Contents Index

Frankenstein and the Monster of Representation

Daniel Cottom

SubStance, 28 (1980), 60-71

. . . to go according to nature is only to go according to our intelligence, as far as it can follow and as far as we can see; what is beyond is monstrous and disordered.

Now by this reckoning, to the most knowing and ablest men everything will therefore be monstrous . . . .

As Mary Shelley indicated when she described this novel as her "hideous progeny" (10)2, the monster created in Frankenstein is a likeness of the novel itself. The similarity is so strong in fact, that the figure Victor Frankenstein brings to life may be said to represent the novel in which both he and that figure appear. Thus, the horror that Frankenstein feels in contemplating the monster can also be the reaction of a reader who finds the letters on a page to lose their meaning as they lose their ground in a referential depth and order. This analogy is supported by the way in which the experience of reading is dramatized elsewhere in this work. Frankenstein's vision of the monster agrees with that discordant vision of man which is given through a reading of Volney's Ruins of Empires. Summing up his reaction to that book, the monster says, "Was man, indeed, at once so powerful, so virtuous, and magnificent, yet so vicious and base?" (119).

For this is the parable of Frankenstein: in seeking to represent himself, man makes himself, a monster. Or, to put it in other words: Frankenstein's monster images the monstrous nature of representation. Victor, then, may deliberately choose the monster's "gigantic stature" (54) as a mechanical expedient in his work; but when that work is completed, it comes to have a significance beyond the pragmatic. As Victor says, "How can I describe my emotions at this catastrophe, or how delineate the wretch whom with such infinite pains I had endeavoured to form?" (57). The size of the monster magnifies a faulty relationship between the inside and the outside of his body as well as a lack of harmony on the surface of his body. His features are related to each other by a contiguity without any substantial ground, for they either contrast too much or too little and are not even distinguishable as external features from the muscles and arteries that also appear on the surface. As it is represented monster, the human body that Locke called "the great foundation of property"3 {61} is seen as having no depth and no coherence to preserve it as a foundation for anything.

This physical monstrosity of Frankenstein's creature is related to problems in the representation of man as a species, a social figure, an individual, a creature of reason, and a being in the contexts of science and political economy. The human species appears in Volney's representation to be no less incoherent than the appearance of the monster. It is as if Victor sees in his creation the breakdown of the concept of man into an irreconcilable diversity of individuals or of qualities within individuals -- a breakdown that leaves representation as a groundless, disordered, monstrous affair. With the creation of the monster, one no longer has that unity in diversity which characterized the early relationship between Victor and Elizabeth, his adopted cousin: "Harmony was the soul of our companionship, and the diversity and contrast that subsisted in our characters drew us nearer together" (36). Instead, one may be reminded of the way in which Vico illustrated the generation of poetic monsters by a failure of representation in Roman law -- an "inability to abstract forms or properties from subjects."4 This inability to rise from disordered particulars to an organizing concept, from individuals or qualities within individuals to the species, describes perfectly one aspect of the representational crisis that produces Frankenstein's monster and the novel of which he is the image.

A further aspect may be related to Rousseau's suggestion that the idea of gigantism signifies a distortion of perception caused by man's fear of others.5 Not only is this analysis relevant to Frankenstein's creation, but the constitution of this fear in Frankenstein can be expressed more precisely. One area in which gigantism and fear are related is a child's perception of the coincidence between his parents' physical and moral authority, and this thematic conjunction is crucial throughout the novel. It is not just confusion among human relationships in general that gives rise to monstrosity but also the confusion that specifically arises in familial and sexual relationships.

