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How is the Creature in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein a multifaceted character that makes...

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brk808 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 11, 2012 at 3:16 AM via web

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How is the Creature in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein a multifaceted character that makes him so valuable?

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted June 5, 2013 at 5:02 PM (Answer #1)

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Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein offers readers a look at a very multifaceted character which proves his valuableness to the novel. Essentially without the Creature's depth of character, readers may fail to connect with the him in a way necessary to the text.

The Creature's physicality sets up a wonderful dichotomy. Upon first "glance," the Creature is hideously ugly and truly monstrous. Given that Victor has made the Creature eight feet tall, his powerful nature is physically overwhelming. On top of this, the description of the Creature, provided in chapter five, shows the Creature to be truly horrible.

His yellow skin scarcely covered the work of muscles and arteries beneath; his hair was of a lustrous black, and flowing; his teeth of a pearly whiteness; but these luxuriances only formed a more horrid contrast with his watery eyes, that seemed almost of the same colour as the dun white sockets in which they were set, his shrivelled complexion and straight black lips. 

Given his grotesque exterior, the interior of the Creature is far different. The Creature is moved by nature. He loves the so9und of birds singing, gazing at the moon, and desperately desires to be loved. If one were to fall to the cliche of "judging a book by its cover," he or she would have given up on the Creature at the same moment Victor did.

That said, the Creature's character possess great depth. His desire to learn is only overshadowed by his desire to be loved. His perfection of language can prove him to be either immensely educated and proper or deceptively persuasive (as readers see through Victor's warning to Walton).

In the end, the Creature's possession of a horrible exterior only proves his interior to be that much more beautiful. His language, understanding, appreciation of nature, and hatred of mankind (based upon his alienation and treatment) contrast each other to such a great extent that one could only call him multifaceted and deem his place in the novel as valuable. 

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