Doe the Creature in Frankenstein have a soul?
To answer this question I have to first define the word “soul”.
My research has defined this term as “A person’s moral or emotional nature or sense of identity. The principle of life, feeling, thought, and action in humans, regarded as a distinct entity separate from the body, and commonly held to be separable in existence from the body; the spiritual part of humans as distinct from the physical part.” (www.dictionary.com).
In a shorter definition, this means the feelings and emotions of a person, not the physical part. This is a question with no right answer because it depends on the beliefs of the person answering it. Personally, I do think that the Creature has a soul. From what I read there was plenty of evidence in the book to convince me of this. I think that even something like the Creature has feelings because I don’t think anyone could live life with zero emotions and opinions.
Even animals have a soul because they do feel happiness and sadness. Just look at dogs for example. You can tell when they are upset and when they are content. No one is just plain physical. Emotions are a part of life for everything that’s living; you can’t get rid of them.
I think that the Creature has a soul because he is able to grow mentally, rationalize, and make decisions by himself with thoughts and feelings to back it up with. When the Creature was first created he was like a big, ugly, baby. He didn’t know anything about how the world worked or what was going on. He couldn’t speak or read at all because he didn’t know how. He later learned how to do that from his “protectors” as the Creature called them.
“While I improved in speech, I also learned the science of letters as it was taught to the stranger; and this opened before me a wide field for wonder and delight.” (Frankenstein, p. 84). This quote is evidence that the Creature learned to speak and read like a human would. His mind was growing and it was filling up with knowledge.
After that he started to learn the bigger material. How the world was organized. “While I listened to the instructions which Felix bestowed upon the Arabian, the strange system of society was explained to me. I heard of the division of property, of immense wealth and squalid poverty; of rank descent, and noble blood.” ( Frankenstein, p.
84-85) This sentence proves that the Creature did grow mentally just like a young human would do. He learned how the world functioned just like a child would eventually learn too. The Creature also learned to rationalize. “You must create a female for me, with whom I can live in the interchange of those sympathies necessary for my being.” (Frankenstein, p. 104).
When he asked Frankenstein to make him a bride he backed it up with logical reasons. He would stay out of human’s way and not cause any harm to anyone. He knew that humans would never accept him and knew that the rational thing to do was to live in isolation with someone else just like himself. It was a decision the Creature put a lot of thought in and felt strong about it. He couldn’t take the rejection of people anymore.
As you can see these are all human qualities and proof that the Creature has a soul because these are not physical traits, but emotional. Another reason I think the Creature has a soul is because he has a quality all humans do. Self- Awareness. The Creature goes on and on about all of his flaws and is ashamed of his self. If he didn’t have a soul he wouldn’t have that problem because all his thought would be about physical things like Food. Sleep.
Water. At least, that’s how I think a person with no soul would act. However, the Creature would be saying plenty of things about himself, his motives, and his desires. His feelings about himself were that he is different in a horrible way. He knew that being unique in that way was a curse.
All he wanted was to be a human like everyone else around him so he could fit in. “He came forth from the hands of God a perfect creature, happy and prosperous, guarded by the special care of his Creator; he was allowed to Converse with and acquire knowledge from beings of a superior nature: but I was wretched, helpless, and alone.” (Frankenstein, p.92). This quote shows that the Creature has feeling and events affect him like a normal person would be affected.
His desire was to be accepted by his protectors. “My attention, at this time, was solely directed towards my plan of introducing myself into the cottage of my protectors.” (Frankenstein, p. 94) His motive for this desire was because his own creator had abandoned him and the creature desperately wanted a family. That is what most people want in life. The final reason is that the creature has many emotions that come out in the book.
There is rejection, sadness, anger, love, loneliness, and more. A person without a soul would not have those feelings. The Creature does though and that is evidence that he has a soul. Someone might say that he doesn’t have a soul because he is a pure monster. After all he killed many people in the book so that makes him a murderer not someone with a soul.
Yes, he did kill people and that is horrible, but humans are murderers too. There are many people that kill others and no one ever doubts that they have a soul because they are humans. So my point is that killing someone doesn’t mean that you don’t have a soul, but it means that you have a cruel one. The Creature IS a monster not a human, he is a horrible being for killing so many people and there is no excuse for that. I think that the Creature has a soul, but not a good one. One emotion that the Creature expresses strongly is anger.
“No: from that moment I declared ever-lasting war against the species, and, more than all, against him who had formed me, and sent me forth to this insupportable misery.” (Frankenstein, p.97) He feels anger because no matter what he does humans hate him and treat him like the devil. He just can’t get rid of the prejudice no matter what he does. Because of that he gives up being helpful and declared war on humans.
The biggest event that got him to that decision was his love to his protectors. They didn’t accept him and they hurt him deeply. ” Felix darted forward, and with supernatural force tore me from his father, to whose knees I clung: in a transport of fury, he dashed me to the ground and struck me violently with a stick. I could have torn him limb from limb, as the lion rends the antelope. But my heart sunk within me as with bitter sickness, and I refrained.”( Frankenstein, p.
97) It was too much for him being treated like that from his protectors. This quote showed his love for them when he didn’t hurt them and it also tells you all the sadness he felt at that moment when he was rejected. These feelings prove that the Creatures soul exists. My conclusion is that the Creature does have a soul. He has emotions and feelings just like a person. His self-awareness is present.
He is logical/rational, grows mentally, and forms his own thoughts. . People have these same traits in them and we have a soul, so that means the Creature does too. The Creature is developing inside, but his outsides are the same since he doesn’t grow. Not growing is not human, but it’s what’s in the inside that counts.
His insides are not good either because of all the blood in his hands, but he still has a soul. He is not made by God directly, but someone who was created by God. And the pieces of people he is made from are made by Him as well. It’s not the same thing, but if it makes people agree with me it is worth a try.