Consider the relationship between Victor and the girl who eventually (though very briefly) becomes his wife. As a child, Victor is given a "present" by his mother: the orphan Elizabeth who becomes his "more than sister" (35) as he grows up. Their life together is idyllic until Victor is about to go to the University at Ingolstadt. At that time his mother, who is attempting to cure Elizabeth of scarlet fever, succeeds in the cure but herself catches the fever from Elizabeth and then dies, saying, "Elizabeth, my love, you must supply my place to my younger children" (43). The illness thus passed between the two is the physical expression of a psychological confusion among the identities of "mother," "sister," and "wife" that persists throughout Frankenstein's story and forms the dramatic basis for his relationship with his monster. There is a conflict between familial and sexual orders that cannot be resolved in this novel except through illness, violence, or death. This contagion is caused, in effect, by the problem of fitting individuals to more general concepts within the process of representation.

{62} The naiveté of dreams provides the traditional narrative excuse for the expression of such threatening ambiguities in identity; and when he finally manages to fall asleep on the night after he animates his creation, Victor has just such a dream:

I thought I saw Elizabeth, in the bloom of health, walking in the streets of Ingolstadt. Delighted and surprised, I embraced her; but as I imprinted the first kiss on her lips, they became livid with the hue of death; her features appeared to change, and I thought that I held the corpse of my dead mother in my arms; a shroud enveloped her form, and I saw the graveworms crawling in the folds of the flannel. I started from my sleep with horror; a cold dew covered my forehead, my teeth chattered, and every limb became convulsed; when, by the dim and yellow light of the moon, as it forced its way through the window shutters, I beheld the wretch -- the miserable monster whom I had created. (58).
If it is remembered that Victor has meditated earlier, ". . .if I could bestow animation upon lifeless matter, I might in process of time . . . renew life where death had apparently devoted the body to corruption" (54), the significance of this dream becomes even clearer. The monster appears as the figure concluding a series of substitutions -- wife for sister for mother -- at doesn't end even when Elizabeth is murdered on her wedding night, but extends to figures throughout the novel. Incest, Percy Bysshe Shelley's "very poetical circumstance,"6 is what is symbolically performed in Victor's act of creation and then elaborated and analyzed in the drama subsequent to that act. The monster not only displays the relationship between Victor and Elizabeth in its own discordant image but also acts as the parental scourge of that forbidden relationship to which Victor's mother had so discordantly given her blessing. The contagion that passes between the two women marks a breakdown in representational orders which leads to the confusion of identities drifting among different individuals rather than adhering to a specific figure.

The contagion spreads, then, to the Frankenstein's servant, Justine Moritz, who had so admired Mrs. Frankenstein that she had tried and succeeded in imitating her appearance.7 She is convicted of murdering Victor's brother because the monster, the actual killer, hides in her belongings the picture Elizabeth had given to the boy -- a picture of his mother. The contagion also may be seen as spreading to the De Laceys, the cottagers whom the monster secretly observes and learns to love. They resemble Elizabeth's parents as they are nobles embroiled in political conflict, and they resemble both Elizabeth's parents and those of Victor's mother as they were rich but have become poor; and thus, through the contagion that comes with confused resemblances, the De Laceys are connected to the incestuous design that Victor sees displayed across the form of his creation. When the monster finally reveals himself to them, they must reject him just as Victor must reject that power which revealed its perversity in his creation.

Finally, the contagion spreads to Victor's meeting with Robert Walton, the {63} explorer of the North Pole whom he meets as he tries to chase down the creation which has run out of his control. In the letters to his sister which compose the narrative of Frankenstein, Walton seems to anticipate his meeting with Victor as he complains about the lack of a friend -- "a man," as he says, "who could sympathise with me; whose eyes would reply to mine" (19). When he meets Victor, however, the response he receives to his friendly overtures is not the one he had expected. Victor's response is the cautionary tale of his life. The lesson it conveys is that "the absence" (19) Walton yearns to fill is congruent with the unknown land he seeks to conquer, and that this absence is the presence of his sister. The major irony of this novel is that its form as a brother's communication with his sister and its dramatic setting in an exploratory voyage to an uncharted region of the world are euphemistic parodies of the forbidden act so central to its horror. This complementarity in the form of the novel and the sexual transgression represented by Victor's creation extends still further the significance of the monster as a figure for the text.

