How does the creature view the constructs of society in Frankenstein?

In Frankenstein, the creature admires the constructs of society as he learns about them, and he longs with all his heart to be part of the human community. He is pained and angered at his rejection and exclusion from the love and belonging others experience and turns against the creator who has hurt and abandoned him.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The creature learns about how European society is constructed by watching the De Lacey family and by reading three books he finds: Goethe's The Sorrows of Young Werther, Plutarch's Lives, and Milton's Paradise Lost. From the De Laceys and Werther, he learns of "gentle and domestic manners ... combined with lofty sentiments and feelings," but unlike either the De Laceys or Werther, he finds himself untethered from any ties of family or community. He begins to wonder where he came from and where he belongs.

In Plutarch's Lives, the creature learns about the noblest and most heroic aspects of society, but it is Paradise Lost that he responds to most deeply. Here he becomes aware of the Christian story of paradise and the fall from grace and feels most identified with Satan, outcast by God.

Through his reading and experiences, the creature is confirmed in his belief that his appearance makes him an outcast from any normal human social constructs. As a human being, he admires and longs to be part of the society that excludes him. Like Adam, he wants the love and nurture of his creator. He wonders why he was created to be so hideous and why he is so rejected by a society he wishes he could join.

While the creature longs for family, for love, and for belonging, and while he wishes to shed his intense loneliness to become part of the larger society, his reaction to it becomes colored by the anger and pain he feels at the unthinking horror and rejection he experiences.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial