Sean Dasha Erin PP Per. 2

Erin Leach
Dasha Tatarnikova
Sean Thompson
Robert Walton isolated himself from the world
by going on his quest to “tred a land never
before imprinted by the foot of man,” (1).
During his quest for knowledge of this
unknown land, he endures much suffering;
both physical and emotional.
Being trapped by the ice forced him and his
crew to endure extreme weather for a long
period of time.
Lack of companionship
Multiple times he mentions how he longs for a companion
because he’s used to having someone there to share his
experiences alongside him.
“Oh, that some encouraging voice would answer the
affirmative! (3)”
“I have no friend, Margaret: when I am glowing with
enthusiasm of success, there will be none to participate my
joy; if I am assailed by disappointment, no one will
endeavour to sustain me in dejection (4).”
Walton finds this companion in Victor when he rescues
Victor and brings him aboard his ship. While Walton is
nursing Victor back to health and Victor is warning him
about the dangers of the pursuit of knowledge, closeness
between the two men grows and a friendship blooms out of
this closeness.
This friendship serves two purposes:
Gives Victor a friend before he dies after all of his loved
ones’ lives have been taken by the Creature.
Gives Walton the friend he desires
The compassion he feels for Victor and the Creature
The compassion from his companionship with Victor both
heals the pain he was feeling from the lack of compassion
present form the nonexistence of a companion. But, it also
hurts him when he loses that companion due to Victor’s
“Must I then lose this admirable being? I have longed for a
friend; I have sought one who would sympathise with and
love me. Behold, on these desert seas I have found such a
one; but, I fear, I have gained him only to know his value,
and lose him (157).”
As far as the Creature is concerned, Walton is torn
on whether or not to feel compassion for the
Creature because he wants to be true to his
promise to Victor and keep that loyalty, but at the
same time, his automatic reaction is to feel
compassion towards the Creature. This internal
conflict causes Walton much pain.
“[M]y first impulse, which had suggested to me
the duty of obeying the dying request of my
friend, in destroying his enemy, were now
suspended by a mixture of curiosity and
compassion (163).”
Walton, after hearing Victor’s warning, is still
disappointed when he has to abort his journey and
go back to England. You would think that after
Victor’s warning about the effect of the obsessive
pursuit of knowledge, Walton would see the
benefits of not being able to go through with his
journey. But, it’s human nature to feel
disappointment and that your pride’s been hurt,
even if what you desired wasn’t what was best for
“Thus my hopes blasted by cowardice and
indecision: I come back ignorant and disappointed
Frankenstein’s feeling of solitude results from
his obsession over his studies, and paranoia
over the destruction caused by the creature
However, the only points in the novel that
Victor is actually alone is as he studies and
creates the creature, and when he is in jail
facing his murder trial (until his father comes).
This creates the question of why Victor feels so
alone, when he is almost constantly
surrounded by people in the novel?
“We were brought up together; there was not quite a
year difference in our ages. I need not say that we were
strangers to any species of disunion or dispute.
Harmony was the soul of our companionship, and the
diversity and contrast that subsisted in our characters
drew us nearer together,” (33).
Victor describes his past relationship with Elizabeth,
revealing their strong companionship.
He shows that he is completely unfamiliar to the idea
of being alone, only exaggerating his solitude even
more as he journeys more into the plot of the novel.
“But my enthusiasm was checked by my anxiety, and I
appeared rather like a one doomed by slavery to toil in
the mines…the fall of a leaf startled me, and I shunned
my fellow-creatures as if I had been guilty of a crime.
Sometimes I grew alarmed at the wreck I perceived
that I become…” (54).
Victor explains that he has grown completely isolated
and dehumanized (seen by the monstrous diction “I
shunned my fellow-creatures” and “the wreck I
perceived that I become”) from his infatuation with the
Shelley use a simile and hyperbole to describe Victor’s
paranoid and touchy state of mind, exaggerating the
distance between society and Victor.
More emotional than physical suffering.
Most of the suffering is caused by Victor’s guilt
of the aftermath caused by the creature, and his
various encounters with death throughout the
“Thus the poor sufferer tried to comfort others
and herself. She indeed gained the resignation
she desired. But I, the true murderer, felt the
never dying worm inside my bosom, which
allowed for no hope or consolation,” (86).
When contemplating the future of Justine,
Victor can’t help feeling the guilt inside of him
eating away at his conscience.
The metaphor of the dying worm shows that
he thinks that he is the true murderer and she
has no hope solely because of him.
“I did not participate in these feelings; for to me the walls of
a dungeon or a palace were alike hateful. The cup of life was
poisoned for ever; and although the sun shone upon me as
upon the happy and gay of heart, I saw around me nothing
but a dense and frightful darkness, penetrated by no light
but the glimmer of two eyes that glared upon me,” (180).