Moreover, Victor describes Walton as having "restored [him] to life" (26) just as he later describes his restoration at the hands of his boyhood friend, Henry Clerval.8 In their revivifications of Victor, Walton and Clerval both resemble him in his monstrous creativity. This confluence in their identities leads the one to the failure of his scientific expedition and the other to death as a surrogate for Frankenstein. Once again, then, one sees a contagion arising out of imperfectly differentiated and ordered identities.

The importance of his last comparison is even more evident when one considers the fact that a kind of kinship is, after all, the relationship that finally obtains between Victor and his monster. That this is so is evident in the pattern of reversals in their relationship to each other: their kinship is established through the confusion in their roles. Frankenstein, for instance, comes to speak of himself as "the slave of my creature" (153); and while the monster says at one point, "You are my creator, but I am your master" (167), he later claims, "I was the slave, not the master, of an impulse, which I detested, yet could not disobey" (220). This ambiguity as to who is subject to whom is continuous with Victor's life after the creation of his monster and is irresoluble as long as they both continue to live -- there can be no reconciliation. Victor cannot recognize his kinship (or twinship) to his monster because to do so would be to lose his identity in the chaos imaged in the monster's appearance. In other words, he would no longer be able to use his view of the monster as a means of displacing his own monstrosity. Thus, he can only recognize himself in the monster in a demonic form: "I considered the being whom I had cast among mankind . . . nearly in the light of my own vampire, my own spirit let loose from the grave, and forced to destroy all that was dear to me" (77).

One has only to consider Victor's misinterpretation of the monster's promise to be with him on his wedding night as referring to violence against himself rather than against his wife to see how the monster's violence appears {64} as a displacement of impulses that may be presumed to be Victor's.9 Similarly, Victor's conviction that he is a criminal and his delirious statements that he has killed his brother, Elizabeth, and Henry Clerval are but barely disguised avowals of the identity of his desires and his monster's actions. (The "brain fever" from which he suffers is, after all, but another literary version of the dream.) The monster in this respect may be seen as representing a release of the force of repression over violent and irrational energies that belong to Victor as they do to all of mankind in this novel, 10 and thus he is a figure for the novel as a whole insofar as the apparent order of this narrative may be seen as a kind of superficial covering to another design which is contrary to the usual order of reason and reading. Like the formal order of the narrative, the monster may be seen as a denial through displacement of a repressed disorder that upsets the traditional idea of representation.

Still, the nature of representation meets with further and even more important complications in this novel. For in addition to upsetting the exemplary coherence of the body, the concept of man as a species, the foundation of society in the family, individual identity, and the rule of consciousness in the individual, the monster overturns the power of science.

This further aspect of the monster's power is especially emphasized because Victor initially tries and fails to fulfill his ambitions by studying alchemy. It is only with his introduction to modern science that he is able to discover this secret that he will ever after try to repress, and this crucial difference between alchemy and modern science comes about through a change in the process of representation.

When the first teacher he meets at the university dismisses alchemy, Victor remains unimpressed. He is unwilling to accept a science that requires him "to exchange chimeras of boundless grandeur for realities of little worth." Under the influence of a speech by a second professor, however, he finds a way of reconciling grandeur with reality. This professor, M. Waldman, concludes by saying,

The ancient teachers of this science . . . promised impossibilites, and performed nothing. The modern masters promise very little; they know that metals cannot be transmuted, and that the elixir of life is a chimera. But these philosophers . . . have indeed performed miracles. They penetrate into the recesses of nature, and show how she works in her hiding places. They . . . can command the thunders of heaven, mimic the earthquake, and even mock the invisible world with its own shadows. (46-48)
Whereas the language of alchemy is worthless because it only has reference to dreams, the language of science is effective and becomes truly miraculous because it imitates nature so as to "mock the invisible world with its own shadows." The words "command" and "mimic" become virtually synonymous because the power of science is to forego searches for magic substances or substantial conversions in favor of the artificial imitation of natural processes.

