Empathy In Frankenstein

929 Words4 Pages
The gothic fiction novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley centralizes on humanity and the qualifications that make someone human. The content of the novel Frankenstein depicts a monster displaying human traits that his creator Victor does not possess: empathy, a need for companionship, and a will to learn and fit in. Throughout the novel Shelley emphasizes empathy as a critical humanistic trait. The monster displays his ability to empathize with people even though they are strangers. On the other hand Victor, fails to show empathy throughout the novel even when it relates to his own family and friends. A plethora of instances depicted in the novel bolsters the reader's understanding of the monster's development of empathy which originated during…show more content…
Isolation and a lack of companionship is the tragic reality for the monster, who was abandoned by his creator and is repulsive to everyone that he comes across. Victor removes himself from society for many months; severing nearly all human contact then renouncing his creation based on the monster's appearance. As the monster matures he begins to understands the relationship the cottagers share with one another, while the monster, “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.”(Shelley). Armed with nothing but the longing for a real connection, the monster approaches his unknowing hosts only to be “brutally attacked—by those he trusted...because of their human ignorance.”(Millhauser). This violent rejection is a repetition of Victor’s lack of acceptance for the monster and attention to his family. Victor knows that the monster will never be able to live within society and that his ability to create life is the only hope the monster has of achieving companionship. Victor's own aversion to companionship surfaces as he, “ fails to give him the human companionship, the Eve, the female creature, that he needs to achieve some sort of a normal life.” (Mellor). The monsters smoldering hope for friendship dies as he speaks of the injustice that is upon him, “shall each man,” cried he, “find a wife for his bosom, and each beast have his mate, and I be alone? I had feelings of affection, and they were requited by detestation and scorn.”(Shelley). Victor’s miniscule capacity for companionship jeopardises the monster’s chances of a gaining a
Open Document