Chapter III.

Chapter III.
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Contributors (1)
Published
Jun 17, 2019

Chapter III.

I sat one evening in my laboratory; the sun had set, and the moon was just rising from the sea; I had not sufficient light for my employment, and I remained idle, in a pause of consideration of whether I should leave my labour for the night, or hasten its conclusion by an unremitting attention to it. As I sat, a train of reflection occurred to me, which led me to consider the effects of what I was now doing. Three years before I was engaged in the same manner, and had created a fiend whose unparalleled barbarity had desolated my heart, and filled it for ever with the bitterest remorse. 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. He had sworn to quit the neighbourhood of man, and hide himself in deserts; but she had not; and she, who in all probability was to become a thinking and reasoning animal, might refuse to comply with a compact made before her creation. They might even hate each other; the creature who already lived loathed his own deformity, and might he not conceive a greater abhorrence for it when it came before his eyes in the female form? She also might turn with disgust from him to the superior beauty of man; she might quit him, and he be again alone, exasperated by the fresh provocation of being deserted by one of his own species.

Even if they were to leave Europe, and inhabit the deserts of the new world, yet one of the first results of those sympathies for which the dæmon thirsted would be children, and a race of devils would be propagated upon the earth, who might make the very existence of the species of man a condition precarious and full of terror. Had I a right, for my own benefit, to inflict this curse upon everlasting generations? I had before been moved by the sophisms of the being I had created; I had been struck senseless by his fiendish threats: but now, for the first time, the wickedness of my promise burst upon me; I shuddered to think that future ages might curse me as their pest, whose selfishness had not hesitated to buy its own peace at the price perhaps of the existence of the whole human race.

I trembled, and my heart failed within me; when, on looking up, I saw, by the light of the moon, the dæmon at the casement. A ghastly grin wrinkled his lips as he gazed on me, where I sat fulfilling the task which he had allotted to me. Yes, he had followed me in my travels; he had loitered in forests, hid himself in caves, or taken refuge in wide and desert heaths; and he now came to mark my progress, and claim the fulfilment of my promise.

As I looked on him, his countenance expressed the utmost extent of malice and treachery. I thought with a sensation of madness on my promise of creating another like to him, and, trembling with passion, tore to pieces the thing on which I was engaged. The wretch saw me destroy the creature on whose future existence he depended for happiness, and, with a howl of devilish despair and revenge, withdrew.

I left the room, and, locking the door, made a solemn vow in my own heart never to resume my labours; and then, with trembling steps, I sought my own apartment. I was alone; none were near me to dissipate the gloom, and relieve me from the sickening oppression of the most terrible reveries.

Several hours past, and I remained near my window gazing on the sea; it was almost motionless, for the winds were hushed, and all nature reposed under the eye of the quiet moon. A few fishing vessels alone specked the water, and now and then the gentle breeze wafted the sound of voices, as the fishermen called to one another. I felt the silence, although I was hardly conscious of its extreme profundity, until my ear was suddenly arrested by the paddling of oars near the shore, and a person landed close to my house.

In a few minutes after, I heard the creaking of my door, as if some one endeavoured to open it softly. I trembled from head to foot; I felt a presentiment of who it was, and wished to rouse one of the peasants who dwelt in a cottage not far from mine; but I was overcome by the sensation of helplessness, so often felt in frightful dreams, when you in vain endeavour to fly from an impending danger, and was rooted to the spot.

Presently I heard the sound of footsteps along the passage; the door opened, and the wretch whom I dreaded appeared. Shutting the door, he approached me, and said, in a smothered voice—

“You have destroyed the work which you began; what is it that you intend? Do you dare to break your promise? I have endured toil and misery: I left Switzerland with you; I crept along the shores of the Rhine, among its willow islands, and over the summits of its hills. I have dwelt many months in the heaths of England, and among the deserts of Scotland. I have endured incalculable fatigue, and cold, and hunger; do you dare destroy my hopes?”

“Begone! I do break my promise; never will I create another like yourself, equal in deformity and wickedness.”

“Slave, I before reasoned with you, but you have proved yourself unworthy of my condescension. Remember that I have power; you believe yourself miserable, but I can make you so wretched that the light of day will be hateful to you. You are my creator, but I am your master;—obey!”

