Hey, did you miss me? Well guess what I am back and ready to attack. As I read further in Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein, I couldn’t help but notice how the negative environment and surrounding individuals influence the MONSTER to be the kind hearted but devious creature he is. I added the picture of my puppy because I thought he looked sad and cute, and he physically represented the way the monster was feeling.
To start off, Victor Frankenstein who created the monster has a gigantic impact on the psychological well-being of the monster. First, he chose to create the monster on “a dreary night of November” (Shelley, 58). Having the environment dark and depressing instead of bright and happy brought negativity to the awakening monster and definitely had a negative influence on the monster’s overall persona. The first time the monster opened his eyes and saw the world, all that was present was fear and darkness, which isn’t a good first impression. In relation to that, when the monster first awoke, he was greeted with the look of horror on Victors face and shortly after that left alone to fend for himself, as victor fled faster than a cheetah on steroids. Another way victor impacts the monsters well-being is how he continuously put him down, for example when victor said, “Devil, I exclaimed, do you dare approach me? … begone, vile insect” (Shelley, 104). This is a perfect example of victor directly calling the monster a devil and an insect, this is basically stating that the monster is the king of evil and is dirty/grotesque. I don’t know about you, but if someone referred to me as a bug, I wouldn’t feel very good about myself. Victor is supposed to be the father figure for the monster, but because he treats him so terribly and is never there for him, the monster feels that he needs to seek revenge to get back at him. I’m not going to tell you how he gets his revenge because that will just spoil the book, just know that he could have handled the situation A LOT better.
I addition to that, the De Lacey family also greatly impacts the monster’s behavior. Just to give you a little insight on who the De Lacey family is, they are a family that the monster encounters/watches in a small village in the country side. The monster is very intrigued by the family as he spends a large amount of time studying their lives and eventually starts to even grow feelings of love for them. To begin, the monster observes the family’s daily activities and learns the basics of life, such as cutting wood, gardening and simply just how to interact with other people. Thus, the monster has learned all positive attributes so far. From watching the family for so long the monster began to learn the bits and pieces of their language and started to secretly help out with some of their chores in order to make the family’s life easier (very kind-hearted thing to do). Also, from observing the family, he learned how to keep a routine and how to help other people when necessary. However, one of the main things the monster learned from the family was compassion as he started to feel sad when they were sad and happy when they were happy, he even tried to make them happy by collecting/cutting fire wood for them every night anonymously just to help out. The monster loves the family, they taught him the basics of life, they showed him what love really looks like, but they however never showed him what it was like to feel loved. Don’t worry I will get into how the De Lacey influenced the monsters devious side in the next paragraph, I just wanted you to see that the monster did truly have a kind heart at some point in the novel.
Lastly, the overall negative environment brought out the devious side in the monster. Everyone was scared of the monster because of his appearance. He doesn’t look like everybody else, but is that really a bad thing? The monster is so self-conscious about how he looks that he won’t even speak to anyone. In relation to that, he did speak to the father of the De Lacey family because he is blind and cannot judge him for his complexion. However, it all took a twist once the rest of the family saw him. They got really scared and beat him up! That wasn’t the only time he got beat up either, the whole village attacked him the first time he arrived. All of this sounds quite familiar to life today, everyone says don’t judge a book by its cover, yet we do it all the time. The terrible actions that the people have towards the monster in the book is a perfect example of how we judge people before we get to know them. Did you see anyone take the time to get to know the monster? No, I didn’t think so. Today we hide our true selves behind makeup and accessories because we are scared of what people might think of us if we actually be ourselves. To spend every moment of everyday scared to speak to people or to leave your home because you think someone might say something mean or judge you is horrible. I can almost guarantee that you have thought something along these lines in your life time, I know I have. Now imagine, this is what the monster goes through every single day, he spends months upon months trapped away in his hovel as he is scared to leave because every time he does, there is never a good outcome. I honestly don’t blame him for being angry, however, I don’t agree with the way he chose to handle his anger. You will have to read the book to find out if you agree with me or not.
Overall, the monster loves the De Lacey family and victor his creator; however, they both treat him so terribly, and he doesn’t understand how control his emotions. All he wants is for them to love him and neither of them do it thus resulting in hatred towards himself; he thinks he’s worthless. He also shows hatred towards victor because he is who created him in the first place. Having everything he loves slip away, or in this case, beat out of him just triggered his kind heart to become crushed and turn a little devious.
Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Maurice Hindle. Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus. Penguin, 1992.