Asked by OmerEnglish 🇬🇧

Is the monster in Frankenstein seen as a victim or a bad character?

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Paris Letti

Neuroscience PhD student at University College London

Don’t get me wrong; he’s definitely not a saint. He did kill people, some defenseless and incapable of escape from his strength and speed. But where the modern story shows him as just barely a living corpse, the book paints a much more friendly picture. His vocabulary and speech is astounding. I’d even describe him as erudite. He’s capable of reason and guilt and remorse. He is, believe it or not, just a person. A person who is a victim of circumstance. He was created this way, not quite right and yet not wholly different from most people. All he wants to do is belong, but society will not allow it. He’s hideous and foreign and people are terrified of him. He’s quick to anger, and his incredible strength makes short work of those that mistreat him. If Frankenstein was a little more understanding, if society was a little bit friendlier, if people were a little more patient, perhaps none of what happened in the book would’ve occurred. What I found perhaps most amazing was that Frankenstein’s monster was not born evil. He was shaped into the villain by what others thought of him. He perpetuated that image with his actions, but it didn’t start there. He just wanted to belong, but others wouldn’t let him.

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