Similarities Between Victor and the Monster
Consider their respective relationships with nature, desires for family, and any other important parallels you find. Do Victor and the monster become more similar as the novel goes on? How does their relationship with each other develop? Mary Shelley’s novel ‘Frankenstein’ (1818) describes two crucial characters Mr Victor Frankenstein and the monster he creates Frankenstein.
Even though the monster is not a clone of Victor or shares any of his DNA there are significant traits and qualities that are very similar to Victor. They are not similar in their physical and social actions but their personalities are parallel. As the novel progresses both characters stand their position firm as heavy weights in their daily lives. Both characters strive to gain as much knowledge as possible and look to nature and its serenity during times of suffering and when they are distressed.
Consequently, both have numerous similarities. Victor Frankenstein and the un-human like monster have many similar traits and aspects of their lives but both crave for a continuous stream of knowledge. Early in the novel Victor is craving for more and more knowledge thus he leaves his large estate and his love Elizabeth to go to university to learn to understand situations and subjects better.
As a result of his obsession of gaining knowledge he created this monster, it was like an ‘unwanted child’ (p79), as the monster carries so many of the same characteristics and flaws that Victor possesses it is almost as if the monster inherits these traits. Both victor and the monster long for becoming more intelligent about their surrounding world. When the monster is hiding in the poor family’s house, he steals food and by doing this he realizes he is bringing great distress to the humans, from there on he stops stealing food, rather he helps harvest the crops and cuts firewood for them.
Also as the monster observes the family he learns the English language fluently, when he meets with Victor he explains how ‘A strange multiplicity of sensations seized me, and I saw, felt, heard, and smelt at the same time’ (p9). The monster learns how to walk, talk, open and close his eyes and how to overcome hunger and thirst. It is obvious as the novel progresses that the monster has an inner ability and determination to become just as intelligent as his creator. One would suggest that Victor couldn’t have ever magined that the monsters drive for knowledge would have come this easily.
Additionally, both Victor and the monster use nature as a hideaway or a safe haven when they are feeling as if they have nowhere else to go. Both find comfort in nature and thus develop a very strong relationship with themselves. As the monster was too hideous in appearance and frightens the town’s people, living within nature is the only choice as no one will be there to not accept him or judge him.
Victor uses nature to escape from his problems and the rest of his thoughts after the death of his younger brother William and friend Justine. He hideaways to the mountains of Chamounix to seek relief from his grief and suffering. This time spent in the Alps allowed Victor to clear his mind and think about his grief that ‘was augmented and rendered sublime by the mighty Alps, whose white and shining pyramids and domes towered above all, as belonging to another earth, the habitations of another race of beings’ (p90).
Subsequently, both characters look towards nature and its serenity during times of distress. As a result, the relationship between Victor and the monster becomes stronger and their similarities become greater. One would suggest that the reason it becomes stronger is that Victor and monster seek revenge on each other. As a result of Victor’s obsession with gaining knowledge and creating life he has created a beast.