In the novel, Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley, the author depicts that the creation is human based on the creations ability to feel real human emotions and feel the intense desire for companionship to prove the idea that the foundation of humanity stems from the feeling of being wanted, encouraging a society that is more accepting of outcasts.
One of the ways in which the creation showcases his very human-like emotions of loneliness and isolation is when he questions his whole identity and upbringing. He asks himself, “I had never yet seen a being resembling me, or who claimed any intercourse with me. What was I?” Here, the monster is trying to make sense of his origin and expresses his experience of being brought into the world abandoned, alone and confused and essentially comes to the realization that he has no one to guide him. These emotions, as proved through basic human evolution, are fundamental in identifying one’s humanity. By questioning his identity, the creation undergoes the fundamental human emotions of confusion, curiosity and reasoning. Through these lines, Shelley captures the significance of community and family in the process of identity formation. Human infants are able to understand their identity by the presence of other humans, but the monster is unable to do this, because he has no one else like him in his life. The creation takes this realization of how truly lonely he is and allows it to lead him into a place of darkness and sorrow, knowing he will eternally be rejected by a narrow minded society. In dismay, he says, “Satan had his companions, fellow-devils, to admire and encourage him; but I am solitary and abhorred”. Here, the monster expresses the extreme cruelty of living life in complete loneliness and isolation. The monster’s loneliness is particularly acute knowing he knows he will be rejected anytime attempts to reach out to anyone, since his appearance makes him terrifying to human beings. We have seen over the course of many generations that this concept has essentially shaped a toxic society that belittles those who feel different, whether it be brought upon by physical or mental impairments. In this way, the author proves that our society has become immune to subconsciously shun societal “outcasts” and provoke them to feel lonely and isolated, accentuating feelings that no one should ever have to feel.
The author further proves the creation’s humanity through the acknowledgement of his own existing depression and the feeling of despair the monster feels by looking at himself. While having this epiphany, the monster says, ‘Increase of knowledge only discovered to me more clearly what a wretched outcast I was. I cherished hope, it is true, but it vanished when I beheld my person reflected in water or my shadow in the moonshine, even as that frail image and that inconstant shade.’ As the creature becomes educated by the villagers, he also becomes aware of his situation and the depression he is experiencing. He undergoes realization, one of the fundamental steps in humanitarian evolution. Seeing himself in the reflection of the water adds even more recognition to the creatures’ isolation. He is aware of what he looks like, so he knows why people are reacting so indifferent to his presence. Although this leads to anger and hunger for revenge, the evolving sense of self adds reliability to this novel and a feeling of compassion towards the creature’s isolation from humanity. Following his realization of how depressed he truly feels, the monster then ponders back on his life. Doing so, he says ‘But it is even so; the fallen angle becomes a malignant devil. Yet even that enemy of God and man had friends and associates in his desolation; I am alone.’ Page 209. As the creature is reminiscing back on his life while talking to Walton, he understands that even the most horrible people, including Lucifer, the fallen angle, have people to confide in and companions they can count on. This discourages the creature knowing that he has no one. Remembering all of the crimes that he has committed causes the creature to rethink his decisions and the decisions society has made. He essentially questions how society is able to accept others who commit crimes, but not him. Juggling this senseless idea, the creations’ feelings of isolation and insecurity are furthered, proving that our society accepts people not because of their “strong” or “weak” morals, but because of their outward appearance.
The creation feels the repercussions of his loneliness knowing that he is deserving of a mate that he will never have. Hopeless, the creation says, ‘Shall each man,’ cried he, ‘find a wife for his bosom, and each beast has his mate, and I be alone? I had feeling of affection and they were requited by detestation and scorn.’ Page 16l. The creature considers himself very deserving of a mate, as most humans do. His words further dissect the idea that desire for a life partner is part of being human, but knowing he will never have that person and that society will never offer someone accepting of his differences causes him to feel that loneliness and isolation. After Victor destroys his new creation the creature is sent into a fit of revenge and rage. According to his knowledge, the creature seems to be the only being on earth that is not fit for a mate, which is really the only thing he truly desires. Therefore, this is isolation that society has deemed upon outcasts. Following his depression due to his loss of hope in finding a mate, the creation’s feelings of sorrow quickly turn into anger. In frustration, he says, ” I continued for the remainder of the day in my hovel in a state of utter and stupid despair. My protectors had departed and had broken the only link that held me to the world.’ Page 132. After his friends are dejected, the monster returns to the village to expand his efforts in seeking companionship. Hearing about the family fleeing the village because of his presence morphs what were once feelings of despair and isolation into fiery and anger. The creature, now isolated, utterly helpless, and departing into the real world only has time to think about his situation. Without his protectors and teachers, the creature is not only abandoned, but angry, blaming Victor and wishing revenge upon his creator. This anger leads the creature to pursue the creator on a long and arduous adventure to Geneva. By having the ability to distinguish his sorrow from his anger is one of the ways in which the monster reveals his human-likeness through his emotions. These feelings of anger, sorrow and frustration are all repercussions of the disfavor the creation feels from a society that views the world through a black and white lens.
Throughout the novel, Frankenstein, the author depicts the creation as human through his emotional roller coaster comprised of despair, frustration, isolation and loneliness. All of these emotions are fundamental to one’s humanity, but most importantly, the creation’s sizable desire companionship is what truly makes him human. Through his emotional downward spiral, Mary Shelley proves through the monster’s experiences that society should be more accepting of people in the same position as the monster. That people who struggle with physical or mental impairments should not feel emotions like the ones the creation felt, and that they are just as much deserving of a companion as anyone else.