Agatha de Lacey and Safie

Suffering women

The other female characters in the novel are Agatha de Lacey and Safie, both of whom the monster observes while he is hiding in the de Laceys' shed. As with the other female characters (see Characterisation:Caroline, Elizabeth and Justine), theirs is an experience of suffering and deprivation, but the monster, who narrates their story, is moved to pity and compassion by what they have been through. In this respect he shows himself to be more ‘human', more capable of disinterested sympathy than his creator.

Solidarity and fidelity

During the months he spends eavesdropping on the de Laceys, the story which unfolds is:

  • a lesson in human iniquity
  • a lesson in family solidarity and fidelity – of how love can lend strength and enable individuals to triumph over adversity.

In this respect it is ironic that, by emerging from his hiding, the monster destroys the safe haven that the de Laceys have created for themselves.

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