Shelley in Frankenstein and Goethe in The Sorrows of Young Werther wrap their stories around two characters whose mental torment and physical actions are similar to one another. Both the stories deal with characters who are struggling to find happiness in their lives in the world they live in, but they could not because of rejection. Werther was seeking to be loved, and have a family with the girl she loved. On the other hand, the creature in Frankenstein was also seeking for a companion and people to relate with and call family because he was all alone. He was seeking for a family because, he had no family background, and his creator had abandoned him. Both the characters were lonely, and needed people in their lives.
The sources of Werther's sorrows are similar to the sources of the creature's suffering in Frankenstein. First, this can be seen whereby the creature is abandoned by his creator, Victor Frankenstein. Victor created him, after seeing that his appearance was monstrous, he ran away and left him all alone. The creature had no knowledge about the world around him yet; the person who created him left him all alone to wander around alone. Victor’s creature was full of sorrow, and cursed his creator all the time together with his hideousness. He says, “I the miserable and the abandoned, am an abortion to be spurned at, and kicked, and trampled on” (Shelley 189). His curiosity about who he was led him into his own depression, and misery. The creature lacked social acceptance as everyone rejected him, and this led to his quest for knowledge so as to know the world around him, and stop living a life of abandonment, and rejection. On the other hand, Werther needed to compensate for a strained home relationship in their family, and needed a family, if not his own, someone else’s. He wanted to have people around him, but that was not possible because he ended up utterly alone. Werther was not able to attain his idealized family life. Therefore, both Werther and the creature’s sorrows came about for not attaining the life they wished to live. He had identified a person to have a family with but he could not have her, whereas the creature tried to be friendly to the people around him so that he could become part of their family but no, they rejected him.
In The Sorrows of Young Werther, Werther seeks to marry a lady who is already engaged to another man. In his quest, he falls in love with the lady not knowing that this love will bring a lot of sorrows in his life. Werther fell in love with Lotte, yet Lotte was already engaged to someone else, when Lotte got married, Werther’s sorrows began. On the other hand in Frankenstein, Victor’s creature tries to build a physical relationship with the people around him yet with his hideous appearance, he knows it not possible but still he tries which leads to people running away from him and even beating him up, thus bringing more sorrows in his life. The creature was searching for love with his head and heart but still, could not find it. The hideous creature tried to integrate himself into the human social patterns but, every one shun away from him. After realizing that the people are afraid of him and keep on running away from him, the creature looks for his creator and demands for a companion just like him so that he can live a life like the rest of the people. He demanded that Victor should create a female mate for him so that he can stop being utterly alone in the world. In the process of trying to find a companion, he is hurt a lot because he cannot find one and this leads him into becoming violent and killing any human he finds along his way. The sorrows and resentment in his life made the creature aggressive and brutal because, Victor promised to create him a female mate but again abandons him all alone and this makes him vengeful against the entire human race, and his creator. Moreover, the creature was rejected by the De Lacey’s because of his bodily appearance, and this added to his sorrows. Furthermore, both Werther and Victor’s creature had the desire to communicate their feelings but they could not. This is simply because, Lotte was already married to Albert, and there is no way Werther could have married her. On the other hand, the creature could not because he had no friends and family he could relate to.
Both Werther and the creature desire to be loved made them try to seek justice for themselves on their sufferings. The creature did not hurt the De lacy’s but decided to hurt the innocent people in the name of finding justice. Comparably, Werther committed suicide in the name of seeking justice. Their sorrows made them seek justice in the wrong way. They sought justice in the wrong way because they both were losers because none of them got justice, instead, the creature remained utterly alone while Werther died, and the girl she loved lived her life with the man she was already married to.
