Frankenstein Volume II

Volume II of Frankenstein opens with Victor trying to navigate through his guilt. He makes his way to Chamonix where he finally encounters his monster again. Though the encounter isn’t in any way friendly, the monster is able to convince Victor to listen to his story. The perspective then switches over to the viewpoint of the monster who tells of his life after escaping Victor’s laboratory. He reveals that he had a couple run ins with various people which had all resulted in them running away. He also speaks of a particular family he watched for a long period of time that unknowingly taught him their way of life. They had given him hope, that maybe they could love him and accept him in a way that Victor did not. Yet after showing himself to them, the result ends in the same way as it had with others. After telling of his loneliness and his ardent desire to feel accepted and loved, the monster explains the hostility within him. He blames Victor for him becoming such a hateful being. The monster finally concludes his narration by essentially begging Victor to make him a partner. After much persuasion Victor agrees, and the two go their separate ways.

 

A reoccurring theme throughout this section was the inescapable loneliness that both the monster and Victor felt. In Volume I, when Victor is creating the monster, he speaks of how the admiration the monster will have for him will far surpass the admiration a child may have for their father. However, Victor seems to have confused admiration and love. Conversely, when the monster is created all he seeks is love and tenderness, yet that is something that Victor and all other humans are unable to give. There is an interesting notion of Sigmund Freud that plays out here. When the monster is created, his primary need is to receive affection from his creator, which he does not. Because of this, all his other needs are not met, and he must learn to function without any guidance. The result is that he becomes an angry and callous being. Additionally, Victor seems to project his loneliness and isolation onto the monster, perhaps adding to the monster’s hostility. The two beings are similar in their loneliness, as both are confined by themselves and yet seeking affection from someone else. Victor is confined by his over-romanticized view of mankind, which results in unattainable expectations of the world.  The monster, on the other hand, is confined to a life of loneliness solely by his appearance, but his short temperament has added to his already sinister complexion. Thus Shelley, in my opinion, is trying to relate to the reader that the monster and Victor are not too dissimilar.

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