What statement in chapter 7 of Frankenstein suggests that Victor views the creature as part of himself?

The statement in chapter 7 that suggests Victor views the creature as part of himself is: "I considered the being I had cast among mankind ... nearly in the light of my own vampire, my own spirit let loose from the grave, and forced to destroy all that was dear to me."

Expert Answers

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

In chapter 7, Victor, contemplating the death of William as probably the work of his creature, wonders if the creature is:

the light of my own vampire, my own spirit let loose from the grave, and forced to destroy all that was dear to me.

On the surface, this...

See
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

In chapter 7, Victor, contemplating the death of William as probably the work of his creature, wonders if the creature is:

the light of my own vampire, my own spirit let loose from the grave, and forced to destroy all that was dear to me.

On the surface, this speaks to Victor's feeling that he is a murderer because the creature who murdered is his creation. On a deeper level, it also suggests that Victor suspects that he created the creature out of a desire to enact his repressed fantasies. It is telling that he has nothing but the most elevated words to say about his family members, including adoptive ones like Elizabeth, writing and speaking of them in the most glowing and idealized of terms. It is possible, therefore, that the creature enacts Victor's own unacknowledged desire to destroy the rival of an adorable and beloved little brother so that Victor can once again be the sole beloved son. This would also account for his marrying Elizabeth without telling her the danger the marriage entails, knowing it could very well lead to her death: perhaps he secretly wished this person foisted on him would die. The creature as vampire, therefore, in this reading, represents the return of the repressed, his hideous appearance symbolizing the parts of himself that Victor considers hideous and wants to flee once he has empowered them. Victor, in fact, acknowledges that he has set loose on the world as creature who "could effect the purposes of horror."

A vampire in the Byronic mood is a creature that weakens and sickens its victims, and we see Victor weakened and sickened by the creature. It is telling, too, that Victor can do anything but love the creature, the one act that almost certainly might have controlled its violent impulses, suggesting that Victor might want the creature to act out these violent urges.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In chapter 7, Victor is overcome with grief at William's brutal murder. He feels responsible since it was he who created the monster without any thought to the consequences. Now, he suspects that the creature has committed murder. If so, Victor recognizes that the monster is wreaking havoc by killing an innocent person in an attempt to lash out at Victor.

In his guilt, Victor admits:

I considered the being I had cast among mankind, and endowed with the will and power to effect purposes of horror, such as the deed which he had now done, nearly in the light of my own vampire, my own spirit let loose from the grave, and forced to destroy all that was dear to me.

Here, he is suggesting that the creature is figuratively like Victor's spirit, terrorizing society with such evil brutality. In other words, although Victor is not the actual murderer, he feels he is indirectly the culprit, as the creature is an extension of him. It was he who gave life to a lifeless entity, and he who gave it both the mind and the means to destroy. It is irrelevant that Victor never meant for the creature to be destructive. He created it, and he now must accept the consequences—both to himself and to all of mankind.

As its creator (in essence, its father), Victor is responsible for whatever the monster does.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Victor spends most of the chapter reflecting on William's death and his own sense of guilt and melancholy at having been away from home for so long. The creature appears briefly, astonishing Victor with its speed and strength as it scales a hill in a matter of moments, and it occurs to Victor that the creature might have been William's murderer, for "nothing in human shape could have destroyed the fair child".

In my copy, this quote is on page 84, while Victor is reflecting upon the possibility that the creature is the murderer, and on how his own efforts have resulted in this;

I considered the being whom I had cast among mankind,
and endowed with the will and power to effect purposes of
horror, such as the deed which he had now done, nearly in
the light of my own vampire, my own spirit let loose from
the grave, and forced to destroy all that was dear to me.
There are some vampire stories which suggest that a spirit can leave the body and go out to do harm on its own; this is what Victor implies. Of course, Victor is jumping to extreme conclusions; having seen the creature, he has already decided that it must be the murderer. This serves as a plot device to make Justine's accusation and execution more horrifying to the reader, by presenting us solely with Victor's conviction of the creature's guilt rather than a rational and secular approach. It also elaborates on Victor's compulsion to seek out the creature and atone for what he feels was his error in creating him, and providing another level of thematic depth (i.e. the creature is also the "dark side" of Victor's psyche).
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

After a period of mourning, Victor Frankenstein begins to return home. As he does approaches the place of his brother's murder, he feels a darkness closing in around him:

Night also closed around; and when I could hardly see the dark mountains, I felt still more gloomily. The picture appeared a vast and dim scene of evil, and I foresaw obscurely that I was destined to become the most wretched of human beings. Alas! I prophesied truly, and failed only in one single circumstance, that in all the misery I imagined and dreaded, I did not conceive the hundredth part of the anguish I was destined to endure.

