Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein


The excerpt begins with Frankenstein wandering amid the ice of a mountain glacier where suddenly, the Creature approaches him with “super human speed” (2) and prevents Victor from escaping the confrontation he wishes to avoid. Without a positive identity in society, the Creature is incapable of attaining self-knowledge and thus, serves in Victor’s hidden scheme of being an omniscient, god-like figure. Consequently, the creature demonstrates the desire to participate in his creator’s world, attempting to construct his prejudice by employing language to seek the least recognition from his long-lost “parent.” This meeting is metaphorically the site of confrontation between son and father with a rhetorical argument, designed to persuade Victor of his duties as a creator to his creation.

The encounter takes place in the Alpine setting of the Montanvert Glacier. This cold, hostile, and isolated setting symbolises the Creature’s reception by both his creator and society as a whole. Shelley links the landscape to the Creature’s feelings of rejection through commiserating comments, such as “the bleak skies I hail for they are kinder to me than your fellow beings” (48). As a result, the Creature craves human companionship and refers to his loneliness several times in the extract: “All men hate the wretched; how, then, must I be hated who am miserable beyond all living things!” (16) The Creature, a flash of fire on the ice, ruptures the coldness because he embodies the feelings and instincts he represses.

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On the other hand, the fact that Victor also seeks solace in the mountains makes us wonder if the Creature is Frankenstein’s double; just like a son grows up to be a spitting image of his father. This appears to be a reoccurring theme in Shelley’s Frankenstein. On the surface, Victor and his creature seem drastically different, but ultimately there is not so much of a vast rift. Both inhabit cold, isolated places as they become alienated from society; Victor as a result of his choosing and the Creature as a result of society’s prejudice.

Another dominating theme in this extract ...

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