In Frankenstein, what is the creature's relationship with the inhabitants of the cottage?
The creature, in Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein, does not have a true relationship with the inhabitants of the cottage (the De Lacey family).
In essence, a relationship exists between two people (as positive or negative--friends or enemies). A "relationship" between the creature is unknown to the De Lacey family, in fact they do not even know the creature is living next to their cottage. That being said, the creature wishes to have a relationship with the De Lacey family. In actuality, his concept of love and companionship is derived from watching the De Lacey family interact with one another.
When the creature does make contact with the De Lacey family, he has learned their language and insured that the old man is alone (given he is blind and will not be frightened by the sight of the creature). The old man, after hearing the story of the creature, asks how he can help. Unfortunately, before the old man can accept the friendship of the creature, Felix comes into the cottage and forces the creature to flee. In the end, the De Lacey family moves from the cottage, fearful that the creature will return.