In the last paragraph of page 108, the Creature tells of hearing Felix teach Safie about language by reading out and explaining a book on the world’s empires. The creature remarks that had it not been for Felix’s explanations, it “should not” have understood the book. Here it is noteworthy that “could not” was not used. The use of “should” implies judgment and not just ability. This means that the creature is aware of and accepts its intellectual inferiority to Felix who is effectively the man of the house, and by analogy a representative of the western patriarchy. However Spivak’s understanding of the subaltern, personified by the Indian widow of colonial times (p. 287-8), goes against the Creature’s thinking. Spivak argues that it is not so much the inability to speak as it is the inability to convey that holds the subaltern back. And so the subaltern unwillingly and unknowingly gets trapped in the framework of communication that is monopolized by the patriarchy. In the Creature’s case however, its thoughts are not being refracted by the language it is learning. The Creature could have said “could” but did not, unlike the Indian widow who was faced with a lose-lose scenario.

Furthermore, as the Creature continues its narration it recalls several prominent civilizations. Its recollection of the cultures on first sight appears to be evidence of the Creature’s submission to phallocentric-western-colonial discourse. The Creature talks about “Asiatics” and “original inhabitants” of the Americas. But in contrast to such generalizations for non-Western cultures, it talks specifically of “Greeks” and “Romans”. This shared bias with the Western perception apparently contrasts with the Creature’s independence as explained above.  But the fact is that such generalization can not be absolutely attributed to the creature. Perhaps Felix presented a biased condensation of the book’s contents which the Creature is accurately recalling. Or perhaps the book itself was biased and Felix and the Creature merely conveyed what they read and heard. Both these interpretations are acceptable because they reinforce what we already know of the colonial patriarchy in the west. However, for the Creature to have made these generalizations is extremely unlikely considering its intellectual immaturity and little exposure to society. So when the Creature seems to revel in the Greeks’ (“stupendous genius and mental activity”) and Romans’ (“wonderful virtue”) rise, and mourn their fall, it is merely mimicking what it heard without acknowledging any parity between the symbolic west and the symbolic orient. Therefore the polarity of the content of its recollection should not be reflected on the Creature.

It is clear, therefore, that the Creature’s similarity to Safie, or Sivak’s foreign colonized woman, in a post-colonial context is superfluous. It is also clear that the Creature, being so young, had not developed any substantial powers of discrimination. So when it wept at the tragedy of the Native Americans, it should have wept at the decline of the Western empires too. But it did not. However there is no basis for such varied behavior as well. The only explanation can be that the Creature wept because Safie wept. Perhaps Safie wept because she could identify with the predicament of the oppressed Native Americans but not with the fall of the empires that preceded those very oppressors. But the Creature could not. Because if the Creature had the ability to show sympathy and apathy for the Orient and the West, it would have been more hostile towards Felix who represented the latter.

In summary, this extract does not prove that Safie and the Creature are similar in essence. It merely highlights the Creature’s tendency, like an infant’s or a mirror’s, to imitate and express without prejudice at the shallowest level. And so any connections formed  are, like the image in a mirror, illusions.

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