In the work of empirical experiment and observation, nature is penetrated {65} neutral equipment rather than by the desiring imagination. The new language of science, in other words, is the language of tools. It is a mechanical objectivity that mediates between man and nature, making man invisible in the midst of his own activity so that what was hitherto invisible in nature may be revealed. What Frankenstein discovers, however, is that this new language is also a product of the human imagination. Like Victor's creation and like Walton's exploration and correspondence, modern science in general is a representation of desire, not of knowledge. Science only serves to hide from man the fact that it is himself that he continually rediscovers in nature and in the tools he interposes between himself and nature.

It is because man cannot escape into objectivity through science that scientific instruments become symbols of violent disorder in Frankenstein. They are not only the means of creating the monster but counterparts to the monster. Of course, such instruments are introduced innocently enough, as the machines in his lab are what M. Waldman first shows to Victor after he has accepted him as his pupil. And it is "the improvement of some chemical instruments" (51) that formally marks the point at which Victor has outstripped his teachers. After the creation of the monster by means of "the instruments of life" (57), however, Victor says, "When I was otherwise quite restored to health, the sight of a chemical instrument would renew all the agony of my nervous symptoms" (67). And when, after his illness, he introduces the newly-arrived Henry Clerval to M. Waldman and that well-meaning professor speaks of science to the two of them, Victor's reaction is similar. "I felt," he says, "as if he had placed carefully, one by one, in my view those instruments which were to be afterwards used in putting me to a slow and cruel death" (68). At this point, not only has the horror of scientific instruments been transferred to language concerned with science, but there has been a complete conflation in the identity of the instruments of creation and the monster himself.

The language of science, the tools of science, and the product of science are all as one because, as Victor regards them, all are representations of man as something other than himself. That is to say, they are representations of man as a representation -- as a victim of instruments foreign to himself. Instruments, whether linguistic or mechanical or monstrous, represent man to himself through his own death; and thus it is not surprising that Victor should look back upon the words with which M. Waldman had first inspired him as "the words of fate, enounced to destroy me" (48) and should speak of "the evil influence, the Angel of Destruction" (45) that led him to the first professor of science at Ingolstadt. Since the power of scientific language, instruments, and creation comes from a nature outside of man, beyond the desires of man, all aspects of scientific representation come to be seen by Victor as having their origin and their end in death. The pursuit of objectivity, it seems, can only be a pursuit engendered by and culminating in death, for it only in death that the disordered associations of life can be completely harmonized.

The implication of Frankenstein's creation and of Walton's failure is that {66} every language which pretends to objectivity must be founded upon victimization and sacrifice. It is significant in this respect that while Walton at first describes his motives for exploration to his sister in terms of personal curiosities, fantasies, and desires, his final and over-riding motive is selfless and scientific and sacrificial: "you cannot contest the inestimable benefit which I shall confer on all mankind to the last generation. . ." (16).

The difference between science and alchemy, then, the difference that makes Victor's monster so terribly powerful, is that science in actuality rejects desire, and thus rejects a part of man, and thus ends in representing man to himself in a hideous and violent form. All power, whether it be over nature or over society, represents a monstrous misrepresentation of desire. Seen from this point of view, the monster is a figure for the novel insofar as the novel may be taken as something other than a dream and thus as an objective language within which there is concealed a deathly power over the reader.

The idea of invisibility that looms so large in this scientific enterprise is particularly striking in a novel that has its origins in Byron's suggestion that he and his friends should write "a ghost story" (7). Moreover, invisibility appears elsewhere in the novel, showing another way in which representation is a monstrous affair. When the monster was hiding in a shed behind the De Laceys' home, he went out at night to gather wood and to do other chores for that family; and he tells Victor, "I afterwards found that these labours, performed by an invisible hand, greatly astonished them; and once or twice I heard them, on these occasions, utter the words good spirit, wonderful. . ." (114).