“The hour of my weakness is past, and the period of your power is arrived. Your threats cannot move me to do an act of wickedness; but they confirm me in a resolution of not creating you a companion in vice. Shall I, in cool blood, set loose upon the earth a dæmon, whose delight is in death and wretchedness. Begone! I am firm, and your words will only exasperate my rage.”

The monster saw my determination in my face, and gnashed his teeth in the impotence of anger. “Shall each man,” cried he, “find a wife for his bosom, and each beast have his mate, and I be alone? I had feelings of affection, and they were requited by detestation and scorn. Man, you may hate; but beware! Your hours will pass in dread and misery, and soon the bolt will fall which must ravish from you your happiness for ever. Are you to be happy, while I grovel in the intensity of my wretchedness? You can blast my other passions; but revenge remains—revenge, henceforth dearer than light or food! I may die; but first you, my tyrant and tormentor, shall curse the sun that gazes on your misery. Beware; for I am fearless, and therefore powerful. I will watch with the wiliness of a snake, that I may sting with its venom. Man, you shall repent of the injuries you inflict.”

“Devil, cease; and do not poison the air with these sounds of malice. I have declared my resolution to you, and I am no coward to bend beneath words. Leave me; I am inexorable.”

“It is well. I go; but remember, I shall be with you on your wedding-night.”

I started forward, and exclaimed, “Villain! before you sign my death-warrant, be sure that you are yourself safe.”

I would have seized him; but he eluded me, and quitted the house with precipitation: in a few moments I saw him in his boat, which shot across the waters with an arrowy swiftness, and was soon lost amid the waves.

All was again silent; but his words rung in my ears. I burned with rage to pursue the murderer of my peace, and precipitate him into the ocean. I walked up and down my room hastily and perturbed, while my imagination conjured up a thousand images to torment and sting me. Why had I not followed him, and closed with him in mortal strife? But I had suffered him to depart, and he had directed his course towards the main land. I shuddered to think who might be the next victim sacrificed to his insatiate revenge. And then I thought again of his words—“I will be with you on your wedding-night.” That then was the period fixed for the fulfilment of my destiny. In that hour I should die, and at once satisfy and extinguish his malice. The prospect did not move me to fear; yet when I thought of my beloved Elizabeth,—of her tears and endless sorrow, when she should find her lover so barbarously snatched from her,—tears, the first I had shed for many months, streamed from my eyes, and I resolved not to fall before my enemy without a bitter struggle.

The night passed away, and the sun rose from the ocean; my feelings became calmer, if it may be called calmness, when the violence of rage sinks into the depths of despair. I left the house, the horrid scene of the last night’s contention, and walked on the beach of the sea, which I almost regarded as an insuperable barrier between me and my fellow-creatures; nay, a wish that such should prove the fact stole across me. I desired that I might pass my life on that barren rock, wearily it is true, but uninterrupted by any sudden shock of misery. If I returned, it was to be sacrificed, or to see those whom I most loved die under the grasp of a dæmon whom I had myself created.

I walked about the isle like a restless spectre, separated from all it loved, and miserable in the separation. When it became noon, and the sun rose higher, I lay down on the grass, and was overpowered by a deep sleep. I had been awake the whole of the preceding night, my nerves were agitated, and my eyes inflamed by watching and misery. The sleep into which I now sunk refreshed me; and when I awoke, I again felt as if I belonged to a race of human beings like myself, and I began to reflect upon what had passed with greater composure; yet still the words of the fiend rung in my ears like a death-knell, they appeared like a dream, yet distinct and oppressive as a reality.

The sun had far descended, and I still sat on the shore, satisfying my appetite, which had become ravenous, with an oaten cake, when I saw a fishing-boat land close to me, and one of the men brought me a packet; it contained letters from Geneva, and one from Clerval, entreating me to join him. He said that nearly a year had elapsed since we had quitted Switzerland, and France was yet unvisited. He entreated me, therefore, to leave my solitary isle, and meet him at Perth, in a week from that time, when we might arrange the plan of our future proceedings. This letter in a degree recalled me to life, and I determined to quit my island at the expiration of two days.

