More on the reader's attitude to the creature

More on the reader's attitude to the creature:

Mary Shelley, as so often in the novel, manipulates the reader's sympathy for the creature in more than one direction.

  • his loneliness is quite likely to arouse the reader's pity;
  • the violence of his reactions – burning the de Laceys' cottage and wishing to destroy the forest – are violent but remain understandable;
  • his rescue of the drowning girl demonstrates that his fundamental reactions are virtuous, while his sufferings after he is wounded by her companion are likely to arouse compassion;
  • his hope that William Frankenstein is too young to have ‘imbibed the horror of deformity' shows that he continues to be optimistic about the innocence and spontaneity of children;
  • in his plan to capture and educate William, the creature shows little sympathy for his family;
  • his immediate change of feelings when he learns William's identity shows that he is very dangerous and that his desire to avenge himself on Frankenstein outweighs all other considerations;
  • he is momentarily softened by the portrait of William and Victor's beautiful mother, but once again his feelings of revenge prevail and he plants the portrait in Justine's clothes.


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