Well, I must admit, I was one of those who thought that the monster’s name was Frankenstein, and that the scientist was just… some guy. I have been deceived. I also thought that the monster was going to be much more monstrous than he really was in the book. I was actually looking forward to it a little bit, to finally have a monster who is undoubtedly a monster, undoubtedly evil and vicious. But as much as this monster was a murderer, and his namelessness leads him to simply be called ‘Frankenstein’s monster,’ he really wasn’t that truly terrible. Again, we see a creature sadly misunderstood. While his appearance is certainly terrifying, and… unnerving (dead things brought back to life… zombies, anyone?) I can’t help but sympathize with him for being judged so superficially. Especially since the first person to reject him so harshly is his creator, Frankenstein, the closest thing he has to a father. That leads me think Victor would make a fairly bad parent, if you ask me. Again we find ourselves faced with the question of who is the monster. I would be one to lean toward answering this question with neither, as both the monster and Frankenstein do cruel and terrible things, but are also put through cruel and terrible things. I’m not incredibly brave, I would probably run away from something with “watery eyes” and “black lips” as well. But I would also probably be quite cruel if the only thing I knew from the beginning of my life was rejection and loneliness.
If, at the end, the monster had not come and given Victor that final farewell, I would perhaps be more open to calling them both monsters. But the fact that the pain he feels over the terrible things he’s done leads him to tell the people that he’s going to kill himself puts a whole new dimension to him, even so close to the end of the book. He knows his creator wanted him dead, and decides to carry out those wishes, even though he could have simply walked away, free from Frankenstein. He fears for others who he may harm, and says “I shall collect my funeral pile, and consume to ashes this miserable frame” (pg. 224). That one hit me right through the heart. We have on our hands a suicidal monster. Who, I believe, is really no monster. He did monstrous things, he did terrible, tragic things, but no one had ever shown him love or compassion, and so I cannot place the blame entirely on him.