In this passage, Felix is presented as the colonizer while the creature and Safie represent the colonized. This is because Felix projects his beliefs on Safie and the creature. Rather than just reading to Safie, the creature claims that he would not have understood the meaning of the book “Ruins of Empires” without Felix’s “minute explanations,” indicating that the meaning of the book is being filtered through Felix’s own opinions (Shelley 108). This also presents the creature as dependent on Felix in order to find meaning. Through Felix, the creature is able to gain “insight” that he would not be capable of without Felix (Shelley 108). The creature is dependent on Felix and he recognizes and acknowledges that dependence, presenting himself as the subaltern.

The creature’s understanding of history is clearly subjective, as he uses subjective adjectives such as “slothful Asiatics”  and virtuous romans (Shelley 108). This implies that he is not receiving an objective description of history. However, he is still using these adjectives, suggesting that he is digesting this objective viewpoint that is clearly pro-imperialist. He says that he learned of the “wars and wonderful virtue of the early Romans,” finding virtue in war rather than being repulsed by the imperialistic violence of the Romans (Shelley 108). This indicates his initial acceptance of neocolonialism.

However, in the end the creature “wept with Safie,” implying his ability to sympathise with the “hapless fate” of the colonized. This suggests that the creature is able to relate to the colonized, presenting him as a symbol of the colonized and the subaltern. This detail presents the creature as a sympathiser of the colonized on multiple levels, as he is both relating to Safie, who’s character represents the entirety Sivak’s foreign colonized woman, and the colonized peoples of history, specifically the native Americans. In addition, this is important because it demonstrates the creature’s ability to form his own personal opinions on the world rather than simply digest entirely the information given to him by Felix. Thus, transformation is occurring in this passage. The creature’s sentiment by the end of this short passage is not identical to his feelings at the beginning.

It is also important to recognize that the creature learns of the Roman’s “subsequent degenerating-of the decline of that mighty empire,” (Shelley 108). This could influence the creature’s opinions regarding neocolonialism, as while the immediate result was success, it ended in degeneration. This is part of the creature’s turning point from acceptance of neocolonialism to repulsion.

This passage represents the tension felt by the creature caused by the differences in the information being fed to him by Felix and his own personal feelings. Safie and the creature do not immediately reject the information they are given as subjective, yet they are able in the end to recognize the negative fate of the colonized and to feel sadness because of this. They do not adopt Felix’s patriarchal view completely. Consequently, this tension highlights the problems with imperialism and the tensions that it causes, and represents a disruption of the binary, as the creature is not strictly for or against colonialism. Rather than strictly being “us vs. them,” meaning the colonizers vs. the colonized, the creature’s reaction is at times ambiguous, implying that he does not strictly fit into the role of the colonized or the colonizing. This ambiguity is further emphasized in the next paragraph, as the creature claims that the narration “inspired (him) with strange feelings,” (Shelley 109). He finds ambiguity in man himself, questioning why man was “at once so powerful, so virtuous, and magnificent, yet so vicious and base?” (Shelley 109). The creature is internally conflicted by the lessons he learns from Felix and struggles to form his own opinion. However, this struggle represents his ability to stem outside of the strictly subaltern, making this a pivital passage that represents an important transition in the creature’s character.

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