In Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein, she draws a flow of contrast within the characters of the creature and Victor Frankenstein. She manipulates the differences and similarities in an effective way. Most of these she presents through their words, expressions, thoughts and emotions throughout the novel. The first presentation of contrast between the two is that they are both ‘alike’, by mentioning this word, I do not refer to physical resemblance as one may think, infact I am looking at the characteristic likelihood of Victor and the creature. Victor creates the monster to be like himself, he did not however, plan his creation to become like him, but it did indeed. The monster does not resemble Victor physically however; instead they share the same personalities. For example, they are both loving beings, they both want to help others and want what is best for them, even though they do not manage to accomplish that.
As the character of the creature, Shelly provides us with some information about the monster before it has even been created. Things such as that he is being created from parts taken from morgues and graves. We also know that his limbs have been stitched together as we also told that he is going to be eight feet tall. These facts show that his physical appearance will obviously be repellent and terrifying. The reason I am mentioning the physical description of the creature is because when imagining a monster with such features, a horrific and frightening ‘thing’ would come to mind; however we later find that the outcome of Victor’s horrid invention turns out to be completely different. The creature is very kind-hearted, loving and somehow also loveable, if given the thought.
In comparison to the creature’s character, one may well say that Victor’s physical appearance may not be as attractive as he seems to be an outcast in this world. As the blind man could thought he was a criminal because he could feel his face the way others would talk about him. What I mean to say is that through his description, one would imagine Victor as not being aware of the world around him, lost, and unselfconscious which may make him look much terrifying as like the creature.
Frankenstein, when first introduced, is weak and worn. ‘Only one dog remained alive on entering the vessel Frankenstein faints’. Walton says he has never seen a man such a ‘wretched condition’. This description makes us evoke sympathy for Frankenstein. It shows something bad has happened in the past that has put him into this condition. Likewise, the creature speaks in such depth as he says, “…no father had watched my infant days, no mother had blessed me with smiles and caresses.” This reflects great sorrow and meaning behind these words that one would consider something extremely unacceptable has happened to him for him to be in such a terrific sate, both physical and mental.
Frankenstein presented a sense of negligence throughout the novel, he wanted to create a super race, he wanted to have no flaws whatsoever. All the flaws he had he wanted them to be taken away with his creation. He wanted him to be stronger, smarted and better looking, but when the creature started to breath he noticed that it wasn’t any of the qualities he wanted. So he neglected it and ran away. If by any chance he was able to create a beautiful creature he would have nursed it and marveled his accomplishment. In this context, the creature however, was ready to accept a world unfamiliar to his kind, he tried to convince Victor to accept him and feel personal attachment or deep affection towards him like a creator would do to his creation, like a parent to do to his child not considering the physical deferments of the child, the parents would still love him because it is somehow their creation and desires that caused the child to be.
Another aspect of Victor Frankenstein is that he does not acquire any of the characteristics a normal person would have, as he does not realise the intensity of love; we see this when he describes his love towards Elizabeth as “…my warmest admiration and affection.” This shows that he does not have any of the typical male characteristics. Using the word ‘admiration’ which literally means a feeling of wonder, or approval, makes Victor somehow look quiet stupid because differing to this, the creature, taken that he is not human, still has a desire for a female creature with which he can share emotions. Victor’s character is quite non-submissive, he is the Einstein sort of scientist for whom his knowledge is priority. Which leads him to being selfish. I use the term selfish because Victor is so devoted to himself and concerned primarily with his own interests that he does not even think about the consequences of ‘playing God’ and creating such a creature just for self-fulfillment to have someone or something to look upon him and praise him like all creation praises God.