In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, what do Victor and the monster discuss?

Quick answer:

Victor and the monster talk about Victor's disgust at his creation, questioning his existence, and cursing him first. In the end, Victor listens to the tale his creation begs him to hear.

Expert Answers

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

Dr. Frankenstein and his monster discuss several different things after his creation. The monster comes to life loquacious and intelligent, and so he is able to converse well in spite of the fact that he was just created.

One of the first things that the two discuss is Victor ’s...

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

disgust at the monster he created. Victor assumed his creation would be beautiful and a much more impressive feat, but the monster is heinous and questions his existence, which frustrates Victor, thinking it was a failure even though he was able to manufacture life from nothing.

Victor eventually curses the monster and wishes him dead. He does this several times, hating the murderous creature he designed. His monster believes him to be a hypocrite since he created this beast. In the end, Victor demands the monster to leave him, but he ends up listening to the tale his creation begs him to hear.

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

Victor and the creature meet again in Switzerland, after the creature has already killed William, Victor’s younger brother. Their conversations essentially express two opposite positions on the fundamental question that Mary Shelley raises regarding the nature of life and personal autonomy.

Victor sees the creature not as human but as an artificial being that he created and, therefore, owns. He feels entirely justified in ending the creature’s existence, which he does not see as killing a person. The creature, however, considers himself to be as fully human as those who came to life in more traditional ways. “Cursed, cursed creator!” he cries out, wondering that Victor let him live. He expresses deep emotions such as loneliness and a desire for companionship. He requests that Victor create a female companion for him, seeing this as Victor’s obligation to him for having forced a solitary existence onto him. Victor is disgusted with both the creature and himself, but he decides that his moral course will be to help the creature, as long as he adheres to his plan to move to South America.

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

In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, when Victor and the monster meet face to face, they speak of several things.

Victor curses the creature and wishes him dead. His sole intent is to do whatever he can to destroy that which he has created. The monster responds that Victor is responsible in creating him in the first place. The creature states that even though his life is miserable, he still loves it and will defend himself against Victor's attack.

Life, although it may only be the accumulation of anguish, is dear to me and I will defend it.

The creature notes that Frankenstein has a responsibility to him. Victor has rejected him, as do all other members of society. He lives a lonely existence where only nature does not judge him. He accuses Victor of hypocrisy: Victor calls the creature a murderer, yet wants to kill the very thing he brought life to—the monster sees no justices in this.

Victor once again curses the creature, and himself for giving the creature life. He tell the monster to leave him, but the creature implores Victor to at least listen to the tale he has to tell. As he thinks about it, Victor is moved:

I was partly urged by curiosity, and compassion confirmed my resolution...For the first time, also, I felt what the duties of a creator towards his creature were, and that I ought to render him happy before I complained of his wickedness. These motives urged me to comply with his demand.

And so it is that Victor follows the monster so that he may hear the monster's tale.

Approved by eNotes Editorial