The creatures shift in attitudes regarding society, justice, and injustice is finalized in the final chapter of Shelleys "Frankenstein", but it had been occurring since he very first opened his eyes.

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The Monster Within

“Was there no injustice in this? Am I to be thought the only criminal, when all of human kind sinned against me? “(273) When Frankenstein’s monster asks this question of Robert Walton in the final dialogue of Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein, he displays the complete transformation of his views on society, justice, and injustice since his creation and initial introduction into the world. The monster’s first experience of the world, as he describes it to Frankenstein during their cave meeting, was one of awe and beauty. He narrates his first experience of nature, recalling, “a gentle light stole over the heavens, and gave me a sensation of pleasure. I started up, and beheld a radiant form rise from among the trees. I gazed with a kind of wonder.” (118) The monster views humans with this same kind of wonder and respect, and desires to be accepted by them, despite his hideous appearance. However, through a series of rejections from his creator and other humans that he has felt a close relationship to, the monster comes to view the world as a place of evil and becomes obsessed with gaining justice for the sins committed against him, even if involves the death of innocents. The creature quickly learns that the beautiful, fair world he had so wished to believe in cannot exist, especially for someone as appalling as he.

        Even though the monster’s first ventures into human civilization are met with rejection and horror, he persists in the belief that he might someday be accepted by the same people that scream in terror at his approach. The definition of justice is, to the creature at this point, acceptance. He was created into this world, so it seems only fair to him that he receive a rightful place in it alongside his human counterparts. This becomes a reality for the monster through his encounters with the De Lacey family. While he does not have a complete understanding of the make-up of a family, the monster senses the care and love that the three people have for each other, and desires to share in this closeness. The monster becomes a secret member of the family, observing the habits of Felix, Agatha, and old man De Lacey. For the first time in his short life, the creature feels that he has found his place in the world, his justice. He finds great pleasure with his current residence in the hovel besides the shack, stating, “It was indeed a paradise, compared to the bleak forest, my former residence, the raindropping branches, and dank earth. I ate my breakfast with pleasure” (123).

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        The creature’s time with the De Laceys exposes him to the love and connection shared by these people, but it is through the family that he also comes in contact with his first example of evil and the vices of mankind, through the story of the newcomer, Safie.  Frankenstein’s monster comes to an even greater understanding of humanity and justice through his readings of the books he found one day while scavenging for food. Milton’s Paradise Lost is particularly influential to the creature; the creature thinks of this work as nonfiction, and compares himself to Satan, “wretched, helpless, and alone.” ...

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