Frankenstein Ch. 11
created by Kaitlyn Reavis
The monster overall is an incredibly dynamic character. He starts off completely innocent in all aspects of knowledge and throughout the chapter we follow him as he is introduced and adapts to the things of the world. The majority of his knowledge is gained from the process of trail and error and observation.
- “I felt light and hunger, and thirst, and darkness; innumerable sounds rung in my ears, and on all sides various scenes saluted me: the only object that I could distinguish was the bright moon, and I fixed my eyes on that with pleasure.” (Shelley 93)
- “My sensations had, by this times, become distinct, and my mind received every day additional ideas, My eyes became accustomed to the light, and to perceive objects in their right forms; I distinguished the insect from the herb and, by degrees, one herb from another.” (Shelley 93)
We are introduced to a small family living in a cottage in the woods. The family is made up of an older man, a young woman and a young man. These characters serve as a representation of a family unit for the monster. As the chapter moves on the monster continues to observe the family in their everyday activities, the lady cleans the house and cares for the older man while the younger man fixes things and provides for the others. Though these individuals aren't talked about a lot, they are essentially the first to introduce music and words to the monster.
- "In the evening, the young girl and her companion were employed in various occupations which I did not understand; and the old man again took up the instrument which produced the divine sounds that had enchanted me in the morning. So soon as he had finished the youth began, not to play, but to utter sounds that were monotonous, neither resembling the harmony of the old man's instrument nor the songs of the birds: I since found that he read aloud, but at that time I knew nothing of the science of words or letters." (Shelley 76)
Ignorance is Bliss- As the monster is seeing the world for the first time, he gives us insight on his experiences. We get to go along with him while he learns the ropes and becomes aware of how everything works in the world.
- “Soon a gently light stole over the heavens, and gave me a sensation of pleasure. I stared up and behold a radiant form rise from among the trees. I gazed with a kind of wonder.” (Shelley 92)
- “In my joy I thrust my hand into the live embers, but quickly drew it put again with a cry of pain. How strange, I though, that the same cause should produce such opposite effect!” (Shelley 93)
- “I tried, therefore, to dress my food in the same manner, placing it on the live embers. I found the berried were spoiled by this operation, and the nuts and roots much improved.” (Shelley 94)
Human Injustice Toward Outsiders- The monster is constantly being rejected by not only his creator, Victor Frankenstein, but by the rest of the human race. We see this mainly through his dealings with the villagers that he come into contact with throughout the chapter.
- “Finding the door open, I entered. An old man sat in it, near a fire, over which he was preparing his breakfast. He turned on hearing a noise; and, perceiving me, shrieked loudly, and quitting the hunt, ran across the fields with a speed of which his debilitated form hardly appeared capable.” (Shelley 94)
- “One of the best of these I entered; but I had hardly placed my foot within the door, before children shrieked and one of the women fainted. The whole village was roused; some fled, some attacked me, until, grievously bruised by stones and many other kinds of missile weapons, I escaped to the open country and fearfully took refuge in a low hovel, quite bare, and making a wrecked appearance after the palaces I had behold in the village.” (Shelley 95)
- “…I retired; for I saw the figure of a man at a distance, and I remembered too well my treatment the night before to trust myself in his power.” (Shelley 96)
Human Misery- Throughout this chapter we see several examples of overall sadness in life. we see the struggles that not only the monster is facing but also the villagers that he watches for the last part of the chapter
- “I was a poor, helpless, miserable wretch; I knew and could distinguish, nothing; but feeling pain invade me on all sides, I sat down and wept.” (Shelley 92)
- "Yet she was meanly dressed, a coarse blue petticoat and a linen jacket being her only garb; her hair plaited, but not adorned: she looked patient, yet sad." (Shelley 96)
- “...the younger was slight and graceful in his figure, and his features were moulded with the finest symmetry; yet eyes and attitude expressed the upmost sadness and despondency.” (Shelley 97)
“Nothing could exceed in beauty the contrast between these two excellent creatures. One was old, with silver hairs and a countenance beaming with benevolence and love: the younger was slight and graceful in his figure, and his features were moulded with the finest symmetry; yet eyes and attitude expressed the upmost sadness and despondency.” (Shelley 97)
-This documents the first time that the monster is able to really see and compare the affect of aging on humans. He takes what he has seen from the outside and is also able to translate that on what he thinks those people are like.
“I passed three days in three rambles, and at length discovered the open country. A great fall of snow had taken place the night before , and the fields were of one uniform white,” (Shelley 94)
-This documents one of the monsters encounters with the elements of nature.
“…and she sat down beside the old man, who, taking up an instrument, began to play, and to produce sounds sweeter than the voice of the thrush or the nightingale. It was a lovely sight, even before, poor wretch! who had never beheld aught beautiful before.” (Shelley 97)
-This documents the monsters first experiences with music and how moving it can be.
The villager family that the monster watches at the end of the chapter is a symbol what he has never had. They love an accept each other. They are together the majority of the day and work as a unit, accomplishing things throughout the day. The monster enjoys watching them because they are a representation of a normal human existence and he is intrigued by them and their behaviors and habits.
“I saw, felt, heard and smelt, at the same time; and it was, indeed, a long time before I learned to distinguish between the operations of my various senses.” (Shelley 92)
-This basically outlines what this chapter is going to be about. Its a series of firsts that the monster in encountering and telling us about. How he adapts and learns to live in the world on his own
“He raised her, and smiled with such kindness and affection that I felt sensations of a particular and overpowering nature: they were a mixture of pain and pleasure, such as I had never before experienced, either from hunger or cold, warmth or food, and I withdrew from the window, unable to bear these emotions.” (Shelley 97)
-This is a reoccurrence throughout the book. The monster has been rejected by not only his master but the people of the world so when he witnesses the love shared between these two villagers he is overcome with emotion because he is longing to be loved like them. To be accepted and cherished by another person, the thing he has been deprived from since his creation.
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