Yet, before I departed, there was a task to perform, on which I shuddered to reflect: I must pack my chemical instruments; and for that purpose I must enter the room which had been the scene of my odious work, and I must handle those utensils, the sight of which was sickening to me. The next morning, at day-break, I summoned sufficient courage, and unlocked the door of my laboratory. The remains of the half-finished creature, whom I had destroyed, lay scattered on the floor, and I almost felt as if I had mangled the living flesh of a human being. I paused to collect myself, and then entered the chamber. With trembling hands I conveyed the instruments out of the room; but I reflected that I ought not to leave the relics of my work to excite the horror and suspicion of the peasants, and I accordingly put them into a basket, with a great quantity of stones, and laying them up, determined to throw them into the sea that very night; and in the mean time I sat upon the beach, employed in cleaning and arranging my chemical apparatus.

Nothing could be more complete than the alteration that had taken place in my feelings since the night of the appearance of the dæmon. I had before regarded my promise with a gloomy despair, as a thing that, with whatever consequences, must be fulfilled; but I now felt as if a film had been taken from before my eyes, and that I, for the first time, saw clearly. The idea of renewing my labours did not for one instant occur to me; the threat I had heard weighed on my thoughts, but I did not reflect that a voluntary act of mine could avert it. I had resolved in my own mind, that to create another like the fiend I had first made would be an act of the basest and most atrocious selfishness; and I banished from my mind every thought that could lead to a different conclusion.

Between two and three in the morning the moon rose; and I then, putting my basket aboard a little skiff, sailed out about four miles from the shore. The scene was perfectly solitary: a few boats were returning towards land, but I sailed away from them. I felt as if I was about the commission of a dreadful crime, and avoided with shuddering anxiety any encounter with my fellow-creatures. At one time the moon, which had before been clear, was suddenly overspread by a thick cloud, and I took advantage of the moment of darkness, and cast my basket into the sea; I listened to the gurgling sound as it sunk, and then sailed away from the spot. The sky became clouded; but the air was pure, although chilled by the north-east breeze that was then rising. But it refreshed me, and filled me with such agreeable sensations, that I resolved to prolong my stay on the water, and fixing the rudder in a direct position, stretched myself at the bottom of the boat. Clouds hid the moon, every thing was obscure, and I heard only the sound of the boat, as its keel cut through the waves; the murmur lulled me, and in a short time I slept soundly.

I do not know how long I remained in this situation, but when I awoke I found that the sun had already mounted considerably. The wind was high, and the waves continually threatened the safety of my little skiff. I found that the wind was north-east, and must have driven me far from the coast from which I had embarked. I endeavoured to change my course, but quickly found that if I again made the attempt the boat would be instantly filled with water. Thus situated, my only resource was to drive before the wind. I confess that I felt a few sensations of terror. I had no compass with me, and was so little acquainted with the geography of this part of the world that the sun was of little benefit to me. I might be driven into the wide Atlantic, and feel all the tortures of starvation, or be swallowed up in the immeasurable waters that roared and buffeted around me. I had already been out many hours, and felt the torment of a burning thirst, a prelude to my other sufferings. I looked on the heavens, which were covered by clouds that flew before the wind only to be replaced by others: I looked upon the sea, it was to be my grave. “Fiend,” I exclaimed, “your task is already fulfilled!” I thought of Elizabeth, of my father, and of Clerval; and sunk into a reverie, so despairing and frightful, that even now, when the scene is on the point of closing before me for ever, I shudder to reflect on it.

Some hours passed thus; but by degrees, as the sun declined towards the horizon, the wind died away into a gentle breeze, and the sea became free from breakers. But these gave place to a heavy swell; I felt sick, and hardly able to hold the rudder, when suddenly I saw a line of high land towards the south.

Almost spent, as I was, by fatigue, and the dreadful suspense I endured for several hours, this sudden certainty of life rushed like a flood of warm joy to my heart, and tears gushed from my eyes.

