Samantha Shapiro

As the creature insists on “prov[ing] the truth of [its] tale,” the intent behind his actions in doing so shows that he has a doubt in his own ability in his language in conveying the “substance of them” to others (111). Language, as noted by Gloria Anzaldúa, is form of identity, woven into a person’s existence and being. In her writings on “How to Tame a Wild Tongue,” she asserts that “ethnic identity is twin skin to linguistic identity” – a person is their own language. This sentiment is supported in Frankenstein when the creature recalls his own discovery of language, “a discovery of still greater moment” which allowed others to communicate “their experiences and feelings to one another” (102). The creation slowly developed language from the cottagers, and also through Safie, a Turkish Christian woman and “immigrant” with her own struggles to learn the language of those around her. Her own language ties her to herself as well as her own past she tries to escape from, and shared experiences with Felix and his family.

Cup of Coffee, 1858 – Amadeo Preziosi

She had a “language of her own, she was not understood by, nor herself understood, the cottagers” (106). This shows similarity to the creature in its own being. It itself is a creature of its own, not understood by, nor itself understood by all of those around him. However, through a parallel learning process, both begin to develop language, or a more anglicized, projected self through the development of a common language.

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, English wife to Turkish Ambassador

As the creature gains a sense of self from others, his wonder became plagued with doubt as he gained knowledge. He determined that he wasn’t even considered within the same nature as mankind, due to his forced isolation from others and rejection. His own self is a cause for rejection, and he hides from the cottagers, trying hard to gain a piece of them he can share. Because of how he is physically constituted throughout the novel, whether through cadavers’ body parts by Victor, or through the development of his language from the De Lacey’s, there’s a genuine part of him that wants to be a part of something he cannot fully be, thus establishes a sense of doubt and uncertainty. With the letters written by Safie, a parallel figure to the creature, she is something he isn’t – a human, accepted by others and a vital player in his own history and self. As he has doubts in his own being, her own letters, her language being conveyed to Victor is a sort of stability the creation lacks due to his own nature and creation.