Mario Escobar is a writer at BHSEC, Cleveland-West. He is a recipient of Achievement Awards for Literature, Physics, and Physical Fitness in 2018.
Everything and anything has beauty, even if it is not obvious at first glance. For example, a pile of sand on the beach does not seem to be anything until you take the time to look at it more closely. You will see a multitude of beautiful shells and multi-colored rocks that you would not notice unless you took the effort to do so. The care required to behold beauty can also be said to understand the characters Victor and the Creation in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Victor is a studious college student who focuses more on his academics than on his bonds in his life until he faces the tragic loss of loved ones by his Creation, who is a byproduct of Victor’s obsession with reanimation. This obsession causes him to eventually realize the importance of his bonds throughout the story as they slowly dwindle. In Frankenstein, the prevalence of loneliness can cause people to be viewed as depressing and despairing, but it also helps people realize their own appreciation of their remaining bonds and smaller beauties in life.
Shelley shows how much despair loss can cause with the death of Henry, a dear childhood friend to Victor. But the despair from loss can also be shown to express the realization of Victor’s gratitude towards Henry. Victor’s sorrow emerges when he is falsely accused of murdering Henry, who is murdered unbeknownst to Victor, after entering a town by raft. When Victor gains the chance of seeing the corpse, he realizes it is Henry’s corpse, strangled to death by the Creation. Afterward, Victor experiences agonizing trauma and anguish so badly that in his perspective he feels like “the human frame could no longer support the agonizing suffering that I endured, and I was carried out the room in strong convulsions” (127). The physical and mental response to Henry’s death demonstrates just how severely the loss of a loved one can affect someone. Victor then gets falsely imprisoned for the homicide of Henry which furthers his despair, making him feel as if “a darkness pressed around” him (128). This lasting effect of loss on Victor shows the appreciation he had toward Henry for so long, an appreciation he had not realized the extent of until then.
Like Victor, the Creation also feels his own form of isolation. But unlike Victor, the Creation is sadly accustomed to this isolation due to his monster-like appearance which makes Victor flee in terror, even though the Creation has a kind soul. Despite this immediate treatment from a human, the Creation tries to learn the graces of nature in order to compensate for this hatred against him. When the Creation first goes out into the real world all alone during nighttime, he almost immediately falls asleep after satiating his famine and thirst. Upon waking, the Creation immediately feels like he is “a poor, helpless, miserable wrench” (70). The Creation then notes that he “could distinguish nothing; but, feeling pain invade me on all sides, I sat down wept” (70). The Creation’s agony stems from having no one close to in the world, while also having little to no ideas on how the world actually functions. He thus feels anguish toward himself and the existence of everything in the world. And yet through his agony the Creation beholds small moments of beauty which help him heal. The Creation finds “that I could distinguish the bright moon, and I fixed my eyes with pleasure” (71). The Creation notices the hidden gem of the night, the moon. Nighttime, like the Creation, is an example of something with hidden glamour within. The Creation is only able to notice this beauty from just desiring one small thing to bring him at least a sliver of pleasure: the luster of the moon.
Shelley demonstrates in Frankenstein that everything has beauty, even if it is not obvious at first glance. This aspect can also be applied to Victor and the Creation as well. Like the unnoticed beauty in a pile of sand on the beach, both Victor and the Creation do not take the chance to see the ocean of beauties within themselves. Victor does not realize the appreciation in his familial bonds, and the Creation overlooks his talents for easily understanding the intricacies of a human being. If they both realized these beauties in themselves, then they wouldn’t have had to deal with most of the hardships they encounter in this story. Maybe these realizations of beauty within themselves would’ve changed their whole lives in countless positive ways, but would also remove the beauty in the story of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.