How mutable are our feelings, and how strange is that clinging love we have of life even in the excess of misery! I constructed another sail with a part of my dress, and eagerly steered my course towards the land. It had a wild and rocky appearance; but as I approached nearer, I easily perceived the traces of cultivation. I saw vessels near the shore, and found myself suddenly transported back to the neighbourhood of civilized man. I eagerly traced the windings of the land, and hailed a steeple which I at length saw issuing from behind a small promontory. As I was in a state of extreme debility, I resolved to sail directly towards the town as a place where I could most easily procure nourishment. Fortunately I had money with me. As I turned the promontory, I perceived a small neat town and a good harbour, which I entered, my heart bounding with joy at my unexpected escape.

As I was occupied in fixing the boat and arranging the sails, several people crowded towards the spot. They seemed very much surprised at my appearance; but, instead of offering me any assistance, whispered together with gestures that at any other time might have produced in me a slight sensation of alarm. As it was, I merely remarked that they spoke English; and I therefore addressed them in that language: “My good friends,” said I, “will you be so kind as to tell me the name of this town, and inform me where I am?”

“You will know that soon enough,” replied a man with a gruff voice. “May be you are come to a place that will not prove much to your taste; but you will not be consulted as to your quarters, I promise you.”

I was exceedingly surprised on receiving so rude an answer from a stranger; and I was also disconcerted on perceiving the frowning and angry countenances of his companions. “Why do you answer me so roughly?” I replied: “surely it is not the custom of Englishmen to receive strangers so inhospitably.”

“I do not know,” said the man, “what the custom of the English may be; but it is the custom of the Irish to hate villains.”

While this strange dialogue continued, I perceived the crowd rapidly increase. Their faces expressed a mixture of curiosity and anger, which annoyed, and in some degree alarmed me. I inquired the way to the inn; but no one replied. I then moved forward, and a murmuring sound arose from the crowd as they followed and surrounded me; when an ill-looking man approaching, tapped me on the shoulder, and said, “Come, Sir, you must follow me to Mr. Kirwin’s, to give an account of yourself.”

“Who is Mr. Kirwin? Why am I to give an account of myself? Is not this a free country?”

“Aye, Sir, free enough for honest folks. Mr. Kirwin is a magistrate; and you are to give an account of the death of a gentleman who was found murdered here last night.”

This answer startled me; but I presently recovered myself. I was innocent; that could easily be proved: accordingly I followed my conductor in silence, and was led to one of the best houses in the town. I was ready to sink from fatigue and hunger; but, being surrounded by a crowd, I thought it politic to rouse all my strength, that no physical debility might be construed into apprehension or conscious guilt. Little did I then expect the calamity that was in a few moments to overwhelm me, and extinguish in horror and despair all fear of ignominy or death.

I must pause here; for it requires all my fortitude to recall the memory of the frightful events which I am about to relate, in proper detail, to my recollection.

