Published Title: 

The Awakening

Section type: 
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After two years’ work, the moment arrives. The Creature comes to life: “I saw the dull yellow eye of the creature open; it breathed hard, and a convulsive motion agitated its limbs.” It is a shock: ”I had selected his features as beautiful. Beautiful! — Great God! His yellow skin scarcely covered the work of muscles and arteries beneath; his hair was of a lustrous black, and flowing; his teeth of a pearly whiteness; but these luxuriances only formed a more horrid contrast with his watery eyes, that seemed almost of the same colour as the dun white sockets in which they were set, his shrivelled complexion and straight black lips.”

The monster disappears. Overcome with “nervous fever,” Frankenstein is nursed by his friend Clerval. Then comes news of the brutal murder of his young brother, William. Traveling home, he sees the monster illuminated by lightning and realizes “he was the murderer!” Horrors continue as former servant and family friend Justine Moritz — framed by the Creature — is executed for the murder. Frankenstein considers himself “the true murderer.”

Seeking solace in nature, Frankenstein ascends Montanvert, near Mont Blanc. Just as he feels “something like joy,” he sees the Creature, bounding over the ice, “advancing towards me with superhuman speed.” The Creature speaks: "Believe me, Frankenstein: I was benevolent; my soul glowed with love and humanity: but am I not alone, miserably alone? You, my creator, abhor me; what hope can I gather from your fellow-creatures, who owe me nothing? they spurn and hate me…. Yet it is in your power to recompense me, and deliver them from an evil which it only remains for you to make so great."

“Abandon or commiserate me, as you shall judge that I deserve,” says the Creature, introducing the key question of justice due an outcast. “But hear me. The guilty are allowed, by human laws, bloody as they are, to speak in their own defense. ... You accuse me of murder; and yet you would, with a satisfied conscience, destroy your own creature. Oh, praise the eternal justice of man!” With trepidation, Frankenstein agrees to listen: “I felt what the duties of a creator towards his creature were.”