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The Monster

Many books that involve horror and chaos portray very clear differences between good and evil. The line between the two is very recognizable. Mary Shelly?s Frankenstein however, blur?s the line between good and evil. The reader is often left unsure of the identity of the hero and the villain. Despite his hideous appearance, the Monster is basically a child. The monster often displays the decision- making and attitude of a neglected infant. He is very embittered by his past experiences, and often struggles between his hatred of society and his need for acceptance.

The monster lives his life like a growing child. But unlike Victor, who grew up with parental support, the Monster has no real basis for the concepts of right or wrong. He only has his primordial instincts to gauge and decipher his actions. ?(I) Wished to tear up the trees, spread havoc and destruction around me, and then to have sat down and enjoyed the ruin.? The Monster, after having been rejected by the family in the cottage, wants to react to the situation as a child would. He has the infantile urge to throw a tantrum, to tear down the forest around him, to destroy all things that might one day reject him, and then giggle fiendishly at his grim achievement. The only reason he does not engage in this brute behavior, is because he becomes tired, and seeks rest. He reacts as a child would in post-tantrum stages.

The Monster has a growth and development stage just like any other creature on this planet. The only problem is, humans have a very long childhood. We are very slowly introduced to each stage of unsheltered life. Essentially, we are always made to look before we leap. However, the Monster was not given this hallowed gestation period. He was thrust into a world that immediately did not accept him. He was abandoned from birth by his only ?father,? and then given free reign in a world that hates him. ?I lighted the dry branch of a tree and danced with fury around the devoted cottage . . .? With nobody to tell him otherwise, the monster reacts to his rejection the only way he knows how, with a fiery rage.

It seems that at one point, the monster was making a very noble effort to fit into society. He was becoming educated; he could speak, read, and even speak two languages. However, because of his appearance, he was denied entrance into society. The final straw towards pushing the Creation from Creature to Monster came immediately after rescuing the little girl. ?I rushed from my hiding place and . . . saved her and dragged her to shore . . . I was suddenly interrupted by the approach of a rustic . . . he darted towards me and (tore) the girl from my arms. I followed speedily; I hardly knew why . . . he aimed his gun at my body and fired. ?This then was the reward of my benevolence!?? This final act of heroism was the Monster?s final plea for humanity, and like the searing bullet in his skin, was shot down immediately.

The Monster inside is still a scared child. However he is a child with the motivation and the means to maim and destroy. Which brings up an interesting question: wouldn?t we all act the same way in the Monster?s shoes?

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