Discussions

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Justine Lin: I think this is a good idea. Every existence has its own feeling and thought. The female monster that Victor created may be hating about those plans that make before her creation, so that is the possibility of rebellious. Somehow this thought of the monster born to be evil is stuck in Victor's mind, but according to the birth of the male monster, Victor failed to take his responsibility to take care and lead him to the moral way. The female monster may not born to be evil, but no one can guarantee in the future. In the Bible, Eva was convinced by the Snake and bite the apple, then she let Adam also eat the apple. Maybe there also is the possibility that male monster can't deny the suggestion from the female monster, especially if the female monster has some thoughts that are exactly opposite the purpose of Victor.
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Kai Huang: All kinds of innovation come with disagreement and question. AI been has been mentioned so many times in this class, and I also see so many classmate taking about compare AI to this monster, Of cause back to the very old days when this book been written there has no such complex issue of AI being a monster or not, Like Victor think he did created a monster, and in fact Frankenstein also did something bad that he should never did. Compare to self driving car in AZ actually did kill a human that every one start rethink the issue of our creativity of new things. Like the debate we had on class If  Frankenstein is guilty or that was Victor's fault, I remembered that more people voted that Frankenstein should not be guilty for what he did and the society should pay more responsibility to whats happening. "never will I create another like yourself." he saids how ever in the real society we know we will not stop trying new things and science will not stop develop. Lets just hope the old story will not happen.
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Qingyang Mi: I am not sure if it’s gonna be a bad idea for him to create an another female monster for the male one as he thought, because we don’t know what will they do to this world. However, it’s also because we don’t know what will they do, they might be good monsters. In my mind, it might be a different story if victor did not run away from the monster at the beginning. What if he really takes care of the monster, so that the monster grows as a good and kindness monster. As a story, I’m gonna be more interested in if Victor create more monsters. If the monsters are going to destroy the world that might be more interesting.
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Chenran Wang: As this part he thinks about what he done before and what’s the consequence it made, which I think is a good idea
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Miranda Schindler: I think this instance of unmaking was a positive one, as there is very little good that can come from the creation of a second abomination. It could be argued that it is bad because it may cause the original monster to act out violently, but saving the world from the wrath of a second, possibly even more terrible creature is far worth any repercussions.
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Churen Wei: This is a reason to think about “re-make” of a second creature, even if he make a second creature, she may not be interested in the man and then the first creature would be left alone again. He is right about not making a second one with this “good” reason.
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Reece Heinle: This moment is one that I would consider a controversial event in the novel. Some people say that Frankenstein’s decision to destroy the monster was a good idea, and that it prevented the the population of more monsters. However, the text says that he destroyed the creature while “trembling with passion”, meaning he was probably not even concerned about it being a good or bad idea. What is known is that the destruction of this creature caused more deaths later on in the novel, and that alone is bad.
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John McDougal: Here, Victor recognizes the greatest threat his new project could present. He then decides to not produce such an evil upon the world.
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Rigo Berber: Here we see a revision in progress, thought is now being poured into the creation of the second monster. If created the new monster might be even worse than the first. This is a good idea to look at the consequences that might come forth from our actions
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Martina Morgan: Victor was right to not remake the creature. It was a bad idea because we don’t know what would happen. Creating the first monster was already so terrible because he didn’t care or try to train him. And even if Victor had, we don’t know what would happen. There’s a reason we aren’t all Gods.
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Ellice Petersen: Here Victor is referring to how he is about to make another creature as a companion to the one he has already made. I think it is fairly ambiguous whether or not making a second creature is a good idea. On the one hand you do have the points that Victor makes right after this part, about how the second creature may not get along with the original creature, or might be even more violent than the original creature, or even that the two creatures might reproduce and create more creatures that will cause the downfall of the human race. The reasons that Victor gives are very good reasons that this specific instance of making is not a good idea; the scenarios he talks about are fairly reasonable, and would have bad results, in the sense that they could be very dangerous to humanity. However, I do think that Victor’s reasoning is somewhat flawed, in the sense that he fails to acknowledge the possibility that the creature’s violence and hatred for humanity is not inherent. He never takes into consideration the fact that the creature could have been profoundly affected by the way that Victor abandons and rejects him, and he never thinks about how that may have led to the creature’s murderous nature. If the creature’s violence is not inherent, it is entirely possible that the second creature could have a completely different temperament if brought up in a different environment.
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Satchel Reid: Victor’s idea to not build the creature a female counterpart is not a good idea. While yes, the threat of reproduction and more destruction is present, this cans imply be avoided by not including a reproductive system in the female. Instead, Victor opts to simply anger the monster and break his promise, which surely cannot result in anything good for humanity. If he would’ve built the counterpart, there would at least have been a significant chance of resolution to their conflict, but now that is hopeless and things will surely end in violence.
