Frankenstein: Novel Summary: Chapters 11-12

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Chapter 11: This chapter, as well as the next few, is narrated by the beast himself. After a few lines it becomes obvious that this "monster" isn't the coldhearted heathen Victor has portrayed. In fact, Frankenstein's creation is very human-like: he has feelings, desires and even his own distinct personality. Indeed we develop a genuine sense of pity, not loathing, for the beast once he relates his difficult situation to the reader. Backing up to the first moment of his consciousness, he explains that it takes some time for his eyes to adjust to the bright light of the day, and so he decides to take refuge in the nearby forest. Though he's always very hungry, he manages to survive on berries and acorns. Once, when he tries to imitate the beautiful sounds of the birds he hears, his own voice terrifies him. Thus, he is unable to express himself, let alone determine the meaning of his existence.
Eventually, he spies a small hut some distance away. When he enters, hoping to find food and shelter, the shepherd who inhabits the house sprints away in terror. This surprises and dismays the beast, but he is happy to use the hut. Soon he builds his own small shelter, hidden in the dense forest, made of wood and straw. The being explains, "Here then I retreated, and lay down happy to have found a shelter, however miserable, from the inclemency of the season, and still more from the barbarity of man."
Soon he realizes that he's not alone in the forest when he discovers a nearby cottage. After observing it for a time, he concludes that three people live there: a young man, a young woman, and an elderly gentleman.
Chapter 12: In this chapter, the monster elaborates on his observations of the cottagers. Every day he watches their normal routines, and soon he gets to know quite a bit about them, even though they aren't even aware of his existence. He quickly learns that the old man is blind and that the young man and woman often are very sad, though he doesn't know why. One of the reasons, he surmises, is their poverty.
Because he grows attached to these people and wants to see them happy with their lives, Frankenstein's monster decides that every day he will collect firewood and stealthily place it at their door. This saves the young man, named Felix, time to do other things he begins listening to their conversation enough to begin understanding English. Besides the name of Felix, he notices that the young woman is named Agatha.
Yet the monster is not sure what action to take next. He still is afraid of letting his presence be known to "his family" because he fears their reaction upon seeing his ugly face. One day the beast looks into a pool of water and sees his own reflection. He's horrified at the sight, finally knowing why all mankind despises him. He explains his emotions at that moment: "I was filled with the bitterest sensations of despondence and mortification."

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