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In Frankenstein, how do the creature's actions make him react to the cruelty of men and...

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shaemaa | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Honors

Posted January 6, 2012 at 8:03 AM via web

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In Frankenstein, how do the creature's actions make him react to the cruelty of men and not from the evil inherent in him?

 

 

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

Posted January 6, 2012 at 8:32 AM (Answer #1)

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In Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein, the creature's behavior is a result of the cruelty he faced at the hand of mankind and not from inherent evil.

The creature was a product of Victor. Victor was the one who alienated his creation. If he would have been present in the life of the creature, he would have treated the creature with the love and respect worthy of a natural child.

When the creature first realized that he was alone, he realized the following:

I was a poor, helpless, miserable wretch; I knew, and could distinguish, nothing; but feeling pain invade me on all sides, I sat down and wept.

This proves that the creature possessed no inherent evil. Instead, he was pained by the fact that he was alone and alienated by his "father."

The creature's true nature is also seen in his behavior with the De Laceys. For many weeks, the creature watched the family. He was not concerned for his own well-being (as seen by his gathering of food and firewood). He admired the relationship between the family members and desired nothing more than to be loved by another.

The cruelty the creature faced (at the hands of those who saw him on his journeys) was obscene.On the other hand, the way by which the De Laceys acted with one another was heart warming for the creature.

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, and resolved, whatever course of conduct I might hereafter think it right to pursue, that for the present I would remain quietly in my hovel, watching, and endeavouring to discover the motives which influenced their actions.

The creature was saddened by the fact that he had been taking food from the De Laceys. Therefore, he (in the retelling of his story to Victor) stated the following:

“This trait of kindness moved me sensibly. I had been accustomed, during the night, to steal a part of their store for my own consumption; but when I found that in doing this I inflicted pain on the cottagers, I abstained, and satisfied myself with berries, nuts, and roots, which I gathered from a neighbouring wood."

This being said, no being (considered human, creature, or monster) would have ever felt this way for another if they were inherently evil.

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