The irony of the monster's presence behind these wondrous phenomena strikes two ways. The first irony is directed at the "invisible" distribution of benefits within the new industrial capitalism, as that distribution had been described by Adam Smith forty-two years prior to the publication of Frankenstein:

. . . the annual revenue of every society is always precisely equal to the exchangeable value of the whole annual produce of its industry . . . every individual necessarily labours to render the annual revenue of the society as great as he can . . . and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention.11
The second irony is directed at the pastoral mythology implied in the aristocratic retreat to the countryside: the pagan myth of pastoral plenitude, overlaid in Paradise Lost and in Christian history generally with the story of the Garden of Eden, is in Frankenstein made accountable to man. The source of fertility and wealth is described as the labor of a monster that is man's creation, and the class-analysis to which this passage lends itself is carried over to modern economic conditions through the adoption of Adam Smith's famous image for the unconscious regulation of a laissez-faire market. For while this hand may be invisible to the middle and upper-class audience Smith is addressing, the working class knows the body to which it is attached.

Of significance in this respect are the aforementioned histories of {67} Elizabeth's and Mrs. Frankenstein's families. Mrs. Frankenstein was the daughter of a friend of Mr. Frankenstein, a merchant whose ruin reduced her to the status of "an orphan and a beggar" (32) surviving only by such menial work as plaiting straw. Having rescued and married her, Mr. Frankenstein "strove to shelter her, as a fair exotic is sheltered by the gardener, from every rougher wind" (33). In her turn, Elizabeth was discovered by Mrs. Frankenstein on one of that lady's visits to the cottages of the poor. She, too, was the orphan daughter of wealthy parents -- her father an Italian nobleman -- and in her state of distress her delicate beauty appeared as that of "a distinct species" (34) among the cottagers' own children. In both cases, therefore, these women rescued from a life of poverty and labor were marked for rescue. Even though they had fallen from it, the position in life for which they had been born was visible in them; and thus their return to this position signified not only a personal salvation but also a systematic rejection within this novel of the life of common labor. In effect, the power that rescues them is the same power that conceals the labor of the monster and then rejects it when it becomes visible. When labor becomes subjectivity -- as the monster tries to introduce himself to the De Laceys -- it must be rejected and one must flee from it, just as labor must remain essentially foreign to Elizabeth and Mrs. Frankenstein and yet intrinsic to someone like their servant, Justine. For while Elizabeth speaks of Justine's condition as a servant as one which in her "fortunate country does not include the idea of ignorance, and the sacrifice of the dignity of a human being" (65), Justine's inability to defend her innocence against the accusation of murder is more than sufficient testimony to her inferior status.

Laissez-faire economics and pastoral nostalgia both conceal the reality of labor behind an imaginary, ideal, unseen regulation of human affairs; and this deathly "spirit" represents a denial of human agency identical to that involved in the ideology of empiricism and carrying with it the same results. Though it is the country home of the De Laceys that he eventually burns, within the logic of the story the monster just as easily could have destroyed a factory or a copy of The Wealth of Nations. From this perspective, the monster figures as the text insofar as Frankenstein may be regarded as a pure work of art or of some other abstraction that conceals the labor of its origin.

The burning of the De Laceys' cottage acquires even more significance through the fact that it is just this kind of rustic isolation to which Victor appeals as he is tortured by the consequences of his creation. "Learn from me," he tells Walton,

if not by my precepts, at least by my example, how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge, and how much happier that man is who believes his native town to be the world, than he who aspires to become greater than his nature will allow. (53)
And a little later he adds,
If this rule were always observed; if no man allowed any pursuit whatsoever to interfere with the tranquility of his domestic affections, Greece had not been {68} enslaved; Caesar would have spared his country; America would have been discovered more gradually; and the empires of Mexico and Peru had not been destroyed. (56)
Such passages are mature versions of the anti-social sentimentality in Victor's characterization of the harmony of his childhood relations with Elizabeth. According to this novel, however, once man creates a representation of himself, that representation takes power over him and he can never get back to a natural state, no matter how fondly he may imagine that state and no matter how strongly he may urge others to hold to it. Victor appeals to that isolated "middle State"12 to which Robinson Crusoe's father adjures him to hold and from which the lure of adventure separates him. The wanderings of Victor, though, unlike those of Crusoe and Tom Jones and Pamela and Roderick Random, and unlike those of that prototypical adventurer, Odysseus, do not return him to society and domesticity, except to tell his story and die. There is no transcendence through sentimentality. Like the Ancient Mariner of Coleridge's poem (which is alluded to more than once in the novel), Victor is the prey of repetition as he follows the marks and signs of his equivocal relationship with his creation all the way to the seas around the North Pole and yet never discovers any significant progress or change.

