“The most terrible poverty is loneliness, and the feeling of being unloved.” ― Mother Teresa
Have you ever asked yourself, would all of this have happened if I chose to be kind and done what was right? For many that thought has gone through their head, and without a doubt they know the outcome would have been much less detrimental to themselves and others. For me, I wonder if Victor Frankenstein in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein ever asked himself that simple question – would all of this have happened if I chose to be kind and do what was right? It is easily noted that since the creature’s very first day, his interaction with humankind has only been damaging to the perception of both himself and humanity, causing the creature to become filled with rage, resentful to all of humanity, and swearing to take revenge on the man who caused all of his pain. Words cannot describe the agony the creature has been through that Victor Frankenstein caused, a man who was so determined to create life, investing all of his love and energy into the making of the creature only to abandon it after one look of it’s now alive, hideous appearance (Shelley 58). In my opinion Victor would not have felt any remorse for abandoning the creature, not giving it a second thought of what the right thing to do was, for it is clear due to the fact that Victor created life from the flesh and bones of someone’s dearly loved family members or friends that he only is concerned with himself and has no regard for anyone else (Shelley 55). Candidly, I am amazed that the creature did not retaliate until he did, well after Victor’s abandonment.
Do you believe that love and kindness are blind? In my opinion, Mary Shelley attempts to answer that age-old question in Frankenstein using elderly and blind De Lacey, the head of a very poor family who was sent away by the government of France for freeing prisoners, now living in “miserable asylum” in a German cottage later to be found by Frankenstein’s creature who’s only desire is for kinship with those who understand the pain that he has experienced (Shelley 134). The story of the creature watching over the De Lacey family, learning and mimicking the mannerisms of modern humans, and how to read and write is very endearing, however that is not the focus; the focus is whether or not the creature will be accepted by De Lacey, to see if love and kindness are truly blind. When the creature felt that he was more learned than another guest of the De Laceys who was clearly accepted, he knocked at the cottage door saying “I am a traveler in want of a little rest…”, and De Lacey hospitably invites the creature in, and the two proceed to discuss and bond over their hardships, even at one point De Lacey commenting on the creature’s language, asking “…are you French?” (Shelley 143). I believe that this small excerpt proves that love and kindness are truly blind because the two individuals seem to share a strengthening bond based on their hardships without any influence caused by the creature’s appearance. Interestingly enough, I believe that the true judge of character is your ears, for your ears are not biased like your eyes are because if De Lacey was not blind he undoubtedly would not have let the creature in. However, De Lacey is blind so all he had to judge the man at his door was his ears, even going so far to think that the creature was French, one of the most dignified cultures in the world. Unfortunately, not all of humanity is blind and the need for individuals to become more accepting, is clearly shown when De Lacey’s family comes home, finding the creature by De Lacey, and then proceeding to faint, run away terrified, and beat the creature until he was overcome with pain and anguish, it is because of all the pain that Victor caused his creature to feel that we as readers get the opportunity to decide for ourselves if you believe that love and kindness are truly blind, hopefully creating a desire to become more accepting of other’s appearances.
Ultimately, all of the creature’s pain and resentfulness in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein has been caused by Victor Frankenstein not asking himself the simple question – would all of this have happened if I chose to be kind and do what was right? In addition, it is because of all the pain that Victor has caused his creature to feel that we as readers get the opportunity to decide for ourselves if we believe that love and kindness are truly blind, hopefully creating a desire to become more accepting of other’s appearances. So, now I ask you to always remember this, “Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” ― Mark Twain
Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft. Frankenstein. Penguin Publishing Group, 2013.
Teresa of Calcutta. “Quotes About Loneliness.” Goodreads, www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/loneliness.
Twain, Mark. “Quotes About Kindness.” Goodreads, www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/loneliness.