Hey again! I have some exciting news! I have just finished the chilling novel Frankenstein and I have more to talk about than ever! The last chapters of the novel were incredibly suspenseful. Mary Shelley ended the novel on sort of a cliffhanger and left me with an unfortunate desire to know more. In these last chapters the reader was able to see more of Victor’s fabulous stupidity, the death of Victor’s remaining family members (with the exception of Ernest – no one knows what happened to him), the return of Walton – who in reality had been listening along to Victor’s story the entire time, and lastly the catastrophic demise of Victor himself. Today, for my very last reflection on the novel Frankenstein I will be discussing the inevitable desire for humans to seek love and companionship. The effects on humans/ living creatures when they are rejected by society, and the important take away messages from the novel.
In the novel Frankenstein, one of the main themes throughout the story was the inevitable desire for humans to seek companionship. Throughout the entire story the reader was able to see the extraordinary measures people/living creatures will go to in order to find companionship and to find love in a world that seems so full of hate. This theme was responsible for the majority of the conflict in the novel and led to the untimely demise of Victor. We first see this theme come to light during letters 1-4 in the very first few pages of the book. Robert Walton longs for a companion, a friend whom he can relate to and share his travels with. Then when his ship comes across the frozen and decaying Victor Frankenstein, Walton believes he has finally found the friend he has so long desired and just like that he has found a companion. Victor then shares with him his own life tale and the reader is able to follow along, learning as Victor tells his story everything that we should not do in our own lives. Frankenstein is fascinating because in this first section of the novel Walton longs for a companion and then just like that he finds one, illustrating to the reader the idea that companionship comes easily. However, as the novel progresses the reader has a completely different view on companionship and the search that comes along with it. The monster from the time he was created just longed to be loved, to be wanted and to be apart of something, a family or even a mere bond. This truly shows that anyone no matter what their characteristics, beliefs, or wishes, will have at least one thing in common with everybody else and that is the wish to find someone to love and who loves you back. No matter who you are you will have this desire, it is simply human nature. Whether you desire a friend, a husband or wife, or simply a family, we all wish to be apart of this untimely bond that is what indeed makes us all so human. Our feelings, emotions of love and hate are what can consume us either for the better or for the worse. But in Frankenstein the creatures search for this love and friendship just keeps on turning him up dry. The world only looks upon him with hate and sees him only for the ugliness on the outside of him, rather than giving him a chance and seeing him for what is within; the knowledge, kindness and love just waiting to be found. Anyone he tried to talk to, to become acquainted with just repeatedly shut him down and left him with nothing but the possibility that there had to be someone out there who would be different, who would look beyond his appearance and accept him for who he is. This search led the monster to the De Lacey family and for the first time the monster really believed he had found the people to whom he belonged with, the so longingly desired companions that would bring happiness into his life. Unfortunately, after months of preparing to win them over the monster was again completely rejected. This is when the creature completely lost it unleashing his rage and hatred upon all human beings and eliminating the possibility of ever finding love from our sinister species (the human race). The search for companionship led to this everlasting conflict between the monster and the species that refused to accept him.
“If I cannot inspire love, I will cause fear, and chiefly towards you my arch-enemy, because my creator, do I swear inextinguishable hatred.” (Shelley 157)
This quote said by the monster to Victor, demonstrates to the reader exactly what happens when someone is rejected by society. The monster had wanted nothing more than to find love and inspire it in those around him however, after repeatedly being shunned by all those around him the monster gave up on trying to be kind to the people who refused to show him any human decency whatsoever. So he instead resolved to bring fear to all, more specifically to Victor his creator, “his father”and at the least the one person who should have loved him despite his flaws.
