As the monster gains further intelligence and begins to experience and understand more about humans and himself, he stops questioning himself and begins to look for sources and the solutions to his problems. He begins with the fact that he was bought to life miraculously unlike humans who come from their mothers and he also realises that he has not grown at all in the period of his existence. However, the requirement to fulfil his needs is the topic on which he takes most interest and sees as a way of happiness and comfort.
‘I had never yet seen a being resembling me, or who claimed any intercourse with me. ‘ In this sentence alone we see that the monster is greatly troubled by his solitary self and seeks a partner of his type. From here on we see the monsters journey for a partner and an equal. At the end of the monsters story of his adventure we are able to see the real intensity of this need of the monster to please himself with a partner.
Even after the monster successfully murders Frankenstein’s brother with his own hands he is still relieved of his anger by the picture of a women on his victim’s locket. ‘In spite of my malignity, it softened me and attracted me’ here we are able to see how a portrait has so much influence on the monster and we are able to understand the real necessity of the monsters need to please his passion. The monster continues to express his delight on this attraction as he says ‘I gazed with delight on her dark eyes… and her lovely lips’.
The passion of the monster is clearly indicated as he comes across a women sleeping on some straws in a barn, he whispers to her ‘he who would give his life but to obtain one look of affection from thine eyes’ this shows that the monster is in great need of a companion and presents a more loving and romantic side of the monster. The intensity of the monsters passion makes up the dramatic ending to Chapter 16 where the monster demands to Frankenstein to create another creature of the same defects so as to gratify the monsters ‘burning passion’.
Throughout the course of Chapters 11-16, the monster is portrayed by Shelley as a normal human with physical defects only who is able to show much kindness and experience love. The first example of the monsters kindness is clearly shown when he begins to understand that the De Lacey family are in poverty where he sees that the younger cottagers fed the old man leaving themselves to starve. He comments on this act be saying ‘This trait of kindness moved me sensibly’ and to show this newly found quality he stops stealing the cottagers food at night ‘I found that in doing this I inflicted pain on the cottagers, I abstained’.
The monsters sympathy is shown to surpass his image as he carries on to ‘discover another means through which I was enabled to assist their labours’ here we see the monster physically helping the cottagers by doing their work for them. Moreover, this portrayal of the monster as a compassionate creature is further revealed when the monster saves a young girl from drowning ‘with extreme labour from the force of the current, saved her’. This is most astounding because the monster was earlier neglected once again by his companions in the cottage he inhabited and he is still able to be considerate to humans.
The monsters depiction as a violent and destructive creature comes at the end of Chapter 16 after he is rejected by the cottagers on whom he had placed all his hope of becoming friends with. He begins by destroying ‘every vestige of cultivation in the garden’ and then to burning the cottage; ‘the cottage was quickly enveloped by flames’. The rage and anger of the monster is clear when he says ‘I was convinced that no assistance could save any part of the habitation, I quitted the scene’ at this point we see that the monster intends to indulge himself in the destruction and make sure that his demolition is not prevented.
However, we do not see the actual violence of the monster until he arrives at Geneva itself where he primarily meets Frankenstein’s younger brother. Yet again we see the monster react to the disregard from society. He says ‘loaded me with epithets which carried despair to my heart’ here we see the monster becoming agitated by the curses that the boy is shouting and soon we see the result as the monster ‘grasped his throat… in a moment he lay deaf at my feet’.
The monster becomes very devastating at this stage and he clearly portrays it by exclaiming ‘my heart swelled with exultation and hellish triumph’. The last source of brutality we see from the monster is one of astuteness as the he frames the young women in the barn. ‘I had learned to work mischief’ now we see the monster use his intelligence to annihilate his enemies. As a reader, I am sympathetic towards the monster because although he is portrayed as an outcast and a violent creature it is only the result of his treatment from society.
Shelly’s portrayal of the monster is very broad as she describes the feelings and the actions of the monster to every obstacle he faces in his expedition to be accepted by the human society. It is only after being neglected that the monster becomes violent and destructive as he clearly says after being rejected by the De Lacey’s ‘the feelings of revenge and hatred filled my bosom’ and later when he saves the girl and is shot ‘This was then the reward of my benevolence!… The feelings of kindness and gentleness… gave place to hellish rage’.
All these declarations by the monster comes only after he is abandoned again and again by society and he is plunged back to the ‘despair’ and ‘desolation’ that he had felt when he had been abandoned by Frankenstein. In Chapters 11 to 16 the monster is portrayed as a new born baby who gradually is able to use his body to feed himself and to learn the many virtues of life. The monster is shown as a normal human who bears physical defects but is able to think and feel as a human and carries the many qualities such as kindness and sympathy and the traits such as the need to have company and be accepted.
There are many messages that Mary Shelley is trying to put through to the reader in Frankenstein. The most obvious point is that man should not play God since he is a creation and does not have the power to control another creature. This is very skilfully presented by Shelley; at first we are presented with the gruesome image of the monster and later on we see that Frankenstein has no control over it as he begins to torment him and later forces him to make a partner with the same defects.
Another message apprehended by Shelley is that all humans must feel that they belong to society or else they will begin to disperse and that loneliness creates despair which can trigger to violence and destruction. This view is cleverly put to the monster as we see his struggle for acceptance from Frankenstein at the very end even after being neglected by him at first. Also, it proves that humans need to be supported and loved throughout their life. At first the monster needs Frankenstein to teach him to communicate and to discharge his hunger and by the end the monster is need of acceptance from society and fulfil his newly found desires.
This is also acceptable for the philosophy that men are born decent but are made evil by society a view which Shelley captured herself. Furthermore, Frankenstein was written by Shelley at a time when science was in rapid progress and so it may have been to express her fears of the consequence of such revolution. The underlying message of Frankenstein is that society makes humans what they are and that if society accepts us then we will be able to live as we please and that the immoral characteristics of humans are bought by negligence and despair.