What makes humans distinctly different than the average animal is our capacity for self-reflection, complex thought processes, and reason. Humankind possesses complex languages, unsurpassed intellect, and abstract thought. Beyond mere brainpower, humans also have great capability for compassion and altruism. Still, all this considered, we are perhaps the only creature on earth who premeditates causing others pain; we torture and murder with full, premeditative understanding of what we are doing. By these criteria, Victor Frankenstein’s creation is human. The only facet of his existence that makes him less than human is the matter of his conception. While there is great variation in the appearance of humankind- some may be quite abnormal or even frightening physically- all humans are conceived through the union of two human parents. Frankenstein’s creation may be considered human in all aspects but for the matter of how he first drew breath.
Like humans, the creation desires love, companionship, and the acquisition of knowledge. He is capable of profound thought and the recognition of himself as a complex being. Despite his entrance into the world as a being incapable of verbal communication, he soon achieves the ability to form sentences, master grammar, and read- that incredible ability which sets people apart from lesser species more than any other. Indeed, the creature cannot be accurately described as anything less than human. Sadly, the one manner in which he is set apart is that which ultimately destroys him. In an era when all things peculiar were instantaneously regarded with suspicion, his monstrous features left him without the friend he yearned for.
Humans are social creatures, and Frankenstein’s creation was no different. Without love, humans easily become “inhuman,” creatures capable of committing terrible atrocities in a beastly pattern in which the abused become the abusers. With all his human characteristics, Frankenstein’s creation was no different, and the creature once filled with compassion and kind acts became the loathsome monster he had always physically appeared to be. He was as much a human- and a monster- as all the rest of us.