forth to this insupportable misery. ” The Creature is in conflict with himself, he is angry that, because of his appearance, his kind and compassionate cottagers excluded him from those virtues he admired, but he also understood the cottagers response to his deformity for he hated it is as well.
He convinces himself that he was to “hasty in his conclusions. ” He still desired to belong to them and to be a part of the society he swore to hate. The Creature returns to the cottage determined to reveal himself slowly to the cottagers so they will be prepared for his repulsive appearance. He finds that his “protectors” have moved away from their cottage. The Creature is heartbroken and filled with rage. He thought of death and revenge. He is now completely alone with no tie to humanity. “My protectors had departed, and had broken the only link that held me to this world.
For the first time the feelings of revenge and hatred filled my bosom… ” When the Creature thought again about his lovely family and how much he cared for them, his thoughts of hate disappeared. The creature is again in conflict. He hated the society he longed to be a part of. Society had labeled him a monster, but he wasn’t sure if you agreed or not. He hated mankind for their constant rejection, but understood their reasons for it. He felt human emotions and desires, but despised his monstrous features. Was he a monster because he looked like it or was he human because he felt like it?
This selfstruggle and anger led to the Monster’s decision to destroy the cottage. After the creature burns down the cottage, he sets out on a long journey to seek out Victor Frankenstein, his creator. When he is out in the beautiful spring, in the elements that he so enjoyed, he forgets his solitude and deformity and “dared to be happy. ” Suddenly a girl who was playing by the river falls in, and the Monster jumps in, fights against the current, and pulls her out. He saves the very beings he swore to be his enemies. Then a man appears and snatches the girl and runs away.
When the Creature follows, the man takes out a gun and shoots him. Once again the Creature showed kindness toward a human being, but because of his monstrous features was rejected. “This was then the reward of my benevolence! I’ve 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 a hellish rage and gnashing of teeth.
Inflamed by vengeance to all man kind. From then on the Monster burned with rage and vengeance for all humanity and his creator. He finds the hometown of Frankenstein and kills his younger brother William. This begins the Monster’s plot to rid his creator of the happy and comfortable life the Monster could not have. Murdering innocent people can definitely be described as monstrous acts, but the Creature only commits these crimes after being rejected and isolated from the love and gentleness he has seen in humans. He wanted to experience love and compassion and to give it as well, those are not qualities of a monster.
He only became a monster because that’s how society saw him. They could not see past his deformity. The Creature became what they expected him to be. “Where they ought to see a feeling and kind friend they beheld only a detestable monster. ” The Monster had a constant conflict within his own mind. He grew to hate human beings because he was deprived of their beauty and happiness, but those are the same reason why he loved them in the first place. Despite his physical differences from humans he experienced many human qualities such as his desire for companionship. Shall each man,’ cried he, ‘find a wife for his bosom, and each beast have a mate, and I be alone? I had feelings of affection, and they were requited by detestation and scorn. ” Though he resolved to become the monster that humans said he was, in the end he still felt guilty and hated what he had become.
“But it is true I am a wretch. I have murdered the lovely and helpless; I have strangled the innocent as they slept, and grasped to death his throat who never injured me or any other living thing. “Polluted by crimes, and torn by the bitterest remorse, where can I find rest but in death? ” Through the character of the Monster, Mary Shelley captures the physical representation of what human nature can be. What is a monster and are humans so very different? Since the Creature was so humanlike it shows the monster part of humanity. If a human committed the same crimes as the Creature, would he not be a monster. If society did not reject the Creature perhaps he would not have turned into a monster.