Companionship / Friendship

Frankenstein Final Assessment - Jeff C. & Rick H.

Lesson of Companionship and Friendship

This lesson involves the bonding of companions and friends, and the impact that it can make. To us, it's the most important lesson in Frankenstein and in our lives because companions and friends make us who we are. Without people, our knowledge is useless and we have nothing to be responsible for; nobody is there to notice it. In the story Frankenstein, Victor knew what it meant to have friends growing up, while the creature that he had created did not. The difference in having people be there for you and not having people be there for you as you grow is what makes you who you are, and the way that you're treated by those people will shape what you're bound to become. This is what Mary Shelley shows us in the wicked companionship between Victor Frankenstein and his creature.

Quotes from Frankenstein involving this lesson

1. I was surprised, that among so many men of genius who had directed their inquiries towards the same science, that I alone should be reserved to discover so astonishing a secret. (Cpt. 4)

He is alone explaining how great it is that he has the chance to do something astonishing on his own, when no other man would do it themselves. He becomes obsessed with the idea of bringing a man back to life alone in this world, while he is working alone. Maybe if he had not shoved everybody away and gone off to complete his work, he would be persuaded that it was a wrong thing to do.

2. Nothing could equal my delight on seeing Clerval; his presence brought back to my thoughts my father, Elizabeth, and all those scenes of home so dear to my recollection. (Cpt. 5)

Being in the presence of his friend brought back many great memories of when he was surrounded by the people that he loved, and received love back from. This is an example of why companionship and friendship is a great thing to have.

3. "Wandering spirits, if indeed ye wander, and do not rest in your narrow beds, allow me this faint happiness, or take me, as your companion, away from the joys of life." (Cpt. 10)

He is alone on top of the ice glacier, talking out to the graves of men that have died there over time. He is saying that he would rather die than to not be able to enjoy the "joys of life". At least if he was a spirit, he would be around the other spirits by him.

4. “My life, as it passed thus, was indeed hateful to me, and it was during sleep alone that I could taste joy. O blessed sleep! Often, when most miserable, I sank to repose, and my dreams lulled me even to rapture.” … “During the day I was sustained and inspirited by the hope of night, for in sleep I saw my friends, my wife, and my beloved country; again I saw the benevolent countenance of my father, heard the silver tones of my Elizabeth's voice, and beheld Clerval enjoying health and youth. Often, when wearied by a toilsome march, I persuaded myself that I was dreaming until night should come and that I should then enjoy reality in the arms of my dearest friends.”(Cpt. 24)
Victor Frankenstein is in the middle of his last adventure in this world; chasing the monster. He is saying how he looks forward to sleeping, so that he might be reminded of those he once loved that are now gone. He only found joy when sleeping because this is when he was with his friends. As a result, Frankenstein was miserable, and would have suffered from depression from being alone; much like the creature. Most people in real life would behave in this same way if they had nothing else to lose and nothing but loving memories to dream upon.

Quotes from the creature involving this lesson

  1. "These were the deflections of my hours of despondency and solitude; but when I contemplated the virtues of the cottagers, their amiable and benevolent dispositions, I persuaded myself that when they should become acquainted with my admiration of their virtues they would compassionate me and overlook my personal deformity." (Cpt. 15)
    He decides to approach the cottagers in search of friendship. He believes that friendship will make life worth living, and help him appreciate the life he has.
  2. "They loved and sympathized with one another; and their joys, depending on each other, were not interrupted by the casualties that took place around them. The more I saw of them, the greater became my desire to claim their protection and kindness; my heart yearned to be known and loved by these amiable creatures; to see their sweet looks directed towards me with affection was the utmost limit of my ambition." (Cpt. 15)
    The creature clearly appreciates the love and joy made by the company of others. He wants nothing more than to feel what it is like.
  3. " I resolved to return to the cottage, seek the old man, and by my representations win him to my party." (Cpt. 16)
    The creature is convinced enough that communicating with the cottagers is worth a try.
  4. "It is true, we shall be monsters, cut off from all the world; but on that account we shall be more attached to one another. Our lives will not be happy, but they will be harmless and free from the misery I now feel. Oh! My creator, make me happy; let me feel gratitude towards you for one benefit! Let me see that I excite the sympathy of some existing thing; do not deny me my request!" (Cpt. 17)
    The creature says that he will feel fulfilled if he is able to be with one other living thing in peace.

Modern Connection to Friendship/Companionship

Loneliness can cause stress and depression. It can ruin your mind and make life horrible. It can affect you physically as well. Long term loneliness may even shorten your lifespan. This is because friends are the people who help in hard times, but when you are alone, you have no help. You feel hopeless and lose any joy you may get from activities you once enjoyed.