Monstrosity in Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights College
“I am malicious because I am miserable… if I cannot inspire love, I will cause fear” (Shelley 129). The creature in Mary Shelley’s novel, Frankenstein, is speaking to his creator when he says this line. His “maliciousness”-- his violence and bad actions-- is because he is unhappy in his life and does not have what he needs to be satisfied. No one loves him; thus, he became something that people fear instead: a monster. Frankenstein’s creature is undoubtedly a monster, commonly used for Halloween decorations and costumes because he is scary, violent, and inhuman. What he says in the line quoted above can be applied to two human characters, Heathcliff from Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights and Bertha Mason from Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre. These characters are not used for children’s Halloween costumes but can both still be considered the monsters of their respective novels. Similar to Frankenstein’s creature, these characters have become monsters because of the lack of satisfaction and love in their miserable lives.
When looking for monsters of Victorian literature, many turn to Count Dracula or Frankenstein’s creature, two characters who are undoubtedly monstrous, but will look past Heathcliff and Bertha because they are human....
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