by Mary Shelley
Frankenstein Appearances Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (chapter.paragraph)
During our walk, Clerval endeavoured to say a few words of consolation; he could only express his heartfelt sympathy. "Poor William!" said he, dear lovely child, he now sleeps with his angel mother! Who that had seen him bright and joyous in his young beauty, but must weep over his untimely loss! To die so miserably; to feel the murderer's grasp! How much more a murdered that could destroy radiant innocence! Poor little fellow! one only consolation have we; his friends mourn and weep, but he is at rest. The pang is over, his sufferings are at an end for ever. A sod covers his gentle form, and he knows no pain. He can no longer be a subject for pity; we must reserve that for his miserable survivors." (7.16)
Henry expresses affection for the dead boy by describing his lovely physical attributes.
"He struggled violently. `Let me go,' he cried; `monster! Ugly wretch! You wish to eat me and tear me to pieces. You are an ogre. Let me go, or I will tell my papa.'
"`Boy, you will never see your father again; you must come with me.'
"`Hideous monster! Let me go. My papa is a syndic—he is M. Frankenstein—he will punish you. You dare not keep me.' (16.27-29)
William immediately thinks that the monster is, well, a monster. How does a six-year-old kid learn about ogres? (Don't say Lord of the Rings.) Could it be that we're all innately prejudiced?
"As I fixed my eyes on the child, I saw something glittering on his breast. I took it; it was a portrait of a most lovely woman. In spite of my malignity, it softened and attracted me. For a few moments I gazed with delight on her dark eyes, fringed by deep lashes, and her lovely lips; but presently my rage returned; I remembered that I was forever deprived of the delights that such beautiful creatures could bestow and that she whose resemblance I contemplated would, in regarding me, have changed that air of divine benignity to one expressive of disgust and affright. (16.32)
The monster is upset that normal people will not treat him with kindness merely because he is not attractive.