"He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does
not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss
gazes into you"
Virtue is found at the margins of society more often than at its
centre. If this is so, Mary Shelley's Creation is a typical example.
Her creature is an isolate of great sensitivity, kindness, and
insight. Mary Shelley's creature was modelled on Rousseau's notion of
humanity as the "noble savage." The nobility of the Creature is
evident as he unveils his chronicle to Victor Frankenstein upon the
icy crags of Mount Blanc. The creature asks his creator, ""Did I
request thee, Maker from my clay to mould me man? Did I solicit thee,
from darkness to promote me?". We see that the creature resents his
creation, and therefore his creator. We see that the creature´s
primary concern is that of a companion who is similar in appearance
and likeness to him:
"Like Adam, I was apparently united by no link to any other human
being...I was wretched, helpless and alone. Many times I considered
Satan as the fitter emblem of my condition".
The creature´s self-justification is part and parcel with the Romantic
philosophy that Mary Shelley critiqued in her novel. Unlike the
Enlightenment credo, "I think therefore I am," the creature´s creed
would have been the plaintive cry: " I suffer, therefore I am."
Self-knowledge, especially knowledge of his absolute difference from
others, escalates his suffering.
It appears mere coincidence that the creature sees a similarity
between himself and Satan, the reader must consider their social
similarities, not Satan´s religious connotations.
... middle of paper ...
a sensitive and intelligent killer. This judgement has nothing to do
with the physical or metaphysical gap between the creature and
humanity; there are many of his ilk in our species.
It is a criminal platform, which declares that upbringing, social
pressure, and heinous abuse lead to evil behaviour. Murder, theft and
rape, according to this view, are inescapably the result of extraneous
factors, not personal choice. Despite the creature´s appalling crimes,
we recognise his justification for his actions. We see that his inner
pity and loneliness drive him to the edge. Frankenstein appears to be
the antipathy of the creature´s existence and its actions. The
creature is not to blame - it is the creator. For this reason, we feel
more pathos, compassion, and pity for the creature - not its creator.
"In no beast so fierce, does not now some touch of pity"
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