In Frankenstein, the act of representation implies the denaturation of man, and the ending of this novel serves to consolidate the impression that there can be no real escape from the monster of representation. As the sailors on Walton's ship threaten to mutiny when that ship is locked in a sea of ice, Walton faces a crisis in his exploratory journey that resembles the danger Frankenstein had confronted in his exploration of creation -- and thus we are brought back to the beginning of the novel. Even though Victor might be expected to take this opportunity to continue his warnings against adventure, however, his initial response is to argue against the sailors. His attitudes do change somewhat a few days later, after Walton has acceded to the demands of the crew; and yet he still does not take this chance to save Walton from his own error. His last words are suspended in uncertainty:

Farewell, Walton! Seek happiness in tranquility, and avoid ambition, even if it be only the apparently innocent one of distinguishing yourself in science and discoveries. Yet why do I say this? I have myself been blasted in these hopes, yet another may succeed. (217-218)
Even as he faces death, Victor cannot totally dissociate himself from the monster and the process of its creation. And if the reader is not surprised by this failure to sustain the moral lesson that he tried to develop from his experiences -- this failure of the sentimental lesson of so much Victorian fiction -- it may be because he has already seen Victor refuse to take advantage of an opportunity that might have freed him of his monster. In the event that Victor had given him a mate, the monster had promised to go away to the wilds of South America; but Victor's refusal dooms them both. Recounting this opportunity in his dying speech, Victor says,
{69} In a fit of enthusiastic madness I created a rational creature, and was bound towards him, to assure, as far as was in my power, his happiness and well-being. This was my duty; but there was another still paramount to that. My duties towards the beings of my own species had greater claims to my attention because they included a greater proportion of happiness or misery. Urged by this view, I refused, and I did right in refusing, to create a companion for the first creature. (217)
Even though this novel so thoroughly maintains that the concept of the human species is monstrously incoherent, it is consideration for the species that causes Victor to refuse to create an Eve for his Adam -- in fact, to dismember the women he had started to create and to dump the pieces in the sea. And even though there is reason for Victor's action, as he doesn't trust the monster to fulfill his promise, this suspicion doesn't exhaust the significance of his action. For within the novel's final retreat from the darker regions of creation there is the central figure of a woman who is partially made and then torn apart. This situation anticipates the ending of Conrad's "Heart of Darkness," where a symbolic equation is effected between "the horror" and Kurtz's Intended. What is missing in Walton's ship, what cannot be represented, is a woman.

To say this is not to locate in this one refusal a key to the entire novel -- it should be clear from all the foregoing analysis that one aspect of monstrosity in this novel is that there is no single key to its appearance -- but it is significant that the preservation of the species is associated with an abortion of the female. The monster at one point refers to himself as "an abortion" (222); and it is important to remember that he has a father, albeit an unhappy one, but no mother. It is the female which is missing in the authorship of the monster.

The connection between bestial qualities and the threat offered to men by women is a literary and historical commonplace that doesn't need to be commented upon here, but what is particularly relevant to Frankenstein is the fact that as a creator of this "hideous progeny" Mary Shelley also imagined the absence, the monstrousness, and the destruction of her sex within its complex structure of textual disharmonies. After all, the entire novel is set on a ship at sea, and to be a woman means, historically, not to be a sailor. Thus, the repression of women and, specifically, of female sexuality contributes to the novel's monstrousness. Victor's refusal to create a female reveals the erogeneity of the science of that first creation; it reveals that aspect of the novel's monstrousness involved in the fact that Victor is a parodic Pygmalion (or a parodic Zeuxis) and his creation the failure to create a woman. The nature Victor penetrated in the creation of his monster was a female nature; the act he performed was a sexual act; and it is the distorted image of this nature and this act that helps to make the monster a figure for Mary Shelley's creation.

