The character of The Creature in Mary Shelley’s novel, Frankenstein, endures a life of denial, abandonment and isolation. Due to his unusual appearance, society and his creator, Victor Frankenstein, reject him. The creature was crafted into an innocent being with no evidence of any previous knowledge. He is developed into an actual monster due to his unstable upbringing as well as a life without companionship. It is deemed that the creature is an evil being, but in reality it is due unfortunate life of loneliness that lead him to perform unjust actions. The character of the creature should not be viewed as evil, but unloved as it is evident from the hatred his creator had for him, his desperation for a companion and society’s denial towards him that he was ultimately not an evil being.
The hatred that the creature received from his creator, Victor Frankenstein is what initially led to his downward spiral to his unjust actions. Frankenstein originally created the creature because he thought that it was for the betterment of humankind. His state of mind when he created the creature was excited and he was motivated to create new life. Prior to the initial creation he says, “A new species would bless me as its creator and source; many happy and excellent natures would owe their being to me” (Shelley, Chapter 4). This quote shows insight into Victor’s motivation and his overpowering ego as well as exhibiting his ambitious side and his yearning to be a God-like figure. Frankenstein wishes to re-create life to satisfy his ego, but he never thought over the outcome. After it was created, the creature had a strong desire to be loved and required a companion. When he realized that he could not give the creature what he needs, Frankenstein slowly started hating his creation.
The sight of it disgusted him, which is what gives the monster the idea that he is unloved. He states, “How can I describe my emotions at this catastrophe, or how delineate the wretch whom with such infinite pains and care I had endeavored to form? His limbs were in proportion, and I had selected his features as beautiful. Beautiful! – Great God!” (Shelley, Chapter 5) which explains the disappointment and disgust he has in the way the monster looks. This contributes to the creature’s thought that he is unneeded and unloved because the one person he thought he could count on, was repulsed by the sight of him. The creature only sought after one thing, which was love and companionship. When Frankenstein denied him of that the monster grew saddened, realizing that he may never find someone who accepts him. After Frankenstein abandoned his creation, the creature learns of his regret when he comes across his old journal entries when roaming the forest one day. The journals reveal Frankenstein’s disgust and remorse with his creation, which completely anguishes the creature.
While reading the creature states “I sickened as I read. `Hateful day when I received life!’ I exclaimed in agony. `Accursed creator! Why did you form a monster so hideous that even YOU turned from me in disgust?” (Shelley, Chapter 15). This quote unveils the monster feelings of abandonment after reading what his creator truly thinks of him. In essence, the fact that the creature is sensitive to what people think of him and that he is saddened because he has no one to turn to proves that he is not an evil being. Being able to have feelings that human beings would normally have is evidence that the creature’s main goal wasn’t to hurt anyone but he was pushed to it due to how he was treated. The abandonment he experienced from his creator is what sparks the start to his unfortunate downfall.
The creature’s journey to being evil was exhibited by the fact that he was rejected by society. Because of his frightening appearance, the creature was merely turned away from by everyone whom he encountered. No matter how hard he tried to be apart of the community, he was constantly denied. At the sight of the creature, most people were disgusted with his appearance. “At that instant the cottage door was opened, and Felix, Safie, and Agatha entered. Who can describe their horror and consternation on beholding me? Agatha fainted, and Safie, unable to attend to her friend, rushed out of the cottage” (Shelley, Chapter 17). This quote explains how people typically reacted to the creature’s appearance. With this happening constantly, the creature realized that he was hideous and his hope of fitting into society slowly diminished each time he met someone new and experienced their reaction.
Despite being excluded, he continuously tried to fit into the community. He showed immense sensitivity and benevolence by saving a girl from drowning while he was roaming the forest one day. After saving the child he states, “I had saved a human from destruction”. (Shelley, Chapter 17). Despite his attempt to show humanism, his benevolence was disregarded by being shot soon after rescuing the girl, due to his appearance. According to society his actions did not matter if his appearance was not socially acceptable. At this point, the creature grows tired of being rejected by everyone as his attempts of trying to fit in unceasingly fail. He states, “I am alone, and miserable” (Shelley, Chapter 16) which reiterates the fact that he is a depressed and tired of being in solitude from everyone. By being secluded from society, the fact that he is unloved is obvious. No one wants to be around the creature, which only enhances the feeling of isolation. Being shunned by society is a large factor on why he turned to acting with anger and revenge.
Lastly, another factor that proves that the creature is unloved and not evil is his desire for a companion. After being repeatedly shunned by society, the creature’s need for a cohort increasingly grows. After seeing Victor unexpectedly, he poses the question of creating a female companion for him. After Frankenstein respectfully denied his request, the monster becomes desperate and pleads with him. “Instead of threatening, I am content to reason with you. I am malicious because I am miserable. Am I not shunned and hated by all mankind?” (Shelley, Chapter 17). This quote proves how frantic the creature is to convince his creator to make him a companion. The tone of desperation attests that he is so lonely that he has sunken as low as begging to have someone to talk to. The creature tries to guilt Frankenstein into creating a companion and after continuously begging him; he finally gives in and hesitantly agrees to create a female companion for him.
After two years of progress, Frankenstein was having doubts of continuing the creation, fearful that the two creatures would reproduce and he would be forced to be in the presence of not one but two of his hideous creations. He contently destroys the half-made female creature, which sends the existing creature into a state of utter rage. He questions Frankenstein saying “I have dwelt many months in the heaths of England, and among the deserts of Scotland. I have endured incalculable fatigue, and cold, and hunger; do you dare destroy my hopes?” (Shelley, Chapter 20). This shows the disappointment that the creature faced after the only hope of having a companion was shattered. Once again, his high hopes of finally being loved and finding a friend were gone.
The creature’s rage rapidly increases as he realizes that there is no more hope left and comes to the conclusion that he is going to be isolated and alone for the rest of his pathetic life. Having lost his sanity he says to Frankenstein “It is well. I go; but remember, I shall be with you on your wedding-night” (Shelley, Chapter 20) which proves that the creature is engulfed with anger and does not care about anything anymore. His only thought is to seek revenge against his creator whom ruined his chances of having a companion and blessed him with his miserable life. It is that moment that the creature turned evil; not because he was evil in the first place but he got pushed to the point where all he could do was react in anger.
Victor Frankenstein created the creature to better the human race but in realization, the creation of the monster was a disappointment to society and to the creature itself. His unfortunate life of isolation and abandonment was a result of poor thinking on behalf of his creator. The creature was originally an innocent being but due to hatred his creator had for him, his desperation for a companion and society’s denial towards him, he turned into a monster.