Frankenstein: Novel Summary: Chapters 13-14

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Chapter 13: One day, observing the activities of the cottagers as usual, the monster sees something completely out of the ordinary. Two figures, an Arabian beauty and her guide, pull up to the cabin on a horse. Soon it becomes obvious that Felix and the Arabian know each other, though they speak different languages. Everyone seems elated at the reunion of the young couple, who appear to be romantically entwined.
In efforts to educate the young Arabian, named Safie, the cottagers read to her Ruins of Empiresover the next few days. Frankenstein's monster uses this as an opportunity to learn about human culture and history as well. Here, the monster shows a unique ability to analyze humanity because, though he's not a human himself, he has the intelligence of one. He explains, "I heard about the slothful Asiatics; of the stupendous genius and mental activity of the Grecians; of the wars and wonderful virtue of the early Romans-of their subsequent degenerating-of the decline of that mighty empire; of chivalry, Christianity, and kings." This synopsis of Western culture in a nutshell shows the monster's ability to put humanity in perspective. Indeed, there's almost a triviality to it. Yet this education only furthers the monster's realization that he is disconnected from the humans he admires. When he learns that the most respected men in society have wealth and influence, he laments, "I possessed no money, no friends, no kind of property.." Indeed, we feel pity for the creature and understanding of his view of humanity-its good and bad points. In many ways, Shelley uses this passage to underscore the theme of man's cruelty and injustice.
Chapter 14: In this chapter, Frankenstein's monster explains who his "friends" are. The old man comes from a wealthy French family; his name is De Lacey. Safie and her father are Turkish. The two families meet in Paris, where the Turks have lived for many years. Yet because he is a wealthy foreigner, the French government decides to arrest Safie's father, despite the public indignation. Felix is especially upset at this injustice, and when the man is put in jail, Felix helps him escape. In return for this noble service, the Turk promises Felix that he can marry his beautiful daughter, and soon he and Safie fall in love. Yet Safie's father double-crosses Felix and heads back to Constantinople, instructing his daughter to follow with the rest of their belongings. Meanwhile, the French government discovers Felix's crime and puts Agatha and the old man in jail. Felix returns to Paris to attend the trial of his family. After five months, the trial takes place, after which Felix and his family lose their wealth and are forced to leave France. They take up residence in the cottage where they presently live.
Safie, the daughter of a Christian Arab, hates the thought of what her life will be if she returns to Turkey, so instead of following her father's instructions, she decides to find the new residence of Felix and his family for herself.

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