It is splendidly ironic, in view of all these complexities, that Victor Frankenstein also plays the role of the editor of the novel. "Frankenstein," says Walton,

{70} discovered that I made notes concerning his history: he asked to see them, and then himself corrected and augmented them in many places; but principally in giving his life and spirit to the conversations he held with his enemy. 'Since you have preserved my narration,' said he, 'I would not that a mutilated one should go down to posterity.' (210)
As Victor seeks to overcome textual corruption by animating the manuscript, giving it "his life and spirit," he does seem to be a man who never learns his lesson. The danger that stories should come alive has been a literary concern at least since Dante told of Paolo and Francesca and became a central problem of the novel as it developed under the influence of Cervantes; one would think that Victor, of all people, should be aware of this threat. Victor's blindness, however, serves to underscore the persistence of this problem around which the novel has been organized from Don Quixote to the present day.

All of the aspects of monstrosity in this novel are finally accompanied -- though not controlled or harmonized -- by the concern with the interchange between representation and life epitomized by the way in which the monster serves as both textual figure and textual ground -- and yet as a ground that ultimately is groundless, that is like the sea from which the reader, like Walton, will finally retreat to a more conventional home.


1. Michel de Montaigne, "Apology for Raymond Sebond," The Complete Works of Montaigne, trans. Donald M. Frame (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1957), p. 391.

2. Mary W. Shelley, Frankenstein: Or, the Modern Prometheus, ed. with an Introduction by M. K. Joseph (London: Oxford University Press, 1971). Page references are given within the text.

3. John Locke, Two Treatises of Government, The Works of John Locke, 10 vols. (London: Thomas Tegg, 1823; rep. Germany: Scientia Verlag Aalen, 1963), 5: 363-64.

4. Giambattista Vico, The New Science, trans. with an Introduction by Thomas Goddard Bergin and Max Harold Fisch (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1970), pp. 90-1.

Also, cf. L. J. Swingle, "Frankenstein's Monster and its Romantic Relatives: Problems of Knowledge in English Romanticism," Texas Studies in Literature and Language 15 (Spring 1973), and Donald G. MacRae, "The Body and Social Metaphor," The Body as a Medium of Expression, ed. Jonathan Benthall and Ted Polhemus (New York: E. P. Dutton, 1975).

5. Jean-Jacques Rousseau, "Essay on the Origins of Languages," On the Origin of Language, trans. with Afterwords by John H. Moran and Alexander Gode, with an Introduction by Alexander Gode (New York: Frederick Ungar, 1966), p. 13.

6. Percy Bysshe Shelley, Letter CCCCXLII ("To Maria Gisborne"), Complete Works, ed. Roger Ingpen and Walter E. Peck, 10 vols. (New York: Gordian Press, 1965), 10: 124.

7. See Elizabeth's comments on this similarity in Frankenstein, p. 65.

8. See Frankenstein, p. 62.

9. It is notable in this respect that Victor earlier had feared that the monster might try to kill Elizabeth (Frankenstein, p. 93) although he seems to have entirely forgotten this fear at the time of the wedding.

10. Cf. George Levine, "Frankenstein and the Tradition of Realism," Novel: A Forum on Fiction 7 (Fall, 1973).

11. Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations, ed. with an Introduction and Notes by Edwin Cannan, with an Introduction by Max Lerner, The Modern Library (New York: Random House, 1937), 423.

12. Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe, ed. with an Introduction by Donald Crowley, Oxford English Novels, ed. James Kinsley (London: Oxford University Press, 1972), p. 4.