Volume II: Look who’s talking now
The Wretch!
“All men hate the wretch; how, then, must I be hated, who am miserable beyond all living things!”(pg. 105)

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In Volume II of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the Wretch finally argues his side of the story. To everyone’s surprise –everyone meaning Victor, Walton, Mrs. Saville, and the reader –the Wretch is eloquent in speech. He has learned by observing human relations and reading great works of literature such as John Milton’s Paradise Lost. Volume II serves to embed in our minds that there are a million sides to one story and that not everything is what it seems…

Prelapsarian refers to the time before Adam and Eve fell from grace in the Garden of Eden. The Wretch commences his argument by telling Victor about what life was like at the beginning of his creation; the Wretch states that he was pure, innocent, and believed in mankind. He, also, often refers to himself as having much in comment with Adam, rejected by his father/creator.
  • “Soon a gentle light stole over the heavens, and gave me a sensation of pleasure, I started up and beheld a radient form rise from among the trees I gazed at it with a kind of wonder” (106)
-The wretch speaks about the pure beauty of nature, here he is completely oblivious to the fact that he is considered a monster; this behavior is very childlike and sweet.
  • “This trait of kindness moved me sensibly. I had been accustomed, during the night, to steal a part of their store for my own consumption; but when I found that in doing this I inflicted pain on the cottagers, I abstained and satisfied myself with berries,nuts, and roots, which I gathered from a neighboring wood.” (114)
-The wretch shows empathy; he decides to live off of berries instead of cause the cottagers anymore suffering