In the thirteenth chapter of the book, it is spring and the monster is surprisingly delighted with what spring brings such as the good weather and the flowers. The monster was noticing the melancholy expression of Felix when someone knocked at the cottage’s door. Agatha opened the door and the woman, who was accompanied by a guide, asked for Felix. Felix came to the door so in that moment, the women removed her veil and the monster could not help but marvel and admire the beautiful woman before him. The monster also observed that Felix might also be attracted to the woman he called Safie. Safie speaks another language and Felix and the others seem to not understand her at first. However, during her stay at the cottage, Safie learns their language and the monster learns with her as well. Aside from language, Safie and the monster also learn about literature, science, history and politics, manners, and religion. The monster palpable forms his own opinions and makes valid observations. From his learnings, the monster starts to question the difference between a virtuous and principled man and those who are base and vicious. While the monster was content in learning, he was also deeply affected by what he knew, especially because of the evils of men.
The first paragraph in the thirteenth chapter signaled the change in the monster. In this paragraph, the monster says, “I shall relate events that impressed me with feelings which, from what I had been, have made me what I am.” As previously discussed, the monster learns many things from different subjects in this chapter, alongside Safie, and what he learns enables him to think, understand, and form opinions about the events, especially in human history. Although the monster is delighted by spring, the presence of Safie, and by learning, he is bothered by what he uncovered about men – evil men who are vicious and base. The monster questions the motivations of those who exhibit atrocious behavior towards other men and why they do such things when they can choose to be virtuous instead. Based on the monster’s questions, the statement in the first paragraph shows that the monster is about to learn and through learning, he develops values, realizes right from wrong, and makes observations and judgments.
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On the other hand, the last paragraph is about the monster’s realizations of the kind of company that he keeps. After asking many questions about what he learns, the monster says he will speak of those feelings later and suddenly, his despair is replaced by the desire to go back to the cottage where he feels happy and seemingly content with Felix, Agatha, and the others. In this paragraph, the monster calls them his protectors. The monster also admits his love for them – “for so I loved, in an innocent, half-painful self-deceit, to call them.” Perhaps what he learned taught him the difference between vicious and virtuous men and upon learning so, the monster realizes that Felix and the others are good people and they are kind to him. For this reason, he calls them his protectors. In this paragraph, the monster’s attachment to Felix and the others deepens. This is the similarity between the first and the last paragraphs – that the monster is able to explore his feelings and develop values and other human emotions.
“No father had watched my infant days, no mother had blessed me with smiles and caresses; or if they had, all my past life was now a blot, a blind vacancy in which I distinguished nothing.” I find this passage significant because it reflects one part of the monster’s life that allows him to realize the value of his company. The monster despairs that he has no father and mother, and apart from that, he has no past to remember, Victor has abandoned him, and he feels lonely because of who he is among humans. However, when he sees the relationship between Felix and the others, and the monster learns alongside them, he feels like he belongs and the sense of sadness and loneliness goes away, replaced by delight. The thirteenth chapter is important because it shows the transformation of the monster, how he is changed because of what he learns and what he sees and understands of human interaction. The thirteenth chapter shows the monster who is human because he can learn, he feels, he understands, and he can relate to the human condition and human needs.
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