Frankenstein: Friend or Foe?

When people hear the name “Frankenstein,” more often than not, a chill runs down their spine. Society pictures Frankenstein a robust, angered, green villain. Although he is a monster, in Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein,” the monster is referred to as the Creature. As a matter-of-fact, the name Frankenstein is actually short for Victor Frankenstein, the Creature’s creator. In Shelley’s original story, Frankenstein has a yellow skin tone, black hair, pearly white teeth, black lips, and watery eyes. Contrary to popular belief, he is not green! After reading Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein,” a thought entered my mind: is the Creature actually the villain that modern-day society depicts him to be? Many people, without a thorough read of the novel, as well as a deep analysis of Shelley’s writing, would simply agree with this statement. However, the story portrays the Creature as an intelligent and lonely being, abandoned by his creator, Victor.

Take a step back for a moment and look at the Creature as if he were a child rather than an abnormal being. How would a child feel growing up knowing who is father is and where his father lives, yet receiving no affection from him? Children long for love and appreciation from their relatives. Yes, the Creature is not your typical child, but he does in fact have the emotions of one. The benevolence of the Creature can be seen when he collects nuts and berries for the blind man and his family, as well as when he saves the little girl in the river drowning, yet was shot due to his appearance. Can you imagine? Saving a child’s life and being rewarded with a gun shot? Many of the heinous acts the Creature commits in the novel are a direct result of Victor’s coldhearted attitude towards his creation. One notable example of this is when Victor initially refuses to hear the Creature’s perspective on his past and why he has acted the way he has. This leads to the main question: is Frankenstein only a foe because he was deprived of friendship?

It truly is funny how, over time, society can take such an interesting characterization of the Creature and transform him into something that was not intended by the original author.



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