What role does self-identification have with compassion?

Victor is not your normal guy. He’s a genius, was a recluse for a certain period of time, and is obsessed with knowledge. That being said, I think the most effective part of the Monster’s story to create compassion for Victor is different than for the reader. The most important part of the Monster’s story to convince Victor to have compassion for him is when he tells Victor about the books he found, read, and studied. This is a strange part to highlight, especially coming from the reader’s perspective who is more prone to feel for the Monster. The reader is impacted by the part of the Monster’s story where he asks for a companion after he has told us his hopes and aspirations then finally reveals himself to the DeLacey’s and is shunned.

The key to winning over Victor’s compassion is when the Monster informs Victor of the books he stumbled upon one evening. I think its safe to say that Victor is smart. He created life even if it was in Monster form. We also know that something that is near and dear to Victor is knowledge. We see it in he and Walton’s conversations, and we see it all throughout the book thus far – he loves knowledge. So to tie this back to the part of the Monster’s story where Victor learns that this Monster found “extreme delight” in reading and studying (Vol. 2, Ch. 7, par 3). The Monster and Victor can now identify with one another. “I now continually studied and exercised my mind upon these histories,” the Monster shows a similar dedication to knowledge as we in Victor near the beginning of the book (Vol. 2, Ch. 7, par 3). This unique connection is rare for Victor to have, even with other humans.The Monster says “I can hardly describe to you the effect of these books. They produced in me an infinity of new images and feelings that sometimes raised me to ecstasy, but more frequently sunk me into the lowest dejection” (Vol. 2, Ch. 7, par 4). He goes on to list and talk about each book and we slowly begin to see the way he interprets, learns from, and is impacted by these books. Book language is Victor’s language and that is why I think it is the most important part of the Monster’s story to convince Vitor to have compassion for him.

As a reader we are more likely to be compassionate in earlier situations in the book where our sympathy is triggered for the Monster. The moment of the Monster’s story to convince the reader to be compassionate is when he asks for a companion. By this point we have seen him express his hopes and aspirations for community and relationship, and we have also seen him in constant abandonment by all humans. Here we can sympathize with his loneliness and therefore feel compassionate towards his need for community and his hurt of rejection.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *