Don’t judge a book by its cover

The story line of Victor and his monster progress further. Victor runs into his creation while hiking in the Alps, and his creation has a long story to tell. He tells him everything that happened after he was left. We learn that his creation is no monster at all. He educates himself through the books he finds and experiences the world first hand by himself. The “monster” killed William, but saved another little girls life and was shot for it. He tells him how he tried to build relationships but no one could get past the fact that he was an ugly “monster”. He asks victor to build him a mate that he promises he will take to South America. At first, Victor is reluctant, but eventually agrees. While working on his new “monster”, Victor begins to do a lot of thinking. He begins to realize his new creation will have the ability to think and act freely just as his first creation does. He begins to have second thoughts and destroys his work and his creation begins his vengeance by killing off Clerval while Victor gets framed. Victor vows to get revenge and begins hunting the monster, and that is where our story with Walton gets tied in. Eventually Victor dies on the boat, and Walton finds the creation crying over Victor’s body. The novel ends with a final monologue from the creation talking about his death.

“I shall die, and what I feel now will no longer be felt. Soon these burning miseries will be extinct. I shall ascend my funeral pile triumphantly, and exult in the agony of the torturing flames…My spirit will sleep in peace; or if it thinks, it will not surely think thus.” (Shelley 221). In this passage, Shelley is telling us that the creation was nothing but human. The monster could be no monster because Shelley humanized him. She furthers her argument earlier in the novel by having the “monster” say: “Shall each man, find a wife for his bosom, and each beast have his mate, and I be alone? I had feelings of affection, and they were requited by detestation and scorn.” (Shelley 176). Here she was saying how Victor’s creation just needed love and affection. He wanted a relationship just like any other man, but the world around him treated him liked dirt. He was molded by his environment. There is a constant nature vs. nurture theme seen in the story line. A child who is brought up in an abusive environment is going to act what he see. In a famous study conducted by Albert Bandura, he placed a small child in a room with an adult mistreating and beating a doll. It was found that the children, when left alone with the doll, would treat the doll exactly how the adults treated it. This study is applicable to Frankenstein because he knows no better than evil, hate, and violence.

The rising question from the final passage of this novel is what if Victor’s creation wasn’t mistreated? What if he was brought up in a loving environment and was exposed to good people and affection. After reading this novel the common phrase, “don’t judge a book by its cover” comes to mind. The creation educated himself and proved that he was no monster, but an eloquent individual who had a thirst for knowledge and kindness.

 

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