Frankenstein Chapter 16

Braelyn Parkman

Plot Summary

After being discovered by the inhabitants of the cottage talking to old DeLacey, the creature flees to the woods. After some reflection he decides to go back to the cottage, hoping to try again, only to find that Felix has convinced the rest of the family to leave and given up on renting the cottage. The creature burns down the cottage and decides to hunt down his creator in Geneva. On his way, he saves a little girl from drowning and is shot by her father. Upon arriving in Geneva, he runs into Victor's younger brother, intending to raise him as his own, but instead kills him when he finds out he is a Frankenstein. He takes the picture hanging around the boy's neck and hides it on a girl he finds sleeping in a barn (Justine). Finally, the creature demands that Frankenstein make him a companion.

Characters & Character Development

The Creature- The Creature realizes throughout the chapter that he has no hope of being accepted by humanity, and his wishes become darker and more violent. This is all portrayed through direct characterization, as the Creature through his narrative tells the reader his thoughts and feelings, and the changes taking place within himself.

Felix- Felix only appears briefly, but when he does, it's because he's giving up the cottage that he had been living in with his family because they are all so terrified of the Creature. He's indirectly characterized as being protective of his family, but also hateful towards the Creature.

Little Girl in the Woods (and her dad)- All the little girl does is fall into a stream and become unconscious, so we don't know much about her character, and it's not very important to the story. We do know a bit more about her dad. The two were playing together, so it is safe to assume that he cares about and loves her. The Creature represents the father as being representative of humanity's prejudice against him because of how ugly he is; however, the father didn't see the little girl fall into the stream, so upon seeing the Creature with his unconscious daughter he probably thought he was responsible.

William- The creature doesn't know the boy's name, but he does find out that he belongs to the Frankenstein family. The boy is young and active, but not unprejudiced- he calls the Creature "ugly" and "hideous" and insists that he has to let him go because his father is a very important man. William was probably pretty spoiled.

Literary Devices

Allusion- "I, like the arch-fiend, bore a hell within me" is an almost direct reference to John Milton's Paradise Lost, specifically a passage about Satan. Milton's Satan was supposedly a model for Shelley's creature. The implications are, of course, that the Creature is Satan or a demon like him.

Metaphor- The Creature compares his feelings to a stream, saying "I did not strive to control them; but, allowing myself to be borne away..." Throughout the book, Shelley compares emotion and nature, constantly reflecting one in the other, so this continues that trend.

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The mountains of Jura, which serve as the setting for the latter half of the chapter when the Creature reaches Geneva.

The Alps in the Canton of Jura. Digital image. Jura- Traditional Mentality and Tranquility. Travelmyne, 2015. Web. 18 Sept. 2016.


Human Injustice Towards Outsiders- The Creature feels as if he experiences this several times throughout the chapter- obviously the DeLacey's treatment of him, then the little girl's father, and then, finally, William. It is up to interpretation as to whether or not they were justified in these actions. This is a main theme of the Creature's existence, as he constantly feels scorned by the rest of humanity; he feels that he is essentially human and should be accepted, but because he is ugly he is not.

Treatment of Women- At the end of the chapter, the Creature plant's the picture from William's body on Justine, who was asleep in a barn. Justine had never done anything to the Creature or ever even seen him, but he decides to take his revenge on her anyway. He feels entitled to her affection but feels that he won't get it. It's important that he takes these feelings of entitlement out on a woman; in the same way that he asks for a female companion.

Important Quotations

"No: from that moment I declared everlasting war against the species, and, more than all, against him who had formed me, and sent me forth to this insupportable misery."

"Nature decayed around me, and the sun became heatless; rain and snow poured around me; mighty rivers were frozen; the surface of the earth was hard and chill, and bare, and I found no shelter."

"This was then the reward of my benevolence! I had saved a human being from destruction, and, as a recompense, I now writhed under the miserable pain of a wound, which shattered the flesh and bone."

"... all joy was but a mockery, which insulted my desolate state, and made me feel more painfully that I was not made for the enjoyment of pleasure."

"Here, I thought, is one of those whose joy-imparting smiles are bestowed on all but me."

"'I am alone, and miserable; man will not associate with me; but one as deformed and horrible as myself would not deny herself to me. My companion must be of the same species, and have the same defects. This being you must create.'"