bodies and identities


Even in his rage against humanity, the creature himself continues to long for the basic human comforts of companionship and civility. Indeed, this is precisely why he approaches Victor on Mont Blanc: if Victor will create a mate for him, then he will not act upon his desire for revenge. And yet, it is not to be: although the scene on Mont Blanc ends with a reluctant Victor agreeing to the creature's request, eventually Victor's ignorance and fear cause him to abandon the project, which in turn sends the creature into a final, monstrous frenzy of death and despair.

Although Shelley successfully demonstrates the creature's humanity in this passage, it is vital to note that she imbues the entire scene - and indeed, the entire book - with an overwhelming sense of despair. The stark imagery of the conversation's locale gives weight to the overwhelming sense of isolation felt by both Victor and his creation: "The surface is very uneven…the field of ice is almost a league in width…the opposite mountain is a bare perpendicular rock…the sea, or rather the vast river of ice, wound among its dependent mountains, whose aerial summits hung over its recesses" (Vol. 2, Ch. 2). Shelley herself, on her visit to Mont Blanc, remarked that the sea of ice was "the most desolate place in the world - iced mountains surround it - no sign of vegetation." (Shelley's journal, 25 July 1816) Shelley intentionally utilizes this kind of gothic setting to underscore the isolation that her characters feel due to their innate lack of communication and understanding with one another, as if their minds are icebound.



  attitudes toward creation




creature's history


creature's humanity


  other themes