Rimiere Blakey: I think that this instance is a good idea, because if he were to create another monster, who’s to say that it wouldn’t be worse than his first creation. Who’s to say that the second creation will even want anything to do with the first creation therefore making for catastrophic things to occur within the normal human race because they cannot compete with these creations. Since they are much stronger and bigger than the average human and can harm them with no problem.
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Zhenghan Wu: Creating the monster and leaving it alone was Victor’s greatest mistake. He is again about to make a creature and send it to isolation, I agree that the second monster shouldn’t been made because he’s again sending it to isolation. The problem he thinks of can very well be reality so good on Victor this time.
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M Lenzi: But Victor could make a female mate for the Creature, which is infertile, incapable of pregnancy and childbirth, and they at least would be a couple and capable of a loving, caring relationship.
isaac Pahona: Here we see Viktor Frankenstein finally and truly reflecting on what he has done and what he plans to do. The main concern here is that although Viktor is reflecting, he doesn’t have a scientific plan to do anything differently. He fears properly that this monstrosity will be equal or worse than his first.
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Ryan Garland: In this case Victor is reminiscing over his original creation, as he decides to build it a companion. His heart is filled with remorse for the pain and deaths his creature has caused. In my opinion I think it’s a good idea to continue building the companion. The creature is extremely intelligent, he taught himself senses, reading, language. He saved a girl drowning, and he feels feelings deeply. It’s human kinda nasty nature that rejected him, and hurt him. He truly just wants someone to connect with. I think he would teach the bride in a very positive way, and hey could live happily in isolation.
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Thomas Carter: In Frankenstein, It seems that almost all of the Monster’s experiences are vile and full of hatred towards him, for example Throughout the book, the monster is constantly being thrown in the dirt, first by his creator, Victor, then the villagers he meets and he even gets shot the one time he tries to be nice to humans, and all of these people who are acting this way is sort of sculpting this monster into the way they view him. People hate him so he hates them back. This is sort of what is happening in today’s view of technology and advancements where many movies and TV shows for example Black Mirror show technology like AI, and robots are creating these horrible disasters - which makes the shows interesting of course but at the same time it’s sort of creating people to be hesitant about advancing technology and people now have this skeptical mindset that if we make these advancements the exact same disasters will happen to us. I just think it’s interesting that no matter how far back or recent we look, people are always afraid of advancements or changing things and a lot of that fear can come from books and shows and people imaginations.
Motivations & Sentiments
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Joel Gereboff: Pondering the unknowns and potential horrors the future mate for the creature might perpetrate, Victor thinks through these possibilities and resolves not to continue his efforts. Perhaps overestimating his creative prowess, he now recognizes that his own selfishness might result in the destruction of the whole human race. Although some emotions may prove reliable guides for behavior, selfishness is never appropriate because it leads only to destruction, be it of the self or of others.
Equity & InclusionInfluences & AdaptationsPhilosophy & PoliticsTechnology
David H Guston: A great deal is going on in this paragraph. First, the creature continues to speak as though he has adopted the mantle of Milton’s Satan: “I before reasoned with you” evokes Isaiah’s “Come, let us reason together” (1.18), a biblical voice that echoes in a great deal of Satan’s language in Paradise Lost (Milton [1667] 2007). Second, the creature has a sophisticated understanding of Victor’s psychology and social context, perhaps more so than Victor does, in his claim that he can render Victor even more miserable than he is. Third, even as Victor manages to achieve some measure of foresight and the ability to view a situation from a perspective other than his own (importantly, from the female creature’s perspective; see note 6), the creature has understood that his physical prowess has utterly transformed the dynamic between them. This inversion of the master–slave relationship is every slave master’s fear and perhaps the reason why, for example, the novel was banned in apartheid South Africa and why it has become such a fertile source for narratives on robotics and artificial intelligence. Victor must have some measure of physical courage to stand up to the creature here, but does he have moral courage as well?
Equity & InclusionMary ShelleyPhilosophy & Politics
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Annalee Newitz: For Mary, the daughter of early feminist philosopher Mary Wollstonecraft, women’s status as “the other” was painfully and personally obvious. Men ruled the world, and therefore almost every philosophical, scientific, and political tract about the meaning of selfhood assumed that the “self” is male. Women’s experiences were considered at best irrelevant and at worst monstrous. It is therefore delightfully sneaky that Mary has figured out a way to turn the female perspective into something more relatable than the male, as Victor imagines his new creation—“a thinking and reasoning animal”—asserting her own will in the face of the first creature’s desire. Victor is also forced to imagine the creature’s perspective as he looks for the first time into the eyes of “his own species.” When Victor imagines the two creatures looking upon each other for the first time, he calls to mind Jean-Paul Sartre’s classic notion that humans learn selfhood when we are first seen by the “other.” In Being and Nothingness ([1943] 2012), Sartre argues that we cannot have a self until we are recognized by an other, which allows us to see both the other in ourselves and the selfhood in others. Victor typically cannot imagine the two creatures having selves at all. So he suggests they will be “repulsed” rather than find sympathy in one another’s eyes.