In chapter 15 we read about the Monster’s quest to understand his own identity. He says, “My person was hideous and my stature gigantic. What did this mean? Who was I? What was I? Whence did I come? What was my destination? These questions continually recurred, but I was unable to solve them.” These basic questions about existence, the nature of our bodies, and what our purpose in life might be are ones that everyone struggles with. We empathize with the Monster because we recognize ourselves in his plight.
The Monster’s reading, especially of Milton, shapes the way he understands himself. He realizes that he is clearly unlike Adam, who was perfect, and instead identifies with Satan:
“He [Adam] 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...
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