Tag Archive: safie


by Marco Hidalgo

In Frankenstein by Mary Shelly, the creature is an outcast from the rest of society by not being accepted by the way he looks. He is being alienated by everyone with doing so he is on his own and learns about individuals who also have the same outcast problem.

Internal colonization in order to have inequality and discrimination towards another ethnic group. Those affected by internal colonization are often looked at as outsiders or aliens, which are also treated very badly. Safie, a Turkish refugee, has the same problem as the creature which is how society sees refugees and immigrants as outsiders and make them feel not welcomed. I strongly feel like the creature gave Frankenstein the letters by Safie on her life story to help Victor Frankenstein understand the idea on how the creature is feeling alienated by the entire world just because of his appearance, because just like Safie feels  unwelcomed into the place where she hoped to find refuge in, the creature is unwanted and unloved by the entire world because of his appearance. All of these individuals are coming into the states to being a new life for them and their families but now the government/ president is making it very difficult for them to do so.isolation-cartoon-700x300



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’s tale is in many ways Safie’s. Watching the de Lacey family interact is largely how the Creature is socialized to see gender, power dynamics, acceptance, and most importantly truth. His truth specifically. The voyeuristic education the Creature participates in teaches him that the same constraints that apply to Safie apply to him. As someone at an educational disadvantage the Creature must learn a new language like Safie in order to at least be closer to being at the same level. Safie and the Creature both are not native to this language or the culture associated with it so as they are educated they do not take everything with a grain of salt. The Creature’s serious reading of Paradise Lost is a prime example of taking seriously something part of a culture that isn’t as important as an outsider may see it. Immigrants some times believe in certain stereotypes of the country they are immigrating to because of the way these countries choose to portray themselves as and then ultimately come to the realization that this portrayal is a lie. This creates double-consciousness because the immigrants now experience themselves through their own eyes and the eyes of the country they are immigrating to because even if the portrayal is incorrect there will be people who make it seem as if it’s an accurate one.

Here is where the Creature fails to realize double-consciousness exists. He presents someone else’s story as a sort of explanation for his own and in doing so is not only seeing himself through his own eyes but also through the eyes of Safie. Someone who recognizes that she now can see herself through multiple perspectives. Perhaps if the Creature had realized that double-consciousness existed he would not have chosen to use her letters as an explanation for his own life and would have written his own. Instead of using someone else’s story of migration and the life changing moments to make his own story more credible he would have relied on his own storytelling more.

By Diana Lara

In Frankenstein, we as the readers see the constant persecution that the creature is forced to endure, most resulting in some type of isolation because of the way he looks. As we learn more about Safie and her history, two pieces of the same puzzle instantly fall into place.

We are not able to see Safie for long in the novel, yet her short appearance does not go unnoticed. In fact, we can see a depressing and obvious contrast between her and the creature; while the creature is exiled by his own master and has no one to love him, Safie is warmly welcomed into the De Lacey family with open arms after being exiled. Because of Safie’s beauty, she is able to integrate herself into this new society, while the creature is stuck living alone in the wilderness, cursed to watch from afar.

The reason why the creature insisted on proving “the truth of [his] tale” is because he wanted Victor to see how Safie was affected by other’s kindness, and how this entire story could’ve ended differently if only Victor had welcomed his creation into this new, unfamiliar world, instead of disgracing him to isolation for all of eternity. A notable point in the novel was when Safie and the creature were both learning the same language at the same time, showing that they both have the intelligence to understand complex concepts; yet that doesn’t seem to matter, since people can judge you based on your looks, right?

Many assumptions and theories alike can be made as to why the creature insisted upon the truth of his tale by giving Victor the letters by Safie, though one reason I found that might warrant this sort of behavior could be of the creature seeking that validation he very much craved from Victor, his creator. During this confrontation, the creature makes note of the ways in which Victor neglected him, “I remembered Adam’s supplication to his creator. But where was mine? He had abandoned me and in the bitterness of my heart I cursed him,” (Ch.15) and had since mentioned it during his recollection of his life, “no father had watched my infant days,” (Ch.13) and so on. It’s through their relationship that we could even compare it to that of Safie and her father’s. From what the creature collected from her past, her father used her in order to escape, having noticed the way Felix looked at his daughter. When she confronts him, the creature recollects it as “leaving her angrily, reiterating his tyrannical mandate.” (Ch.14). 

