Frankenstein’s Monster– a Separated, Disillusioned Kid
In Mary Shelley’s romantic unique ‘Frankenstein’, the creature is physically and socially isolated, leaving him like a directionless kid totally unprepared for the ruthlessness and disappointments of life. The rejection and seclusion from those who are anticipated to love and teach him cause him to be ignorant and socially inept, which results in his ignorant and manipulated sense of justice, and lastly the disillusionment that turns the formerly kindhearted and innocent animal into a violent and vengeful beast.
The creature’s initial failure to comprehend the consequences of his actions are a direct outcome of his seclusion from birth; the beast is basically a kid who lacks direction from an authority figure– namely, his developer, Frankenstein. This seclusion and deprivation of assistance prevents him from understanding basic societal conventions, and leads him to act according to the determines of his instincts: he gets in a cottage searching for food, and the old inhabitant” [shrieks] loudly, and [stops] the hut, [running] throughout the fields with a speed of which his debilitated kind barely [appears] capable.” (Shelley 87) After this event, the creature is driven to reside in secrecy beside the De Lacey’s cottage, too afraid to even try contact. The creature’s lack of knowledge to conventions and his social retardation, triggered by seclusion and abandonment, leave him not able to socially work.
All the creature’s understanding of the world originates from what he witnesses from the De Lacey household and what he reads in romantic and optimistic books that instill him with unrealistic, utopian views and provide him a skewed sense of justice. The creature is like an innocent child that never discovers direct the evils of the world, and therefore has no principle of truth; since the only contact that the beast has with the De Laceys, and because he understands no much better, he presumes that they are without the ‘vices of humanity’. Furthermore, the subject matter of the books he later on discovers provides the animal a distorted, romantic view of the world, and of humans, thinking “Werter himself [to be] a. divine being” (Shelley 109).
Additionally, the creature’s limited experience demonstrates how isolation has actually made him immature, with a child’s narrow principle of justice. For instance, after he is shot by the little girl’s father after conserving her,” [his] sufferings [are] augmented also by the oppressive sense of the oppression [he feels] and thanklessness of [the rustic’s] infliction.'” (Shelley 121) The animal unwittingly sets himself up for frustration by bestowing these lofty characteristics of nobility and altruism on the De Laceys, and absorbing without question the grand and optimistic works of Dante, Plutarch and Werter.
As soon as disappointed and injured at the rejection by the De Laceys, the creature reacts violently, lashing out like a kid who has actually never ever handled frustration or anger: “For the very first time the feelings of vengeance and hatred [fill his] bosom, and [he does] not strive to control them, but allowing [himself] to be borne away by the stream, [he bends his] mind towards injury and death.” (Shelley 118) The animal’s lack of control relies on harmful hatred and feelings of retribution, and he gets real enjoyment in triggering others pain, specifying: “‘I looked on my victim [William], and my heart swelled with exultation and hellish triumph; clapping my hands, I exclaimed, ‘I too can develop desolation'” (Shelley 122). His formerly benign and romantic indoctrination is shattered by the vicious rejection he faces at every turn; the creature is like a ruined child, however rather than being ruined by love, he is ruined by the absence and the desire of it, making him a harsh, malicious and cruel beast.
In conclusion, the animal’s isolation– physical, social or otherwise– from anyone who would serve as a loving moms and dad or teacher is his ultimate failure. His lack of knowledge, social ineptitude, naiveté, manipulated sense of justice and lastly his violent and cruel behaviours are direct outcomes of his seclusion and absence of assistance.
Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein. Toronto: Penguin Group, 2000