The Theme Of Hidden identity In Frankenstein
In the book Frankenstein Mary Shelly portrayed the theme of Hidden identity and the quest for love. Frankenstein found his identity in the things that he built which made him love the idea of bringing something to life and wanting to get approval from others because, they valued other people’s opinions about themselves and went with it. Both did not know that they were both struggling to figure out who and what they really meant to the world. Mary Shelly portrayed these throughout her novel by depicting each character, and what they individually struggled with.
Victor Frankenstein placed all of his identity and self-worth in science. He pushed away his education, the relationship with his family, and forgot about his friends. “In order to shun his personal struggle, Victor puts forth all his efforts, emotions, and intelligence towards building this new life. This tactic of self-avoidance is commonly associated with broken families and death, both which Victor sadly endured in his youth, leading him to build links of his own in the” (Duyfhuizen 477). Frankenstein demonstrated his use of carelessness throughout the book, showing that he was incapable of being a father figure to anything that had life. Victor revealed through the book that he was scared of taking responsibility of his actions, and took flight instead of responsibility. To have and identity, you must first learn to love yourself. Frankenstein did not love himself and it showed, he placed all of his talent in immanent things. He relied on science to be his hide away, to be the only thing in life that mattered for him. Victor let his own intelligence take over his everyday life, hiding away from the old Victor. He isolated himself from the world consuming himself with knowledge. The irony of all of the knowledge he was consuming, would later turn into destruction, “The different accidents of life are not so changeable as the feelings of human nature. I had worked hard for nearly two years, for the sole purpose of infusing life into an inanimate body. For this I had deprived myself of rest and health. I had desired it with an ardour that far exceeded moderation; but now that I had finished, the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart. Unable to endure the aspect of the being I had created, I rushed out of the room…unable to compose my mind to sleep. At length lassitude succeeded to the tumult I had before endured; and I threw myself on the bed in my clothes, endeavoring to seek a few moments of forgetfulness” (Shelley 58-59). The way Frankenstein reacted showed that he thought, that he was not capable of bringing something to life. He proved that he thought that all of the hard work that he had done, would have just been a waste of time. His self-identity also proved that he did not believe in himself. Although he demonstrated a man who was self-centered, he did not have faith that all of the studying he did would come out with good results “unable to endure the aspect of the being I had created, I rushed out of the room” (Shelly 42). He could not believe that the hard work would finally pay off, but the consequence of what he created would soon arise.
The way society reacted to the site of the monster portrayed to him, that he would never be anything like them. The monster was new to the world and had never seen humans. The first thing he would be greeted with was the sight of his father face in horror “During the monster’s first moments of life, he watches as his creator—his father, his example—scream in horror when looking upon him and then flee, abandoning the helpless newborn in his time of need” (Shelly 42). The creature identified himself as someone scary and ugly the moment his own father looked, and screamed in his face “The emotions that are primarily present in the infant’s first glances of life are bound to remain with them: whether those emotions surface as hate, love, adoration, fear, hope, or detain—all can leave a lasting impression on the mind and soul of a young developing child” (Zimmerman, 135). Although the creature did not look like a newborn, he was newborn to this life. The monster would forever remember the way the first person he saw reacted towards him. He was forced to go out in to the judgment world and find where he belonged in life. While he hid out from humanity in the wilderness he came across a child. When the child caught a glimpse of who had obtained him, he yelled a screech for help “What was I? The question again recurred to be answered only with groans” (Shelly 120-121) The creature just wanted a friend, someone to talk to. There was nobody out there like him, he just wanted to have a companion.
Later on, in the woods he found a blind peasant man “lacking the family unit necessary for appropriate development, the creature then seeks society. How an individual forms identity is in collaboration with or response to community” (Bernatchez 205). This made the monsters confidence grow. He would not be able to be seen, and the blind peasant man would not try and run away from him. The monster thought that this would be it, that he would find his friend. When the peasant man’s family came back as soon as they saw the sight of him they attacked him. This made the creature mad, he had done nothing but try and make friends with humans and this is how all of them reacted towards him. Humans became the enemy, anyone who did him wrong he killed, “As the creature develops on his own, with no family to lean on or example to follow, he becomes cold, stone hearted, and bitter towards the civilization that won’t accept him” (Bernatchez, 205).
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In the book Frankenstein Mary Shelly portrayed the theme of Hidden identity and the quest for love. Frankenstein found his identity in the things that he built which made him […]