thirst for companionship

A major theme throughout the last volume of the novel is the importance of companionship in one’s life. By the end of the novel, it is apparent that Frankenstein’s life is meaningless without his loved ones, and the monster can never truly be happy without a companion. Since both Frankenstein and the monster are denied of companionship, their sole purpose in life becomes plotting revenge against each other.

The monster desperately longs for a companion because his life is miserable without the acceptance of humankind. Frankenstein explains that, as the monster sees the being that Frankenstein is creating, “a ghastly grin wrinkles [the monster’s] lips as he gazed on me, where I sat fulfilling the task which he had allotted to me” (Shelley 174). The monster looks upon the creature with a smile because he knows that this being will eventually become his companion. Once she is created, the monster will finally be able to achieve some degree of happiness and will no longer have to live in complete solitude. However, when Frankenstein destroys this half-finished creature, the monster exclaims, “you can blast my other passions; but revenge remains-revenge henceforth dearer than light or food!” (176). Frankenstein has extinguished the monster’s hope of companionship, so the monster vows to destroy Frankenstein’s life. He no longer has anything to live for, so the monster’s only motivation in life becomes revenge against his creator.

Similarly, Frankenstein feels that he has nothing left to live for when the monster kills his loved ones. He explains that while his companions are dead and he is still alive, “their murdered also lived, and to destroy him I must drag out my weary existence” (203). Frankenstein no longer wants to be alive, as his life is meaningless without his friends and family that were killed by the monster. However, he desperately seeks revenge against the monster so the monster will “drink deep of agony” and “feel the despair” that torments Frankenstein (203). The only way to destroy the monster is if Frankenstein stays alive himself.

Both Frankenstein and the monster are so dependant on companionship to find happiness that their lives are meaningless without it. Their only motivation to continue living is the prospect of destroying the person who deprived them of this companionship.



  1. I agree with what you said, but I think it is also notable that the creature learned an entire language in order to communicate with human beings. This large undertaking shows the large significance that the creature places on companionship. In addition, he spends time watching the French family and carefully calculates his introduction into their lives. The monster is insecure and takes his rejection very personally. He know feels that he is alone in the world, and has no purpose of living.

  2. I agree that both Frankenstein and the monster strive for companionship but since they stay alive for revenge is this emotion more powerful? They both claim they have no purpose of living without anyone, but continue to live regardless. Is perhaps just the capability to live more important than revenge and companionship?

    1. Or is revenge another form of companionship?

  3. You are correct in stating that the search for and longing for companionship is a major theme in the novel. We cannot forget Walton’s desire for a friend as well. Even as the book concludes, he still wants Frankenstein to become his companion. However, Frankenstein’s living is coming to a close and he cannot stick around long enough to become Walton’s friend. In the end of the book, the monster, Frankenstein, and Walton are all left with friendless lives, contributing to their unhappiness.

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