In response to his release from the murder trial, Victor
claims that he was different than his father, who at the time
was pleased with Victor’s new found freedom.
He feels as if his own creation has ruined his and other
innocent people’s lives forever, and he is to blame.
This “eternal suffering” is evident by the metaphor of the
“poisoned cup of life” and the use of contrasting light/dark
diction (“sun shone” and “dense and frightful darkness”).
Victor doesn’t necessarily focus on his own compassion, all
of which relate to his connections between his family and
strangely, the creature.
“My heart was full, and I did not answer him; but, as I
proceeded, I weighed the various arguments that he had
used, and determined to at least listen to his tale. I was
partly urged by curiosity, and compassion confirmed my
resolution,” (99).
It is odd to see that Victor chooses to listen to the creature’s
story, finally out of “compassion.” This shows that Victor
actually does have a bond with the creature, although he has
caused all of the destruction in Victor’s life.
This is significant to the story as a whole because although
Victor feels isolated, yet he enjoys the company of the
creature who caused his solitude in the first place. It shows
the ability to forgive, and the bond between “creator” and
Victor chooses to isolate himself as he obsesses
over his studies and his creation of life and death.
However, this action itself is not necessarily to
blame for his state of solitude. It is the notion that
he created a “monster” that is destroying lives that
separates him from the rest of society. The his
feeling of guilt for all of the misery caused by the
creature in the novel naturally causes him to
distance himself, creating his internal suffering.
However, it isn’t until the creature destroys all of
what Victor has, that he finally realizes he is truly
alone, with all the compassion within him
eternally broken.
“It was dark when I awoke; I felt cold
also, and half-frightened, as it were
instinctively, finding myself so
desolate.” (page 101)
The creature started its life in solitude,
abandoned by its creator. This
foreshadows the monster’s life alone,
without a companion or an assistant.
“I exceedingly lamented the loss of fire which I
had obtained by accident” (page 103-104)
The loss of fire was the creature’s first loss.
The creature is beginning to learn and
experience the emotions of human beings.
However he is first subjected to the negative
feelings, thus adding to the suffering in
“If such lovely creatures were miserable, it was
less strange that I, and imperfect and solitary
being, should be wretched.” (page 109)
The creature justifies his own suffering by
learning and admitting that humans suffer as
well. Coming to such a conclusion both
differentiates the creature from the people, and
keeps the longing for compassion alive.
“I cannot describe to you the agony that these
reflections inflicted upon me: I tried to dispel
them, but sorrow only increased with knowledge.
Oh, that I had for ever remained in my native
wood, nor known nor felt beyond the sensations of
hunger, thirst, and heat!” (page 119)
Allegory of the Cave: The more the creature is
exposed to light (knowledge) the more he is
suffering. By learning about the beauty and
compassion around him, he only further realizes
that he is all alone, isolated from society.
“I ventured to continue my journey after the sun
had risen; cheered even me by the loveliness of its
sunshine and the balminess of the air. I felt
emotions of gentleness and pleasure, that had long
appeared dead, revive within me.” (page 139)
The creature appears to be in constant suffering
due to his loneliness and lack of compassion and
companionship. However, he feels most at peace
in nature. He of all the characters in the book is
closest to nature, and the natural state of man. The
monster is not part of society, and thus finds the
most comfort in what he is a part of.
“I am alone, and miserable; man will not associate
with me; but one as deformed and horrible as
myself will not deny herself to me.” (page 143)
The creature’s biggest desire is to acquire a
companion, and thus be presented with happiness.
He wants to be accepted, and after all the
miserable and violent encounters with human
beings, the creature’s only hope is to be accepted
by someone as monstrous as him.
“’This is also my victim!’ he exclaimed: ‘in his murder
my crimes are consummated; the miserable series of
my being is wound to its close! Oh, Frankenstein!
Generous and self-devoted being! What does avail that
I now ask thee to pardon me? I, who irretrievably
destroyed thee by destroying all thou lovedst. Alas! He
is cold, he cannot answer me.” (page 216)
In this quotation the monster is showing compassion
towards Victor Frankenstein, his creator.
The monster learned the feeling of regret, becoming
more human than at any part of the novel.
The tone is changed due to the fact that the
reasoning behind the creature’s actions is
clearly exposed. The reader can no longer
simply blame the monster for everything, and
will probably feel at least a little sympathetic
for the creature.
The monster finally gets the compassion he
always wanted (from Walton). However, now
it’s too late for him to be happy, because his
creator died due to the creature’s actions.
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