Mary Shelley's portrayal of the creature in Frankenstein: analysis and purpose

Categories: Frankenstein

In this coursework I am going to discuss Mary Shelly's presentation of Frankenstein's monster, and how she creates an image of the monster. In the novel Mary Shelly describes the monster as "having a yellow dull eye, and as having thin black lips, 'inhuman eyes and a sallow skin in which one can see the pulsing, work of his muscles, arteries and veins". Here Victor imagined that his creation would be beautiful and imaginative, but the creature he created turned out to be the complete opposite of what he thought.

The monster that is Victor Frankenstein's creation is presented as an eight-foot tall confused person. He is confused in the fact that his creator has abandoned him. In his first meeting with Victor Frankenstein the monster says "All men hate the wretched; how, then, must I be hated, who am miserable beyond all living things".

The monster is saying that he is alert of his miserable condition, he sees himself as the most miserable of all the creatures, he completely hates himself.

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Here the monster could not believe that his creator had made him this ugly. Before the monster says this Victor Frankenstein refers to the creature as being a "wretch, a filthy demon, and a devil". He hates his creation for what it is, and what it does according to its actions. It is doctor Frankenstein's fault and misunderstanding and hatred that turn his creation into a monster. Here Victor's anger is understandable, but so is the creator.

I am now going to analyze the reasons why the monster became so cruel and vengeful and also comment on some of the creature's evil deeds.

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The monster becomes cruel and merciless, because many events take place, which encourage the monster to become merciless and bad. The monster was rejected at birth by his creator (Victor), who didn't care for the monster at all and this is where the story really boils up when the actions of Victor leads the monster becoming a municipal corporate of the area where Victor lives.

There is an exchange of hatred words between the monster and Victor Frankenstein when they meet each other. The monster says, "You purpose to kill me. How dare you sport thus with life? Do your duty towards me, and I will do mine towards you and the rest of mankind". Here the monster is very angry and is saying if you do your duty by looking after me I will do mine as well. He offers Victor a deal; this shows he is not a wild beast. The monster goes on and says, "You my creator abhor me! What hope can I gather from your fellow creatures, which owe me nothing? They spurn and hurt me. The Desert Mountains and dreary glaciers are my refuge". The monster feels like an absolute outcaste and lonely, he's saying if his creator hates him, how can he expect for others to accept him? The monster is hurt and is starting to gather momentum and take revenge on Victor Frankenstein who did this to him. The monster also says "I am malicious because I am miserable. Am I not shunned and hated by all mankind?" here the monster is very self-aware. Shelly is presenting us with a very emotional profile of a murderer, the monster is also trying to explain that how he is disliked by all the people that see him. The monster also makes a sad comment when he says "Hateful day when I received life". The monster wishes he had never been born, as his life has turned into a misery. The monster shows his anger for Victor when he says "I will revenge my injuries...until I desolate your heart, so that you shall curse the hour of your birth". The monster is angry and his only desire is revenge and to make Victor suffer the way he has suffered.

The anger continues between Victor and the monster in the Orkney Islands when the monster says "I have dwelt many months in the heaths of England and among the deserts of Scotland. I have endured incalculable fatigue and cold and hunger, do you dare destroy any hopes?" The monster is angry and expresses all his anger when Victor destroys his mate. The monster gives a warning to Victor when he says, "Slave, I before reasoned with you, but you have proved yourself unworthy of my condescension." The monster is looking for revenge and quotes that everything is planned and set for his vengeance, because he has rejected the monsters plea and says that Victor will have to pay the price.

There are good qualities of the monster also, when he says "I gazed on my victim and my heart swelled with exultation and hellish triumph...this death will carry despair to him and a thousand other miseries shall torment and destroy him", here the monster describes his thoughts on the murder of William the youngest son of Frankenstein's family. He delights in his power and enjoys revenge but sees it as being evil and a sin. After threatening Victor the monster shows his lust for love when he says "If any being felt emotions of benevolence towards me, I should return them a hundredfold". The monster pleas for help and love. He does not want to carry out his bloodthirsty revenge.

There are many other good qualities of the monster such as his desire for knowledge, his desire for self-improvement, his kindness towards a peasant family and also his showing of heroics when saving a girl from drowning. All these statements show that the monster also had some good qualities not just bad. Also at the start of the novel the monster also starts reading novels like Milton's paradise Lost, he then starts wondering about himself and his loneliness because of his apparent rareness, he tries to understand his identity. He says "I was apparently united by no link to any other being in existence". The monster is saying that he is not to be blamed for his birth and wants some kind of protection and accompany.

Victor was the main causes of unhappiness, because it's him who abandoned his creator. After the killing of Justine and Williams the monster says, "I allowed myself to be borne away by them, and forgetting my solitude and deformity, dared to be happy". He's feeling guilty about the murders he's committed and feels left out and lonelier. This shows that the monster might have done plenty of evil deeds but he also regrets for what he does. The monster also goes on a murderous spree after he finds out that his creator has abandoned him. The monster goes out in search of every single member of Victor's family.

I sympathize with the monster, because the monster felt alone and abandoned at birth. It wasn't the monsters fault, because of his facial expressions and how he looked. The monster also looked constantly confused throughout the novel and he also couldn't really go out and face the world. The monster also won my sympathy, because he felt regretful after the evil deed he had committed and he also repents on his wrong doings. The monster didn't know his identity and all h wanted was the attention of his father that he lusted for a long time, but failed to do so. After the death of Victor the monster weeps over his dead body and shows his true colors. In Walton's final letter to his sister he recounts the words spoken to him over Victors dead body, "I, the miserable and the abandoned, am an abortion, to be spurned at, and kicked, and trampled on", the monster questions the injustice of how he has been treated and how he has suffered since he has been created. The line also tells you the image of abortion and the monsters unwanted life. The novel mainly revolves around the difficult situations the monster faces since his creation, which is why the monster also wins my sympathy.

Updated: May 03, 2023
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Mary Shelley's portrayal of the creature in Frankenstein: analysis and purpose. (2020, Jun 02). Retrieved from

Mary Shelley's portrayal of the creature in Frankenstein: analysis and purpose essay
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