The sources of Werther’s sorrows are similar to the sources of the creature’s suffering in Frankenstein. Both the characters yearned for happiness in their lives. He thought he had found happiness in Lotte, little did he know that his happiness was going to lead to his despair. Werther says "Must it so be that whatever makes man happy must later become the source of his misery?" (Von Goethe 134). He felt happy with Lotte but in real sense he could not have her, and so he was to remain unhappy. Comparably, the creature thought he had found happiness when the De Lacy family allowed him in, little did he know that it was the beginning of his sorrow. The De Lacy family later on sent him away because of his hideous appearance. Therefore, it is very clear that both their sorrows were similar because, the moment they thought that they had found happiness that is when their sorrows began. None of them found happiness no matter how much they tried, instead of finding happiness, their sorrows increased and let them into making wrong decisions in their lives. The creature put the De lacey’s house into destruction leaving them in poverty because of he was enraged of their rejection while Werther took away his life.
Both Werther and the creature lived in a world full of turmoil and strife. They felt that the society had placed restrictions on them. The creature “formed into a gigantic and hideous creature” (156), could not stay with the people but was always fighting with them because he faced fear and rejection from his creator and the society. He was deprived a chance to have a family and companion of his kind and so he was responsible for a number of deaths in the story and never took responsibility of his actions. On the other hand, Werther felt that the society had restricted him, he felt restricted due to unrequited love for Charlotte, and death was his freedom. The creature in Frankenstein and Werther reveal examples of sorrows and pains. Werther freed himself from the society’s restrictions through suicide while the creature through revenge on the society by killing the humans. Their passions alienated them from the society and the people they desired most.
In comparison, there are notable differences in Frankenstein and The Sorrows of Young Werther. The sources of Werther’s sorrows were not similar to the sources of the creature’s suffering in Frankenstein. This is because, Werther was at least allowed to communicate, and stay with the other people around him. Unlike the Creature in Frankenstein, he was hideous in appearance, and could not even relate with the people around him, he felt attracted to them but they ran away from him. Therefore, the creature suffered a lot compared to Werther because, he could not even get an opportunity to communicate, and relate with the people he felt attracted to because they shunned away from him. In addition, Werther spent sometime with a companion he had longed for but for the creature, the people ran away from him and so; he never spent time and talked to the people he loved, therefore, the sources of his sorrows were greater compared to Werther. For Werther, he could talk to Lotte and spend time with her before she got married but for Victor’s creature, he was all alone all this time. Furthermore, for Werther atleast he had a family background even though the family had problems but for the creature, he had no family background and this made his sorrows more unbearable. The creature had no one to refer to as family and so he craved for one which he could never find. For Werther, he at least had an opportunity of having a family even if it did not meet what he wanted for in a family. Lacking a family background for creature made his sorrows more than those of Werther. Also, Werther’s rejection and sorrows led him into killing himself comparably; the creature’s sorrows made him become violent, and kill other human beings for rejecting him. In addition, the sorrows of the creature posed a threat to the human race comparably; Werther’s sorrows never posed a threat to the human race but only to his life whereby he ended it. Werther had an advantage over the creature because he could have made his love life work. In contrast, the creature could not even find the companion he longed for because, he was hideous in appearance and the people ran away from him.
In conclusion, the sources of Werther’s sorrows are similar to the sources of the creature’s suffering in Frankenstein. This is because; both the Creature and Werther were rejected by the people they loved. In addition, they both yearned to have families whereby they could relate with them but they never got the families they yearned for. Werther yearned for a family with Lotte while the creature yearned to relate with the people around him because he had neither family nor friends but, the world rejected him because of his monstrous appearance. Furthermore, both the characters sorrows were similar because, they both suffered while in search for happiness which again none of them found it. The time they thought they had found happiness, that is when their sorrows became great because, they faced more rejection. In contrast, the creature and Werther’s sorrows were unlike because, Werther was able to communicate and relate with the girl he loved whereas, for the creature, he could not relate with anybody because of his hideous appearance. Lastly, their sorrows made them seek for justice and they did it in a wrong way. Werther killed himself while Victor’s creature killed innocent people in the quest for revenge and to find justice for rejection and abandonment. Consequently, the creature’s sorrows were greater than Werther’s.
Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus. The 1818 Text. New York: Oxford UP, 1998. Print.
Von Goethe, Johann Wolfgang. The Sorrows of Young Werther. New York: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2009. Print.