The wording in bold is eerily similar to the phrasing that Victor also uses to describe the monster:

How can I describe my emotions at this catastrophe, or how delineate the wretch whom with such infinite pains and care I had endeavoured to form? (Chapter 5)

I beheld the wretch—the miserable monster whom I had created. (Chapter 5)

The porter opened the gates of the court, which had that night been my asylum, and I issued into the streets, pacing them with quick steps, as if I sought to avoid the wretch whom I feared every turning of the street would present to my view. (Chapter 5)

Thus, by referring to himself two chapters later as destined to become the most wretched of human beings, Frankenstein is inextricably linking himself with the monster; their paths are bound together and they are bound to suffer the same "miserable" destiny. Frankenstein also realizes that he lacks the courage to either help his creation assimilate into society or to destroy the evidence of his scientific masterpiece. Thus, there is no hope for either of them, and he knows that he will never know peace as long as the monster roams the earth, taking lives and seeking revenge. The symbolism of walking into darkness (or evil) and therefore becoming the wretch that he has created becomes a turning point in the novel. Victor's refusal to help acquit Justine with his knowledge of the likely culprit of his brother's murder and instead allowing an innocent woman to die because of his silence propels Victor into a wretched monster himself.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

When Victor first sees his creature, some two years after its creation in Ingolstadt, Victor is spending the night outside of Geneva because the gates were already shut when he arrived home. When a flash of lightning illuminates the creature on a nearby mountain, Victor says that its deformity "instantly informed [him] that it was the wretch, the filthy daemon, to whom [he] had given life." To speak of the creature in this way almost makes it sound as though Victor is his father which, in a way, he is. He is not the creature's biological father, as they share no genes, but he has created the being and so he is, more than anyone else can be said to be, its father. It is, for this reason, a part of him.

Victor realizes, of course, that it was very likely this creature who murdered his brother, William. To this end, he says,

I considered the being whom I had cast among mankind, and endowed with the will and power to effect purposes of horror, such as the deed which he had now done, nearly in the light of my own vampire, my own spirit let loose from the grave, and forced to destroy all that was dear to me.

Thus, Victor compares the creature, with its individual will and immense strength and power, to his own spirit let loose from the grave. He feels, on some level, that he has imbued the creature with some aspect of himself, and this makes it even more dangerous to him and his family. Such a description also makes it seem as though the creature is, somehow, a part of Victor himself.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In Chapter 7 of Frankenstein, I think this is the quote you are looking for:

I revolved in my mind the events which I had until now sought to forget: the whole train of my progress towards the creation; the appearance of the work of my own hands alive at my bedside; its departure. Two years had now nearly elapsed since the night on which he first received life; and was this his first crime? Alas! I had turned loose into the world a depraved wretch, whose delight was in carnage and misery; had he not murdered my brother?

And perhaps this one too:

My tale was not one to announce publicly; its astounding horror would be looked upon as madness by the vulgar. Did any one indeed exist, except I, the creator, who would believe, unless his senses convinced him, in the existence of the living monument of presumption and rash ignorance which I had let loose upon the world?

This is a case of metonymy and synecdoche: Victor uses phrases like "rash ignorance" and "the appearance of the work of my own hands" and "my tale" and "its astounding horror" as substitutions for both the monster (his creation) and a part of himself, his dark side or alter-ego.

Indeed the monster is the product of Victor's morbid thoughts, the sum work of his journal, and his own fears.  It's as if the monster is an overgrown murderous child, an Id run wild.  The monster is indeed Victor's doppelganger, his ghostly twin who has come to haunt his family as revenge for abandoning him and not making him a mate.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on