In what ways is the monster inhuman?  Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In Shelley's Frankenstein, Victor's creature possesses elements that are not common to human beings, the most apparent of which is the fact that he has been manufactured from parts of other human beings.  His size, of course, is not normal, either.  In addition to his size, the creature is able to move on terrain that would be prohibitive for the average man; and, he is able to withstand severe weather conditions, moving with alacrity across frozen and moutainous areas.

The creature's rage is is suprahuman, as well.  When he observes Victor's tearing of the female creature which he begins to create, the creature utters hideous howling sounds.  Victor describes him as a creture of "unparalleled barbarity":

The wretch saw me destroy the creture on whose future existence he depended for happiness, and, with a howl of devilish despair and revenge....

Near the end of the narrative, when the creature comes aboard Walton's ship, he mourns the death of Victor and speaks of himself,

Once I falsely hoped to meet with beings who, pardoning my outward form, would love me for the excellent qualities which I was capable of unfolding.  I was nourished with high thoughts of honour and devotion.  But now crime has degraded me beneath the meanest animal.  No guilt, no mischief, no malignity, no misery, can be found comparable to mine.  When I run over the frightful catalogue of my sins, I cannot believe that I am the same creature whose thoughts were once filled with sublime and transcendent visions of the beauty and the majesty of goodness.  But it is even so; the fallen angel becomes a malignant devil.  Yet even that enemy of God and man had friends and associates in his desolation; I am alone.

The experiences of the creature, his crimes, and his terrible isolation have made him less than human while his strength and stamina are more than human.  He declares himself the wretch that Victor has called him, and he springs from the cabin-windown upon an ice-raft and is "borne away by the waves and lost in darkness and distance," a creature unlike any other.

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