Chapter 9

Synopsis of Volume 2 Chapter 9

The creature demands that Frankenstein should create for him a female companion, and promises to leave Europe with her and live in a remote place. Frankenstein, fearful for his family's safety, reluctantly agrees to the monster's demands.

Commentary on Volume 2 Chapter 9

‘I demand it of you as a right which you must not refuse': the creature places his destiny in Frankenstein's hands, and thus reminds him of his responsibility towards his creation. This passage is analogous to Adam's plea to God in Paradise Lost Book 8, lines 379-97, already alluded to in the discussion of Volume 2, Chapter 7. There is also an echo of the views of Mary Shelley's father, William Godwin, as expressed in his book Political Justice (see Author section: William Godwin).

Man is a social animal … To be virtuous, it is requisite that we should consider men, and their relations to each other … Solitude, absolutely considered, may instigate us to serve ourselves. Solitude, imposed under too few limitations, may be a nursery for madmen and idiots, but not for useful members of society.

Volume 2, Chapter 7

curse the hour of your birth: an echo of Job 3:1-10

Let the day perish wherein I was born, and the night in which it was said, ‘There is a manchild conceived'.

Job 3:3

acorns and berries afford me sufficient nourishment: Percy Shelley defends vegetarianism in a note to his poem ‘Queen Mab' (1813), 8, 211-12. In the same note, he attacks Prometheus, who, by stealing fire from the gods, made it possible for humans to eat cooked meat.

siroc: the sirocco, a hot, dry and dusty wind that blows from North Africa to the north coast of the Mediterranean Sea.

like Dante's iron cowl on the head of the hypocrites: Dante, Inferno 23, 58-67. This is a reference to the long poem Divina Commedia (The Divine Comedy) by the Italian poet Dante Alighieri (1265-1321). The second of its three parts is set in Hell, where Dante imagines the punishments suffered by those who have committed particular sins.

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