Tag Archive: borders


Strangers

By Jade Graham

The prompt inquires as to why the creature wants his story told through Safie’s letters. The simple answer is because he felt a connection that he hadn’t with anyone else in Shelley’s novel. The creature wants those remaining to understand his story and how he could relate to others. Yet in some ways, Safie (while a minor character) is everything the creature isn’t: alive, beautiful, and embraced by (the Delacey) family. Through her beauty, she is accepted and integrates herself into a good situation. One definitely better than before with her father. Safie becomes a part of a society and culture where the creature could only imagine about. However, once she is exiled much similar to the creature’s situation they find a common ground. Once the creature and Safie are both suffering and homeless, they experience life at its most desperate measures. Exiled and the other cast out, the two desire acceptance and family. Safie only receives this. There are two reasons, that includes beauty and social roles. The creature has neither of these. He is considered ugly and ostracized by other societies because he does not fit in by their standards.

Turkish Girl

Turkish Girl by Karl Briullov

As mentioned before, this falls in line with Safie’s appearance and her status. She is beautiful and has a role. That would be to be a part of a family, marry Felix, and continue that cycle. She’s young, a good age to marry, and already accepted into the family. The best part for Safie is, “remaining in a country where women were allowed to take a risk in society was enchanting to her.” where she could gain freedom through a marriage of Felix whom she truly does love (112). This idea of eagerly wanting to become a part of another society relates to Gloria E. Anzaldúa’s borderland theory. Safie wants to leave her past and culture behind in exchange for a better life in a new society. She and the creature want to pursue a better life and will give it all up because of their past experiences. They want to become a part of a different society and culture where they can have freedom and chances.

The creature decides to prove the truth of his tale by providing Safie’s letters because he is able to relate to her. Not only does he identify with Safie but he has the letters to disarm Victor and Walton. The letters are a sort of “holy relic” if you will. They cause the audience and Victor to see the creature in another light. Safie is a figurative martyr whose life in France was killed due to her father’s political positions. It is a new Safie that lives in Turkey, that crossed the border into hiding. Dying or going through unthinkable situations elevates a person/ creature even to their enemies. The letter is a truth, a very strategic truth one. The creature uses the letters to go through white society to shield the creature from the hate and violence that has swelled up about the creature due to its appearance. The letters put the folks at ease, it lets them see the creature as sort of human and similar to them. They can feel for Safie because she’s like them and has gone through such a battle, therefore they can identify with the creature, because they’re able to sympathize for Safie. Safie is still a character that the modern audience can sympathize with and even empathize for because there are issues in Frankenstein that still have not been resolved. The creature is taught by Safie, meaning he learns what she wants the creature to know. She has taught the creature about her, so now the creature has a part of her that he relates to. The creature has to go through many physical and metaphorical barriers in its lifetime as many of us will. We must pass through barriers because we create them as a society and/or we allow them to hold us back.

  • Andres Quezada