Safie ; S Impact On The Wretch In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
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Though a minor character in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Safie’s impact on the wretch is major. Through Safie, the wretch sees an outsider successfully integrate into the De Lacey family. While the wretch eventually makes the painful realization that he will never be able to replicate her achievement, his longing for companionship does not fade. Ultimately, though, the wretch’s appearance makes this dream impossible to realize, and society makes an enemy out of one who could have been a good friend.
Safie is the first person the wretch encounters who is an outsider like himself. When she arrives at the De Lacey home, the only word she is able to say is Felix’s name. The wretch soon deduces that “she was neither understood by, or herself understood,…show more content… He mentions that her hair was “a shining raven black, and curiously braided,” and that “her features were of a regular proportion.” His mention of her braided hair indicates that she is different from Agatha, the wretch’s only other point of comparison for femininity, but Safie is still aesthetically pleasing in spite of being unusual. In describing Safie’s looks in detail, the wretch demonstrates his understanding of how important first impressions are to humans. He likely already knows that Safie will be welcomed more fondly than he will ever be. While the wretch intends to win over the cottagers with his “gentle demeanour and conciliating words,” (page 131) Safie gains the affection of her future sister-in-law and father-in-law merely by appearing on their doorstep. She already has the love of her future husband, despite never having had a real conversation with him. Though he is clearly at a disadvantage, the wretch becomes more determined than ever to learn to…show more content… He does not ever do this to Felix or Agatha. Given that the wretch has no name himself, he could be seeking to emphasise that Safie is an outsider just like him, or he could want to demonstrate his perceived superiority. He is working harder and improving faster than she is, and may thus feel he deserves to be a member of the De Lacey family more than she