In the book Frankenstein by Mary Shelley,    What does the De Lacey family do during their encounter with the creature?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This episode in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is an example of how much visual perception is part of a person's reality.  For, prior to his entering the cottage of the DeLaceys, the creature has long been the observer of the family.  And, as he ponders the rejection of his creator, Victor Frankenstein, the creature considers,

'God, in pity, made man beautiful and alluring, after his own image; but my form is a filthy type of yours [Victor's], more horrid even from the very resemblance.  Stan had his companions, fellow-devils, to admire and encourage him; but I am solitary and abhorred.'

Nevertheless, in the naivete of the creature, he hopes--

'These were the reflections of my hours of despondency and solitude; but when I contemplated the virtues of the cottager, their amiable and benevolent dispositions, I persuaded myself that when they should become acquainted with my admiration of their virtues, they would compassionate me, and overlook my personal deformity.  Could they turn from their door one, however monstrous, who solicited their compassion and friendship?  I fit myself for an interview with them.'

Of course, the results of his attempts are disastrous once the sighted members of the family enter.  For, it is only the blinded father who accepts him without prejudiced perception.  This cruelty and ignorance of human judgment from visual perception marks a change in the character of the creature, who, henceforth, says that he becomes "like a wild beast that had broken the toils....'

Clearly, this scene exemplifies the "monstrous" nature of not the creature, but of man, for whom, as a character in a novel of Dean Koontz declares, "Perception is reality."

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The answer to this question is found in Chapter 15.  In this chapter, the creature has gotten up the nerve to come and actually meet a human being face to face.  He has chosen the blind man -- old De Lacey.

As the creature talks to De Lacey, the old man tells him that people are essentially good.  He tells the creature to be hopeful and confident in people.

But as the creature and the old man are having this converstion, Felix, Agatha, and Safie come home unexpectedly.  They see the creature and are horrified.  Agatha faints, Safie runs away and Felix starts beating the creature with a club as it clings to the old man.

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