As the monster learns language, he believes that he is simultaneously getting a brief on the major history of the world. However, the perspective that he is receiving is diluted by multiple factors. First of all, the book of instruction is ‘Ruins of Empires’ written by Constantin Francois Chasseboeuf, comte de Volney, a French philosopher and historian. It is obvious just from the description that Volney is biased in favor of his cultivated Western forebears such as “the stupendous genius and mental activity of the Grecians; of the wars and wonderful virtue of the early Romans” (108). He is simultaneously biased against those that do not fit this mold, such as the “slothful Asiatics” (108) and the “hapless orginal inhabitants” (109) of the American hemisphere. A second level of dilution is exemplified by the fact that the book’s “declmatory style was framed in imitation of the eastern authors” (108). Volney is attempting to transpose a distinct style that is not truly his own: whatever the characteristics of eastern authors are, they must be different from Volney’s if he is trying to imitate them instead of writing naturally. Yet another level of dilution lies not only in the the fact that Felix had “given very minute explanations” (108) of what he was reading, but that he tailored these explanations to Safie, someone who had limited intelligence on the subjects. Felix probably filtered in some of his own viewpoints during his explanations, perhaps bolstering the reputation of those western cultures he deemed worthy while depreciating those that very not up to his standards, and emphasizing parts of the book that he thought important while maybe skipping the parts that he did not deem relevant, based on personal opinion and values.

All of these filters serve to reinforce the idea of the subaltern and the dominance of western/male/colonial cultures over the female/colnized. In this passage, there is no signifier that the monster has accepted anything other than what is being dictated. He remains passively in his hovel, swayed as Safie is swayed, to appreciate only what he is being exposed to. This submissive quality is characteristic among the subaltern, female figures, and colonized peoples. Felix, as the dominant male character in the scene, delivers the lines of the book and thus controls and asserts his dominance over the situation, symbolizing one with control over the subaltern, female figures, and colonized peoples. The multiple levels of perspective so dilute the truth that the monster has no choice but to take the submissive role:

1) Volney’s venertion towards these advanced Western cultures, and the monster’s identification with them both reinforce the idea that the monster is representative of the subaltern. Both place these cultures on a pedestal to be emulated, automatically lowering the way that the monster feels about his own status and allowing him to accept a position of subordination.

2) Volney’s attempt to imitate eastern authors, and the parallel desire of the monster to imitate the de Laceys, are both representative of the attempt of the colonized to imitate the colonizers. The colonized people, and the monster, both accept their ways of life as insignificant and reinforce their position as the lower and controlled subaltern as they attempt to rid themselves of their “unworthy” culture.

3) Felix’s unintentional insertion of his own values and tailoring of information to accomodate Safie’s deficits are both characteristics of the dominant male western colonizer. Both Safie and the womanly monster accept his views without question, bolstering his position and affirming their status as below his.

On a side note, the tiered viewpoint recieved by the monster also mirrors the frame narrative from which Margaret Saville receives the story of Frankenstein and his monstrous creation. Margaret could not be given a straightforward recounting of events, because she is a woman, and is thus inferior and unfit to know the manly version of events. It is not enough that Margaret and the monster receive an indirect telling of events; they receive this recount dispersed multiple times so that there are many chances for changes and interpretations. However, it does not matter that they don’t know the immediate truth, because they are merely the female colonized subaltern subjects of a male-dominant colonial society.

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