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The Longing for Guidance in Frankenstein, a Novel by Mary Shelley

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The Neglected Child

Throughout Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the creature acts out in ways to get Victor’s attention. The creature goes through the predicament of threatening Victor, harming his loved ones and continually following him around. The creature is similar a child that has been neglected and has not been taught right from wrong. His creator is disgusted by him and he has no one that could relate to him. Mary Shelley represents the creature as a child or baby that is in need of affection to conduct feelings of sympathy in the reader.

The creature operates in ways that children often do when being neglected by their parent. The creature throws what is to be considered a temper tantrum, which is a way of getting Victor’s attention. As a “parent”, it is Victor’s obligation to either care for what he has created or locate someone who will.Since he doesn’t receive companionship and love from Victor he desires a mate,“ and I demand it to you as a right which you must not refuse to concede” the creature is demanding what is rightfully his (104). The creature has no other choice but to demand Victor to give him his birthright, which is love and affection, which is typical for a child. They seek out someone that can give them comfort if their parents cannot, such as a diary, a stuffed animal or even another person. To get that affection, the monster demands Victor to create someone like him, like a child would ask its parent to give them a sibling.

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When the reader is first introduced to the creature, Victor sees him as beautiful, then almost instantly looked at with disgust. Victor believes that “the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled [his] heart” (35). Something once so beautiful is now a disgusting creature. The creature can be seen as a neglected child, who was instantly shunned after his creation. A neglected child could become troublesome as they aren’t getting the love and affection they need from their parent.

The first interaction the reader receives from the creature is when he looms over Victor on his bed. The creature is like a newborn baby seeking out attention, love, and warmth from its mother and instead of receiving that response, Victor is terrified and runs out. Victor is scared of his once beautiful creation when he states “I beheld the wretch – the miserable monster whom I had created” (35). He thinks of his creation as an ugly monster. Victor believes that the creature is going to attack him; “one hand was stretched out, seemingly to detain me, but I escaped” (35). The hand that the creature stretches out is simply him looking attempting to achieve the comfort and warmth that a newborn baby would (35). A baby would automatically want its mother so in this scenario, Victor is the mother and the creature is the baby and Victor has denied the “baby” it’s right to love and affection. The creature is given a poor introduction to the world, and showing him that he would never truly be accepted.

The creature is a neglected child who has been given an awful introduction to the world to channel feelings of sympathy within the reader. When the reader is first introduced to the creature he is described as a horrifying monster. The creature tries to interact with Victor and is thought to have sinister plans. The creature is neglected by Victor throughout the book and is looked at as a monster. When he asks for someone like him to be created, his request is turned down. He has had no one to turn to that could relate to his problems and no one has actually given him a chance and heard his story. So in return he acts out like a neglected and abandoned child, he destroys things or he threatens Victor and his loved ones. He never got the attention that a newborn would. It was Victor’s responsibility to love and care for the creature but instead he presented him to the world as a horrifying and brutal monster.

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