what does the creature spend the winter doing and what does this reveal about him?

chapter 11 and 12 frankenstein book

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The creature spends the entire winter watching the cottagers, and grows to love each of them passionately. He attempts to learn their language, which he regards as "a godlike science." At first, he makes little progress. Every act of the cottagers, however banal, strikes him as miraculous: to watch them read aloud, or play music, or simply speak to one another, delights him immeasurably. Though he realizes that they are terribly unhappy, he cannot understand why: to him, the family seems to possess everything one could want: a roof, a fire, and the glories of human companionship.

Upon seeing his own reflection in a pool of water, the creature becomes even more certain that he will never know such happiness; he finds his own face to be monstrous, capable of inspiring only fear or disgust. Nonetheless, he dreams of winning the love of the cottagers by mastering their language; in this way, he hopes, he can reveal to them the beauty and gentleness of his soul.


This chapter details the creature's deep longing to join human society. He is, at first, utterly ignorant of the ways of humanity, and must learn everything from scratch. In essence, he is still a child, with all of a child's innocence and capacity for wonder. To him, the cottagers are god-like, blessed, despite the extreme humbleness of their existence.

In comparing himself to them, the creature feels himself to be a monster: he is shocked by his own reflection, and is nearly unable to accept it as his own. At the same time, he still dreams of acceptance into human society, and attempts to master language in order to inspire the family's affection and trust. The reader cannot help but pity the creature, and fear for him: we know too well that human society obstinately refuses to accept those who are different, regardless of the beauty of their souls.