In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, what does the monster learn by observing the DeLacey family?

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The most transformative thing the creature learns from the De Lacey family is the sense of belonging that arises from being part of a family. As he spies on the family from a distance, he watches them care for each other. He notices how they share in both the joys...

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The most transformative thing the creature learns from the De Lacey family is the sense of belonging that arises from being part of a family. As he spies on the family from a distance, he watches them care for each other. He notices how they share in both the joys and the hardships that each member faces, and the bond which unites them in life's journey. The creature begins to long for the intimate sense of being known that the De Laceys share:

The more I saw of them, the greater became my desire to claim their protection and kindness; my heart yearned to be known and loved by these amiable creatures; to see their sweet looks directed towards me with affection was the utmost limit of my ambition.

By observing the De Lacey family, the creature has learned that life is best shared with people who care for each other. He has lacked any meaningful human connections for his entire existence. Victor provides the closest human relationship he has encountered, and from his creator he receives only scorn, fear, and rejection. The creature has now learned a sense of what belonging to a family can bring and begins to desperately long for this same sense of fulfillment which he witnesses the De Laceys sharing through their quiet and everyday moments of life.

Ultimately, he also learns that he is an outsider and that even the De Laceys, whom he has grown to think of as his own family of sorts, cannot accept him. He learns that his physical differences are a barrier to his admission into an already established family. This then propels him to consider how he can create his own family, trying to imitate the structure he has witnessed among the De Laceys.

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The DeLacey family consists of a blind old man from Paris who is of a "good" family, his daughter Agatha, and his son Felix. The family is ruined and forced to live in a cottage in the woods after trying to help Safie's Turkish father. Safie also lives with them.

From observing the DeLacey family, the creature learns that others beside him have been treated unjustly. The DeLacey's are good, pure people who suffer for trying to help a foreigner. From them, the creature discovers how good people treat each other, with kindness, self sacrifice, and respect. Feeling very alone, he hopes that he can perhaps become a party of this loving family.

The creature also learns that the DeLacey's speak using language and hopes to acquire it for himself.

The creature acquires a great deal of socialization in human life from quietly observing the DeLacey's from afar. When he feels it is safe to do so, the creature approaches the blind father first. Mr. DeLacey, unable to see him, speaks to him kindly, but when the children return, Felix jumps to the conclusion that he is a monster and treats him with physical abuse. The creature experiences sorrow and despair that even such good people as the DeLaceys can't see past his outward hideous appearance to his yearning, kind-hearted soul.

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From the DeLaceys, Frankenstein's creature also learns of human history, both of our incredible accomplishments and our goodness and compassion and of the horrible things that we do to one another and all of the evil deeds of which we are fully capable. He tells Victor, "These wonderful narrations inspired me with strange feelings. Was man, indeed, at once so powerful, so virtuous and magnificent, yet so vicious and base? He appeared at one time a mere scion of the evil principle and at another as all that can be conceived of noble and godlike." Therefore, the creature not only learns about human history, but he also learns a great deal about human nature—namely, that we actually possess a dual nature and are capable of great goodness and great evil. This becomes yet another aspect of himself that the creature soon comes to understand: he can save a drowning girl from the creek, and he can strangle a young boy because he happens to be related to Victor Frankenstein.

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In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, the creature learns a great deal from observing the DeLacey family.

The creature learns what a family is, how they share each other's company, and how they support and love one another. He is amazed at the simple things they employ: tapers (candles) to lengthen the day, a guitar to create music. He comes to understand the concept of reading aloud. He learns that others are unhappy, as he is, though it amazes him that those who are beautiful and enjoy good company could also feel the unhappiness that engulfs him.

The creature comes to understand poverty and hunger.

A considerable period elapsed before I discovered one of the causes of the uneasiness of this amiable family: it was poverty, and they suffered that evil in a very distressing degree...They often, I believe, suffered the pangs of hunger very poignantly, especially the two younger cottagers; for several times they placed food before the old man when they reserved none for themselves.

In seeing their hunger, the creature, who had been eating some of their food, abstained from doing so, knowing what harm it caused the family. Here he learns compassion, though none has been shown to him. The monster learns charity, by doing work that will help the family to survive, such as gathering wood.

Soon the creature began to understand that the family communicates with each other using words.

By degrees I made a discovery of still greater moment. I found that these people possessed a method of communicating their experiences and feelings to one another by articulate sounds. I perceived that the words they spoke sometimes produced pleasure or pain, smiles or sadness, in the minds and countenances of the hearers. This was indeed a godlike science, and I ardently desired to become acquainted with it.

The creature comes to understand the concept of reading, but has no way to master this skill. And it is also from Felix, the young DeLacey, and his sweetheart, Safie (who appears one day on horseback), that the creature learns of love.

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