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In Frankenstein, how does society turn the creature into a monster?

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ashrof | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 6, 2010 at 5:25 AM via web

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In Frankenstein, how does society turn the creature into a monster?

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scarletpimpernel | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 6, 2010 at 5:37 AM (Answer #1)

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In addition to Victor's ill treatment of the creature, society does bear some of the blame for the creature's downfall. First, when the creature escapes from Victor's apartment, the first humans he encounters chase him out of town when they see him. This causes the creature to realize that appearance is important and that his falls short of what society expects.

Secondly, the creature learns much about society and seemingly about human kindness through his observations of the De Lacey family and his reading. Through them, he realizes again that appearance is important even to the seemingly benevolent De Laceys when he is run off by Felix De Lacey. After burning down the De Laceys' cottage, the creature ponders where to go. In Chapter 16, he explains to Victor that society has so demoralized him that even though he knows that he can physically go wherever he wants, he thinks,

"but to me, hated and despised, every country must be equally horrible."

Finally, when the creature kills little William, it is society's final rejection of him. He perceives William's fear and negativity toward him as another part of society (even such a small innocent part) discarding him. While he still chooses to approach Victor, by that point, he simply wants a female monster who will not reject him, and he does not expect Victor's acceptance.

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