“Our lives will not be happy, but they will be harmless, and free from the misery I now feel.”
These are words that the creature uses in his speech to persuade Victor Frankenstein to create a female companion for the creature, an Eve to his Adam. The creature has some pretty specific ideas for how his female companion should be for him.
An Imperfect Female
- She should sooth sorrows
- She should share thoughts
- She should be deformed and horrible
- She should not deny herself
- She should be of the same species
The creature paints a picture of the life he would have with his ideal female companion by way of encouraging Frankenstein’s sympathy and compassion to create said female. He speaks of how he doesn’t need to eat meat, being a total vegan living off acorns and berries, and she would eat the same. He talks of how they could make their bed of dried leaves. He even says he’ll take his female to live in South America (where I’m sure they will be far from man until deforestation).
Of course, Victor “God” Frankenstein agrees after the creature swears to him, and by him, that he and his companion will run off together to live unhappily ever after in the savage land of South America and avoid humans altogether so they won’t end up killing anyone for looking at them funny.
This does not come to pass as Frankenstein has serious reservations about adding another monster to the mix because everyone knows how unpredictable women, love, and free will can be. And so with the creature grinning through the window at his as yet inanimate bride, Frankenstein undoes months of work in an epic display of cadaver slaughter.
But what if he had not seen the creature watching his progress, and taking a shuddering breath to smother his sense of foreboding, Frankenstein had completed the female?
Our Lives Will Not Be Happy
To Victor Frankenstein, Geneva
My Cursed Creator,
No doubt receiving this letter has caused you displeasure, but I have no one else to whom I can express myself. The female you fashioned for me, my Eve, despises me and daily makes me more miserable than ever I was as an outcast of mankind.
She is in appearance of similar deformity to me, as I had requested you make her. Yet I had hoped that with her hair the black of night, eyes a pale watery yellow, and dark lips the color of ash against the sallow expanse of her skin her image would be one that familiarity would make beautiful to me. This has not come to pass.
She proved not to be the student that the Arabian had been for Felix, nor as affectionately devoted. I had hoped that she would sooth my sorrows, but she complains that I am too melancholy, too angry, and am worse than the wretched humid heat of these savage lands in which we live.
I had promised you that we would hide from the neighborhood of mankind, but there are wild men in these jungles. They are shorter in stature than even you are to us. My companion believes them to be sweet with their small proportions and brown skin. She went off to follow them in secret and came back last night having cast off her clothing in favor of adorning herself in the manner of the wild women exposing her hideousness further. She wears the bones of animals through her earlobes and nose, and has taken to flinging her limbs about chanting nonsense. Her visage was never one of beauty, but now she has increased her deformity with these adornments.
She says I am boring, and no fun because I will not dance with her as she stomps around shaking the very earth. I do not understand her. How is it that I can be more lonely with her than I have ever been, even when I was alone? Did you foresee the misery she would cause me?
Your Wretched Fiend and Daemon
Somewhere in the wilds of South America
*Photo: self expression: heart-of-stone by cauchisavona, obtained through Flickr Creative Commons.