The correlation of the creature’s need for Victor’s validation to Safie is that he felt in some way connected to her. Throughout the story, the creature learns French with Safie, and it’s through this that he begins to feel this sort of bond, or rather he feels the all more connected to her and then even more so when he learns of her past. He also relates to her in the sense of wanting to rise in rank, as she had shown interest in this when she was told by her mother and he obviously does not want to remain as the monster the villagers and those around her have put him as. He wants to be seen, to be validated, and to be taken in.  

And it’s through all of this do we also get a sense of double consciousness coming from the creature. W.E.B. Du Bois’ double consciousness describes the sensation of feeling as though your identity is divided into several parts, making it difficult or impossible to have one unified identity. Towards the end of his recollection, the creature questions his existence and goes as far as to compare it to Victor, “God, in pity, made man beautiful . . . but my form is a filthy type of yours, more horrid even from the very resemblance,” (Ch.15) and then with the devil, “I considered Satan as the fitter emblem of my condition, for often, like him, when I viewed the bliss of my protectors, the bitter gall of envy rose within me,” (Ch.15). He also goes on to mention the other numerous times in which he questions his existence and his origin, “I was not even of the same nature as men,” (Ch.13) and then more so as he talks about how he eventually became cursed with knowledge and left wondering such things about himself the more he learned about the world.

– Lou Flores

Tania De Lira-Miranda

Image result for traveling passport

Though it may not seem like it at first glance, Frankenstein in a novel in which the theme of (im)migrants plays an important, yet small, role. Though the DeLacey Family, which consists of Agatha, Felix, and Mr. DeLacey, and Safie only appear in the novel for a few chapters, the characters leave a profound impact on the creature.

It is by watching the DeLacey Family that the creature comes to learn about a lot of things. It learns about class, “a considerable period elapsed before I discovered one of the causes of the uneasiness of this amiable family; it was poverty: and they suffered that evil in a very distressing degree,” sympathy, “I had been accustomed, during the night, to steal a part of their store for my own consumption; but when I found that in doing this I inflicted pain on the cottagers, I abstained, and satisfied myself with berries, nuts, and roots, which I gathered from a neighboring wood,” and of compassion, “I discovered also another means through which I was enabled to assist their labours. I found that the youth spent a great part of each day in collecting wood for the family fire, and during the night I often took his tools, the use of which I quickly discovered, and brought home firing sufficient for the consumption of several days.” But virtues are not the only thing that the creature learns from the family as it is through them that he learns about human relationships. By watching the three, the creature learns about how family relationship work; it sees how much Flix and Agatha care for their father as he states that “nothing could exceed the love and respect which the younger cottagers exhibited towards their venerable companion. They performed towards him every little office of affection and duty with gentleness; and he rewarded them with his benevolent smiles.” He learns about kindness as he sees Felix wake up before his father and Agatha to clear the snow from the path, gather wood, and bring drinking water. It is due to watching them that the creature learns to speak their language.

And this learning continues when Safie arrives at the DeLacey’s home. When she begins to live in the house, the creature learns about how she came to meet the DeLacey’s as “The father of Safie…was a Turkish merchant…[who] became obnoxious to the government. He was seized and cast into prison the very day that Safie arrived from Constantinople to join him. He was tried and condemned to death” which caused Felix to try to help him which is where he met Safie and fell in love with her which caused her father “to secure him more entirely in his interests by the promise of her hand in marriage so soon as he should be conveyed to a place of safety.” It is due to the Safie’s tale of the circumstances that lead her to meet the DeLacey’s that the creature learned that, just like Safie, he was an other. When Safie first arrived at the DeLacey’s home, she does not know how to speak the language that Felix and his family does which causes her to be “neither understood by, or herself understood, [by] the cottagers.” So by not knowing the language of the DeLacey’s, a barrier comes to form between them as she is not able to talk to the family, causing her to be different. It is because Safie wants to bond with the family and not be different/an other to them that she plays the guitar: to communicate through music.

