Frankenstein and the monster are often confused’, Discuss the parallels between Frankenstein and his monster throughout the book. Children dress up as the hideous creature they call Frankenstein, a man-made man, on Halloween night, to terrify the neighbourhood. However, Frankenstein is not the name of the creature itself, but the creature’s creator. It is ironic that the name feared in popular myth today is the name of the creator and not the monster, and indeed it is perhaps justified, because without the creator, there would have been no creature and no murders.
Throughout the lives of both Frankenstein and his hand made child, there are many parallels between the two and this further confuses them into the image that they are one and the same. In this essay I shall be considering these parallels. Frankenstein grew up in a loving family, surrounded by maternal and filial love until his mother tragically died. He was then without his main source of female guidance, and females traditionally provide compassion and support for males. Frankenstein lost his sister’s influence when he left for university and lost close contact with Elizabeth.
At university, it can be argued that he started to get dangerously ambitious and lost track of common sense and reason, and this can be interpreted as a result of lack of contact with female guidance. Similarly, the creature has no mother, sister or lover to guide him in his life. The lack of women in the pairs’ lives is a parallel and because Victor loses sight of reality without the presence of a woman, one can presume that the creature suffered equal disadvantages seeing as he never conversed with one in the duration of his life.
The creature had no teacher other than the books he read and the conversations he listened in on. Therefore, he was both self taught and had a passion for knowledge in order to have the ability to learn in such circumstances. Victor was also self-taught in subjects he liked from books that he acquired himself through a passion to learn. ‘I was to a degree self taught with regard to my favourite studies” Victor The creature, like Victor, was also very intelligent in being able to absorb facts and philosophies so readily.
Victor proves his intelligence in being able to create a human being out of body parts, and also excelling in his university despite having started with a disadvantage from other students because of the fact he had studied out dated books. Another parallel is drawn in the fact that the Monster was at a disadvantage in education also, having started learning in the adult state rather than the child, and thus their educations and problems with it were very similar. In the field of education, Frankenstein starts learning languages when he abandons science after his disaster with the birth of his creature.
“The Persian Arabic and Sanskrit languages engaged his attention, and I was easily introduced to the same studies’ Victor At the same time that Frankenstein is concentrating on these linguistic skills, his creature is learning how to speak languages at the house of his so called protectors. “I thought not to make the attempt until I had first become a master of their language. ” The creature, page 88. This is an example of them progressing in life together and in the same way, and demonstrates their similar life patterns.
Frankenstein lives in a society that places high value on beauty. People throughout the novel remark on someone’s beauty before anything else, for example, it was seen as a tragedy that William died because he was beautiful, and one can imagine if he had not been beautiful, people would have viewed his murder as a less tragic loss. Frankenstein appreciates natural beauty and the beauty of people. “Clerval called forth the better feelings of my heart, he again taught me to love the aspect of nature, and the cheerful faces of children. ‘ Frankenstein p. 55
He derives pleasure from sources of great beauty and beauty is seen to stimulate his happiness. This can be remarked upon as very shallow because beauty is not always permanent or necessarily good. The creature also gives great reverence to beautiful things and associates beauty with innate goodness. “… was disturbed by the approach of a beautiful child… an idea seized me that this little creature was inprejudice… ” He thinks that because William is young and beautiful he will also be a pleasant child, but he fastly learns not to presume that physical perfection and loving souls go hand in hand.
As a parallel to this Frankenstein believes that ugliness is associated with evil, and hence presumes the creature to be wretched and evil because he was deformed. Their opinions on this are similar and one can imagine that if their roles were reversed, they would behave exactly the same as each other, it is only their different situations that casts different lights of bias among them, not that their personalities are much different. Frankenstein originally holds power over the creature, as he is the divine creator, and the creature’s fate is in Frankenstein’s hands.
When the creature is born, Frankenstein abandons and rejects him, leaving him to fend for himself in the world, powerless and helpless without the familial support so needed in the youth. However, power changes hands many times in the novel after this point. The creature hold’s power over Frankenstein when he demonstrates his ability to murder and cause mischief for his father. He orders his father to make him a bride, clearly asserting his authority and dominance.