Volume 2 starts off with Frankenstein setting out to climb the Mont Blanc mountain. He is suddenly approached by his creature, who tells his story. The creature begins by explaining the first time he got sensory sensations, and his early adventures. The narration switches over to the creature.
As it turns out, the creature went in the woods, and found a camp with inhabitants. Upon entering, the inhabitants of the camp were absolutely terrified. Understandably, the creature was something they’d never seen before, which is the reason why they were scared. Thus, the campers decide to flee as soon as they saw the monster. The horror expressed by the humans affected the creature in such a way that caused him to flee as well. He then found a refuge in a small shack where he had a view of a cottage near it.
From his shack, he could silently observe the De Lacey family. This family consisted of an old blind man, his son Felix, and his daughter Agatha. Every night, the monster decided to provide firewood to the family without getting caught. He did not want to live his first experience again.
By secretly listening to the family, the creature was able to discover how to communicate through language. The monster compared this language to ‘’ a godlike science’’ (p78). The monster was lucky because the children received language lessons with Arab Safie. Arab Safie is a young turkish woman presented as exotically beautiful, and intelligent. It was a precious activity for the monster to observe and listen attentively the children’s lessons. He subsequently read Volney’s Ruins of Empire, which provide him a cursory knowledge of history. One night while bringing firewood to the cottage, he found a bag with clothes and books. The books were Paradise Lost, Plutarch’s Lives, and Goethe’s Sorrows of Young Werther. Reading those books made him question himself, ‘’Who was [it]? What was [it]? Whence did [it] come? What was my destination? These questions continually recurred, but [it] was unable to solve them” (p91).
Mary Shelley. “Frankenstein”. Dovers Thrift Editions. 1994.