Tag Archive: social constructs

Parallels between Safie and the Creature

In literary works from a certain intellectual such as W.E.B. Du Bois allows for a new perspective to come about, the subject being race studies and applying it to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. In Shelley’s novel, there are a few similarities that can be noticed between the creature and Safie, an adopted member of the De Lacy family. Both Safie and the creature have similarities in the sense that they have progressed through similar hardships and interactions, also allowing for the idea of the creature being a colonized subject, to arise.

The creature and Safie have shared similar experiences and hardships, allowing for the creature to relate to her and identify with her story a bit more. The way the creature identified with Safie was through the way that the creature uses Safie’s experiences and story to address Victor, his creator, and explain how he was searching for the story behind the creature’s own life. Similar to the creature, Safie was described as not being clearly understood, not even by cottagers, this reflects a parallel to the way the creature could not firmly understand a language. This can relate back to Safie’s idea of a double consciousness when understanding that the creature and Safie have experienced similar hardships

Ultimately the journeys that Safie and the creature take are very similar. They are both outcasted and cannot become accustomed to the language being spoken in their respective locations. Both the creature and Safie have been abandoned and they are both very unaccustomed to the World entirely. When thinking about Safie not being a colonized subject, perhaps we shall interpret that in the perspective that both the creature and Safie have gone through similar experiences that can be seen as having similarities to colonized subjects. For example the language limitations, and being pressured into assimilating into the new practices and cultures around them, similar to how colonized subjects are forced to do.

Despite the lives of the creature and Safie take different paths, the reason the “creature weeps with Safie” is because he understands that both of them have been dealing with the issues of being colonized. Also allowing the creature to identify with Safie because they are both being portrayed as colonized subjects.

By: Daniel Olmos

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