Profiling The Monster

Posted on September 13, 2011 by Tiffany KW.
Categories: Uncategorized.

One comment from the monster Frankenstein created caught my attention.  The line comes on the penultimate page of the book (p. 243): “You hate me; but your abhorrence cannot equal that with which I regard myself.”  Such a human emotion for such a seemingly inhuman creature!  Viewed through a psychological lens, the monster’s self-loathing is on par with people who suffer from extreme personality disorders.  Consider the history of the monster; abandoned at his first breath by the person who should have been as a parent, he learned only those rules taught to him by living in the wilderness.  Later, various instances of rejection by strangers reaffirmed Frankenstein’s initial abandonment.  The monster learned through experience that he contained no redeeming qualities.  His self-hatred gains the strongest reinforcement when he saves a girl from drowning… and receives a gunshot wound for his trouble (p. 165).  What better way to comprehend your own lack of redemption than to get shot for saving a person?  True, the book does not say whether the girl lives or dies, yet the monster’s point of view dictates his understanding of the situation.  Thus, he sees revenge as a suitable form of punishment for his creator.  Victor remains the sole cause of the monster’s suffering because it was Victor who gave the monster life.  Therefore, the monster desires Frankenstein’s suffering.  Yet, upon the death of his creator, the monster comprehends he does not hate Victor but himself.  This very poignant moment demonstrates the extent of the monster’s capacity for self-knowledge.  The real question is, how human does that make him?

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