What purpose was served by leaving the Monster in Frankenstein unnamed?

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Kristen Lentz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Shelley's decision to keep the creature unnamed steals away his pretension to humanity. If he were named, it might be easier for the reader to forget exactly what he is, because as he learns to speak and develop his sense of philosophy, he begins to seem incredibly human to the reader. Since he is repeatedly referred to as the "creature" or the "monster," Shelley delivers a strong reminder to the reader time after time that this character is an unnatural creation.  The creature's unnamed state also makes a strong commentary on Frankenstein's response to his creation; his reaction goes beyond loathing and detesr-- he does not care enough for his creation even to name it.  Shelley dehumanizes the creature by leaving it unnamed, making it more of a beast than man.

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