You may have believed that this would have been the end of the monsters journey. That after being rejected so many times the creature would’ve given up all hope of ever finding his desired companion. I’m sure that if I had been in the monsters shoes, I myself would not have had the power to continue to keep searching for someone to love me when I had already been rejected so many times. But the monster wouldn’t give it up, his one desire was to be loved and he wouldn’t stop until he found it. That’s when Victor comes back into the mix. The monster as well as the reader knows at this point that the no human will give the creature a chance. The novel really connects this part of the story to the real world in that whenever anyone is different from everybody else the world likes to look at it as a bad thing. When in reality it should be the opposite. Our differences are what make us all unique and special if we were all supposed to be the same the world would’ve made us that way. We are all adapted and have characteristics to fit our own lives, and perhaps if the world had see the monsters amazing capabilities, and incredible knowledge rather than seeing only the flaws in him we would have been reading a completely different story, a story that perhaps would’ve ended in happily ever after rather than complete destruction. Anyways as I was saying, the monster finally gave up on trying to prove his worthiness of being accepted by us judgmental humans and realized the only chance he had at love was if another creature like him existed. Then after convincing Victor that he deserved love just as everyone else on the planet does, Victor agreed to create another monster, a female whom the creature could marry. Now as you probably know by now, Victor does nothing from the kindness of his heart and that he only does things that benefit him. So in return to this the monster and his wife would have to run away forever, leaving Victor and his family at peace.
For awhile the story was looking up and it seemed that perhaps the feud of the monster versus Victor was finally over but as you may have guessed this was not the case. This is when Victor’s never ending stupidity comes back into play. You would think that since Victor had finally got the monster off of his back he would have appreciated his decision and honored his promise, after all Victor had already caused the monster incredulous pain for which Victor had already been punished for. At this point in the story I thought maybe, just maybe Victor would have learned his lesson by now, that he would’ve realized the mistakes he had made and done something to fix them. This was Victor’s last chance to make up for his poor parenting and selfishness but of course once again he chose to go and throw it all away. Victor went back on his promise showing to the reader his unloyalty and for about the twentieth time reiterating his selfishness. It was bad enough that Victor stabbed the monster in the back but he also stabbed his only chance at love in the back as well. He brutally mutilated her partially finished body and left it there for the creature to find. If you ask me Victor seemed to have been trying to start a war with the creature. What did he think would happen? That he would take away the possibility of the monsters one dream, his one wish and that there would be no consequences? If you ask me Victor got what he deserved. The monster did to Victor exactly what had been done to him, killed Elizabeth – his one chance at love.
If Victor had kept his promise and created another creature I do believe it would’ve changed the entire ending of the novel. The monster would have had all the love he could’ve ever needed and for the first time in his life would have experienced true happiness. The monster may have been portrayed as just that – a monster; a horrible, ugly beast but I am positive that with this happiness would’ve come the outburst of kindness and love that was buried in him all along. Because of this happiness and kindness I| am sure the monster would have quit Geneva along with Victor and his family forever. He would’ve honored his promise and both he and Victor could’ve experienced the fairy tale ending that everyone desires.
One decision can alter your life forever in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein this message is apparently clear. We must however learn from Victor’s mistakes because in the world that we live in; we too can be consumed by selfishness, knowledge, and the search for love. You must always remember who you are, who you want to be and who your decisions may be affecting. If Victor had ever thought about these things rather than only himself the story of Frankenstien would’ve been a very different novel. If perhaps the monster had been accepted by anyone his rage would’ve never been unleashed. We must all remember that each and every person on this planet was put here for a reason and that we have no right to judge anyone. Even the monster had a reason to be, he taught us all a very important lesson – the lesson that knowledge brings destruction and hatred brings war. This lesson was essential for Victor to learn and pass on to Walton but more importantly it was essential that the reader took away this message as well. Because although Frankenstien is the work of science fiction, when I look around the world we are apart of today this novel is not so far off. The fate of Victor if we are not careful could one day be the untimely fate of us all. You have the power to change this world for the worse or for the better. How you choose to live your life could affect us all. Be the good in the world, the person who extinguishes evil rather than ignites it. I would like to leave you all with a quote. This quote was said in the novel by Victor when he was speaking to Elizabeth and represents words by which we should all live by.
“Live, and be happy and make others so.” (Shelley 93)
Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft. Frankenstein. Penguin Publishing Group, 2013.