Wife of a Monster
A Creature Needs A Female Creature Like A Fish Needs A Bicycle
The desire for opposite sex companionship is an innate desire in all creatures, but with humans, the desire has transcended pure biological needs. What was once a need to pass on hereditary genes has become a need to complete the human existence. Much of this desire may have its sources in the human biological system, but for years, people have considered the meaning behind such opposite sex companionship. This need for companionships becomes one of the major sources for conflict in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. The creature begins his journey with no knowledge, but he soon witnesses the wide range of human emotions while spying on the De Lacey family. One of these emotions was the need for companionship, or love, which was displayed by Felix when Safie arrived:
Felix seemed ravished with delight when he saw her, every trait of sorrow vanished from his face, and it instantly expressed a degree of ecstatic joy, of which I could hardly have believed it capable; his eyes sparkled, as his cheek flushed with pleasure; and that moment I thought him as beautiful as the stranger (Shelley 87).
The introduction of Safie into the De Lacey’s cottage infused the creature with a sense of loneliness, but the creature was lonely because “no Eve soothed [his] sorrows, or shared [his] thoughts” (100). The creature presents his misgivings to Victor on the summit of Montanvert, which was overshadowed by Mont Blanc, and he the creation of a female version of himself. By focusing on two major aspects of this monumental scene, which occurs in Chapter 9, Volume 2, my web site provides some meaning behind the creature’s demands; the two aspects are: the need for continuation and the power of nature.
My website suggests, through content and aesthetics, that the main driving force behind the creature’s desire for companionship is actually a desire of continuation; he wants keep himself alive through offspring. On the surface, the creature appears to be imitating Felix’s desire for love, and like a child, the creature wants to do what humans do. The creature combines his observations with his reading of Paradise Lost, and he develops a rather naïve meaning of love. To the creature, Paradise Lost “excited different and far deeper emotions,” and “It moved every feeling of wonder and awe” (Shelley 98). On the subject of Adam, the creature says, “Like Adam, I was created apparently united by no link to any other being in existence” (Shelley 98). I used this quote as one of the starting points of my website because it suggests that, other than imitation, the creature wants to connect with other beings.
When starting my site, I had to pick a background, and with only a vague idea of what I was going represent, I chose my current background. However, as my site progressed, my journal-style background seemed befitting to my theme of continuation. People record their thoughts and actions in journals, and by doing this, the journals represent the non-physical aspects of a person; the journal keeps the person’s thoughts alive for many years. While describing his journey, the creature tells Victor:
I discovered some papers in the pocket of the dress which I had taken from your laboratory. At first I had neglected them…It was your journal of the four months that preceded my creation…You minutely described in these papers every step you took in the progress of your work (Shelley 99).
In this case, the journal represents the birth of the creature, but the lack of physical conception and birth creates an incomplete being, one who lacks connection to the world. The power of journals, yet incompleteness, lends itself to my site because the creature needs to complete his existence. The web site itself represents my own ideas, and the collaborative nature of it allows me to connect to others, something that the creature lacked.
The content of my site, mainly my poetry explication, also suggests that the creature desired connection and continuation. The poetry explication focuses on the John Keats’s Poem, “When I have fears that I may cease to be,” a poem about dying or fading into nonexistence. After witnessing the De Lacey family, the creature witnesses a wide range of emotions, and if he died without connecting with similar beings, he would never experience those emotions himself. He would never experience love, friendship, glory, and loss; those emotions require intimacy with other similar beings. The explication argues that exaggerated sense of self, such as the creature’s or Victor’s, is not conducive to living beyond death. Living beyond death requires connection with other beings. The Mary Shelley Letters also represent these ideas of continuation. Her letters represent large parts of her life, and because her letters are still being read, she continues to live. However, if she had remained isolated from others, as Victor and the creature, her letters would provide a very one-dimensional view of her. Without such journals or letters, much of human history would be lost, and journals connect the past with the present, or whoever might be reading the journal.
In her letters and in Frankenstein, nature is a pervading theme, but serves as the backdrop for my two chapters; the creature makes his demand on a summit shadowed by Mont Blanc and Victor recovers from his experiences along the Rhine. However, I tailored my web site to the presence of Mount Blanc. The Mary Shelley Letters detail her journey to Geneva, and Mont Blanc serves as the backdrop of her letter, often inducing feelings of sublime. The idea of sublime is almost as inexplicable as feelings of love and companionship. Sublime is a feeling of awe, but only through experience does a person truly understand sublime feelings. In chapter 10, Victor describes feelings of sublime:
I remembered the effect that the view of the tremendous and ever-moving glacier had produced upon my mind when I first saw it. It had filled me with a sublime ecstasy that gave wings to the soul, and allowed it to soar from the obscure world to light and joy (Shelley 70).
Such feelings also separate a person from the grips of society, and the lonliness of the scene symbolizes the disconnection of both the creature and Victor. Despite their apparent hatred of each other, both characters have each other. Nevertheless, both characters are separate from the rest of society, and the seclusion and overpowering nature of Mont Blanc contribute to their disconnection. My images represent the enormous size and power of Mont Blanc, but also the relative lonliness of both characters. The other images represent the respective deaths of the female creature and Elizabeth, key moments of disconnection from society, and nature helps establish this disconnection.
The creature’s need for companionship is a desire to connect with society, and with little hope of connecting with humans, he needs his own society. By using various components of web design, this site underscores the need for companionship is important to establishing a permanent existence. The collaborative nature of this site, with links and input from others, helps establish the principle of a much larger existence.