I am happy to say that, after reading this book for the third time, I still enjoyed Shelley’s writing, probably even more so this time. I guess I really never noticed before how she can dive so deep into her characters. By the end of the book, I had flip flopped a bunch of times on which character I sympathized with more: Frankenstein or his monster.
The interesting part about this conflict was that the monster is in fact, a monster. However, Shelley humanizes the monster so well that it makes him believable. His eloquent speech and intelligence gives us something to respect, while his size and appearance still give us something to fear. But what makes him believable are his basic human desires and expectations. She does it so well that I think if she just gave him a name, readers would forget that he was a monster; and might even sympathize with him more. In fact, it was probably done on purpose so that we did end up conflicted by the end of it, challenging our moral views.
I especially enjoyed the monster’s rebuttal towards Walton at the end of the story where he asks, “And do you dream?… do you think that I was then dead to agony and remorse?… Think ye that the groans of Clerval were music to my ears? My heart was fashioned to be susceptible of love and sympathy…” It’s really cool to see where Frankenstein and the monster show both their human and inhuman sides. One side is driven by love, compassion, beauty, and nature. While the other side is madly driven by self loathing, revenge, ugliness, and the abomination of nature.