Is the Frankenstein creature more like Adam or Satan?Frankenstein's creature wonders whether he is more like Adam or like Satan ( Vol. 2, chap. 7). Which figure suits him better?

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teachersage eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is an interesting question, as Frankenstein's monster is arguably a more complex character than either Satan or Adam, but I too would side with Adam. Let's work through the argument.

In Volume II, the monster recounts how he helped a kind family of cottagers who had not seen him. He is exposed to books, including Milton's Paradise Lost and Plutarch's Lives. When he reads about the lives of great men in Plutarch, the monster shows sensitivity to good and evil:

I felt the greatest ardour for virtue rise within me, and abhorrence for vice, as far as I understood the signification of those terms, relative as they were, as I applied them, to pleasure and pain alone.

When he reads Paradise Lost, he is deeply moved, but relates more to Satan than to Adam:

Like Adam, I was apparently united by no link to any other being in existence; but his state was far different from mine in every other respect. He had come forth from the hands of God a perfect creature, happy and prosperous, guarded by the especial care of his Creator; he was allowed to converse with and acquire knowledge from beings of a superior nature, but I was wretched, helpless, and alone. Many times I considered Satan as the fitter emblem of my condition, for often, like him, when I viewed the bliss of my protectors, the bitter gall of envy rose within me.

If the monster associates himself with Satan, why wouldn't we as readers? We don't agree with the creature, because this is a moment of dramatic irony: we understand more than the creature himself that he, Frankenstein's monster, has been cruelly sinned against. In fact, in relating himself to Satan, a reviled figure, he shows just how unlike Satan he is. Satan's great sin, which is especially brought out in Paradise Lost, is his self-exaltation and pride; he believes he is as good as God. The monster, in contrast, sees himself as a miserable sinner. Like Adam, he struggles with the pull of both good and evil. The monster tries to do good but is continually spurned. The cottagers reject him in horror when they finally see him. Later, he saves a drowning girl and is shot for his efforts:

This was then the reward of my benevolence! I had saved a human being from destruction, and as a recompense I now writhed under the miserable pain of a wound which shattered the flesh and bone. The feelings of kindness and gentleness which I had entertained but a few moments before gave place to hellish rage and gnashing of teeth. Inflamed by pain, I vowed eternal hatred and vengeance to all mankind. But the agony of my wound overcame me; my pulses paused, and I fainted.

Unlike Satan, the monster wants to be included and loved, not exalted and worshipped. He realizes that even Satan had companions and asks Frankenstein to create for him a fellow creature—but Frankenstein later destroys his new creature out of revulsion and fear.

The creature does do evil things when he kills people and is gripped by evil when he vows eternal hatred to mankind, but he doesn't enjoy his role as murderous outcast. We feel for him because what he wants is love and friendship, as Adam did with Eve—but he is in anguish, because he has no Eve and is rejected and alone. People judge him by his outer shell, not his inner soul. Perhaps humans are more evil than he is.

boarshead eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Like Adam, Frankenstein's monster is the first of his kind created by some other being.  The monster, like Adam, had no choice in who he is, what he's made of, or even his own existence.  Satan, on the other hand, thrust out of heaven in a dispute with God, made a choice to fight his master and thus ends up with what he gets.  This, too, is like Frankenstein's monster.  The monster seems to represent both Adam and Satan--initially, without consciousness, he occupies the earth in search of himself; then, when he has found himself, he rebels against his maker and master.  Of the two, though, it seems that the monster is much more like Adam--on this earth without a say of his own, left to make of the world what he can.

teachertaylor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Frankenstein's monster seems to be more like Adam than he is like Satan.  Victor Frankenstein pieces the monster together “in his own image” (to a certain extent) and casts him into the world as his creation.  The monster has had no choice in developing himself and must cope with the world he now encounters.  After the monster becomes guilty of “bad behavior,” Frankenstein disassociates himself from the monster; similar to Adam’s excommunication from the Garden of Eden, the monster is cast out into the wilderness to fend for himself.  Although the monster is incredibly angry and cannot deal with his feelings of rejection (similar to Satan), he and his plight share more similarities with Adam than he does with Satan.

mkcapen1 | Student

Frankenstein's creature is more like Adam.  He was created and brought to life formed in his creator’s image (idea) with a few adjustments such as being 8 feet tall.  He comes into the world an innocent being waiting to have a connection with his "father/creator."

While the creature may engage in anger and murder, he falls from grace because he has never had grace for himself.  Adam fell from the grace of God.  The creature at first breath fell from the grace of Frankenstein.

The creature wants acceptance from his father and seeks it.  He is lonely and seeks a mate.

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