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In Frankenstein, what was De Lacey's reaction when the creature entered the cottage and...

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muttsee | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 19, 2012 at 3:44 PM via web

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In Frankenstein, what was De Lacey's reaction when the creature entered the cottage and began speaking with him?

 

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

Posted May 23, 2012 at 8:20 PM (Answer #1)

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In chapters 3-5 of volume two, of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, the Creature tells Victor of his life since his (the Creature's) "birth." After being given life, the Creature comes to recognize his own senses and his ability to be mobile. After struggling with hunger, thirst, and many frightened villagers, the Creature comes to find himself at the hut of a family named De Lacey.

Once he reaches the hut, the Creature finds that his is drawn to the family. He comes to love the family (based upon how they treat each other). He is drawn to their love for each other, the relationship between parent and child, and the happiness he feels when around the family.

The Creature watches the family for a long time. While the Creature watches the family, he comes to learn about their situation (they are poor), their language (French), and how to read (from Paradise Lost, Lives, and Sorrows of Werter). The Creature decided that two things must happen before he tries to make contact with the family: learn the language of the family better and contact the old man when he was alone (given the old man was blind and would not be frightened by the Creature's appearance). 

One day, the opportunity arrived for the Creature:

The servants were gone to a neighbouring fair. All was silent in and around the cottage; it was an excellent opportunity; yet, when I proceeded to execute my plan, my limbs failed me, and I sank to the ground. Again I rose; and, exerting all the firmness of which I was master, removed the planks which I had placed before my hovel to conceal my retreat.

Upon entering the hut, the old man (De Lacey) openly welcomed the Creature. The old man listened intently to the story of the Creature and how the Creature wished to "claim the protection of some friends, whom I sincerely love, and of whose favour I have some hopes." The old man questions why they would not. The Creature goes on to tell the old man that they may be terrified by him. The old man states that he will help the Creature to find the family and speak well of the Creature (not knowing he is a creature) to them.

The Creature then rushes to the old man, kneels before him, and clasps his hand--admitting that it is the old man and his family who he seeks out. The old man asks who the Creature is while the door of the hut opens and Felix, Agatha, and Sophie walk in.

 

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