The reason why the creature provides Safie’s letters when trying to provide “the truth of [his] tale” is because it sees itself in her. Just as the creature feels different from Victor and any other human being, Safie was different from the DeLacey’s as she did not speak their language and was from another country. Both Safie and the creature are not like those around them. They both did not know the language of the country they were in and they are not originally from there, though technically this could be argued for the creature. Both the creature and Safie try to integrate to the country’s culture, only one of them succeeds, Safie, which shows the creature that it is an outsider even to the outsiders. By giving Victor Safie’s letters, the creature wants Victor to see how hard life is to immigrants, compared to Victor who is a white man. The creature wants Victor to see the injustice that both Safie and it face because of the life they were given/born into. The letters show the struggles that Safie went through in order to be accepted and the creature wants to show Victor that it too is going through struggles in order to be accepted

In Mary Shelley’s novel, Frankenstein, the character Safie, a Muslim migrant from Turkey, represents the archetypal story of the hard working ambitious immigrant fleeing their country in hopes of eluding persecution and constructing a better life for themselves and their potential offspring. Frankenstein’s creature gives Safie’s letters- a medium used in the novel to explicitly share her experiences in migrating away from Turkey- to Victor Frankenstein in order to prove “the truth of [his] tale”. Thus the creature insinuates the similarity in the oppression which Safie had endured and that which he was enduring. In doing this the creature adopts an arbitrary sense of victimization through his empathy which stems from the incomparable amount of alienation which he feels existing in a world where he feels as if he is characterized as an “other”.

I recognize the alienation which both Frankenstein’s creature and Safie face in their own regards, however, Safie story seems reasonable and although she faces various hardships she seems to strive for better- made evident in quotes such as “Safie related that her mother was a Christian Arab, seized and made a slave by the Turks” (Shelley 111.), while Frankenstein’s creature faces minimal alienation from Victor as a consequence of the creature’s potential danger being hard to distinguish. Later in the novel, the creature seems to weep with Safie after learning about the destruction of the Native American population in the United States. According to many, this insinuates the empathy that they both feel towards the Native Americans as they both feel the same sort of Western colonial oppression which faces them in Western Europe. This further propagates the idea that the creature has adopted a sort of victimhood complex in where he sees himself as the helpless victim oppressed by all who seem hostile or intolerable of his existent. The adoption of this attitude creates resentment which is perfectly manifested in the novel through the various murders which the creature commits throughout the novel. The following quotes illustrate the level of resentment breeding by adopting this “martyr complex” where one feels like the world is conspiring against them to oppress them: “Frankenstein! you belong then to my enemy–to him towards whom I have sworn eternal revenge; you shall be my first victim.” (Shelley 165), “When I thought of my friends, of the mild voice of De Lacey, the gentle eyes of Agatha, and the exquisite beauty of the Arabian, these thoughts vanished and a gush of tears somewhat soothed me. But again when I reflected that they had spurned and deserted me, anger returned, a rage of anger, and unable to injure anything human, I turned my fury towards inanimate objects. As night advanced I placed a variety of combustibles around the cottage, and after having destroyed every vestige of cultivation in the garden, I waited with forced impatience until the moon had sunk to commence my operations. ” ( Shelley 109). These quotes serve as an insight into the deluded conceptualization of the world by those who decide to play victim in the least requisite circumstances; victimhood breeds bitterness, resentfulness, and a thirst for revenge.

by Steven Gonzalez

I decided to shift my focus away from the oppression/marginalization narrative that is attributed to Frankenstein’s monster because I fundamentally disagree with the ideas presented by critical race scholars like W.E.B Dubois, Glissant, and others who seem to promote this martyrdom complex. Moreover, I fail to see the connection between Frankenstein’s monster and western imperialism and colonization.


The borderland

Immigration and race is now one of the new many ideas from the Frankenstein novel by Mary Shelley. The town people alienating the creature and fearing him for not knowing what he is when all he was trying to do was fit in, instead the shape him into the monster he becomes and places him to migrate else where. As for Safie, her father forbidding her and Felix together has them as well hiding their love. Not only relating to Safie’s letters, the creature learns the language as well as the literature and makes the connection with the human world by feeling sympathy for Safie. Especially feeling alone as she does, she’s the person who the creature connects to most.

