The Female Creature

"I demand it of you as a right which you must not refuse" 

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Vol. 2 Ch. 9

Vol. 3 Ch. 1

Fear of Being Forgotten

The Female Creature

Nature and Sublime

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As the creature finishes telling his story to Victor, the creature’s intentions of finding Victor become obvious because he tells Victor:

I am alone, and miserable; man will not associate with me; but one as deformed and horrible as myself would not deny herself to me. My companion must be of the same species, and have the same defects. This being you must create (Shelley 110).

In this instant, the female creature becomes an important character to the novel because much conflict is created through Victor’s promise to the creature, and eventually, both the creature and Victor lose the things they most covet, companionship. Although the female creature never actually comes to life, she gains life through Victor’s tormented musings, and she can be characterized as a threat to both male characters.

            At first, Victor feels that by creating a female creature he is helping himself as well as society, but in the process of creating her, he realizes he might be creating another sociopath murderer. In chapter 3, volume 3, Victor comes to the realization:

I was now about to form another being, of whose dispositions I was alike ignorant; she might become ten thousand times more malignant than her mate, and delight for its own sake in murder and wretchedness (Shelley 129).

Most likely, the female creature will be just as displeased as the male creature because she too cannot enjoy the company of humans, “…and she, who all probability was to become a thinking and reasoning animal, might refuse to comply with a compact made before her creation” (Shelley 129). If she is anything like her predecessor, she might channel this hate into more murderous avenues. She also proves to be a monster on Victor’s psyche, as his “…heart often sickened at the work of my hands,” and he “…looked towards its completion with a tremulous and eager hope…intermixed with forebodings of evil” (Shelley 129). The female creature’s terrifying nature is manifested when the male creature says to Victor, “Your hours will pass in dread and misery, and soon the bolt will fall which must ravage from you your happiness for ever” (Shelley 131).

            Both the creature and Victor treat the female creature as some being that can be possessed by males, and she is never given any choices by either of these male characters. This idea of patriarchal possession seems to be a product of history, and only recently, in the last century, have women had the sort of autonomy that males have always had. The creature’s plea’s with Victor are wrought with notions of male possessiveness, for the creature begs, “You must create a female for me, with whom I can live in the interchange of those sympathies necessary for my being…and I demand it of you as a right which you must not refuse” (Shelley 111). The creature intends for the female counterpart to be his and his only, and neither Victor nor the creature consider the feelings of the yet to be created female creature. They both assume that a female creature must succumb to male dominance and decision making, and Victor, “…trembling with passion, tore to pieces the thing on which [he] was engaged” (Shelley 130). However, this destruction occurs after Victor realizes, “…she, who in all probability was to become a thinking and reasoning animal, might refuse to comply with a compact made before her creation,” which is a bit ironic because he does not give her the chance to live (Shelley 129).

            The female creature’s character depends entirely on the discourse between Victor and the creature, which creates an extremely biased view of her. Her entire existence rests precariously between Victor and the creature’s conflict, which causes her character to shift from monster to possession. Victor sees the female creature as a potential murderer and monster, whereas the male creature treats the yet living creature as some sort of pet, a being that would remain under his control. However, Victor, in the ultimate act of male authority, destroys the female creature, which demonstrates that Victor treats her as simple possession as well.