Gloria Anzaldua concept of borderland, as she describes it as physical and emotional. Safie and the creature share the mestiza consciousness, crossbreeds, people who don’t belong in the world. Safie’s letters made the creature so close to her, she was the one human he truly connected to mentally and somewhat physically. Considering their suffering and betrayal the same, and the barriers Anzaldua represented between the creature and Safie. The creatures internal barrier with not knowing who he truly is and Safie’s physical barrier by running away from her father.

-Alexuz Bejarano

In Mary Shelley’s book Frankenstein, we are introduced to the characters of Felix and Safie and the story of how they met. We learn through their story how despite their differences such—language and culture barriers, even geographic barriers—they still ended up together. We also see how when Safie came to live with Felix the creature really was able to relate to her because he saw her as someone who was like him—different and attempting to assimilate to the very foreign society that they were now living in. Which is why when the creature refers to Safie’s letters to Felix as a way to “prove the truth of my tale,” it makes sense that he’s referencing Safie’s story as his because to him, they are almost the same person. To the creature he and Safie have faced the same struggles, and they have also learned together. When Felix was teaching Safie the creature was learning too and has picked up on her feels and opinions on everything she has learned and therefore has influence his beliefs and opinions on the world. So, he feels a connection that even goes as far as to say he feels like he is Safie.

I also would like to bring attention to the ideas that we discussed in class on Monday. We talked about “new mestizas,” “mestiza consciousness,” “creolization,” and the idea of “borderlands” and how these ideas could be seen in the characters of Safie, her father, and the creature. And I can see where the ideas of “mestizaje” can be seen in the stories of the three characters because of how they’ve had to live and assimilate to societies that are completely different to the place they came from. For Safie and her father it’s Turkey, and for the creature it’s him assimilating to society for the first time. But I don’t really see where the idea of “borderlands” plays in. I think it’s because the way I’ve learned about the idea of “borderlands” is that the “borderlands” is like an actual physical place where two or more cultures intermix and create a new culture. Such as at the border of the US and Mexico. But I don’t really see where in the book the idea of “borderlands” is represented? Maybe I’m completely missing the point, or I wasn’t paying attention in class when the professor was discussing this topic, but I just can’t seem to see the connection. Unless the idea of a borderlands is being represented by an actual character such as Safie or the creature. Then I could maybe see how that could be possible. But I don’t see how Safie going to another country and settling there would be seen as a “borderland,” I personally think it would be more of a “contact zone.” Which is the idea of a place where two or more cultures and trying to coexist together and trying to work out how to live together despite their differences. I would definitely like to understand where the connection would take place and how.

-Laura Mateo Gallegos

Esther Quintanilla

Immigration is a prominent topic in the novel Frankenstein. One of the most important points in the novel is that Safie, a Turkish immigrant, is subjected to living her life in hiding; this is due to her illegal immigrant status and the crimes that are put on her lover, Felix. Her country lies in political desolation because of colonization, she escapes Turkey while her father is imprisoned for a crime he did not commit. Safie travels to Germany, where she and Felix live in hiding waiting for the political atmosphere to change. While Safie’s story is one that is very modern and can be seen in today’s society, there is something in her story that relates very deeply to that of the creature.

The creature is not an inhabitant of any country. He is not welcome in any country, abandoned by his creator at birth and forced to live in exile of “real humans”. The creature is not a citizen. Therefore, he is able to wander from country to country, crossing borders left and right. This is because of his state of being. No country wants to allow him citizenship because he is so incredibly inhuman, which is an argument that many have toward immigrants, even to this day. The constant disrespect and dehumanization of immigrants, such as Safie, is a behavior that the creature constantly receives from the people he encounters. The truth of the creature lies in the stories of immigrants, for he is an immigrant himself.

Immigrants from almost any country, Central/South America, Arabian countries, etc. are immensely slandered in political media. They are dehumanized, called rapists, terrorists, and lazy. Immigrants who travel to America, in search for success and opportunities that would not be granted in their home countries, are “inhuman” in the eyes of the law. They are subject to respect the laws of the country but are not able to live as Americans in peace. The stories of these brave immigrants are astounding. They have overcome every barrier, every obstacle in order to achieve a better life for their children and future grandchildren. However, this is something that the law refuses to see. Immigrants are nothing more than criminals, they will never receive the respect and acceptance that they deserve.