Summary and Analysis Chapter 12



The monster notices the care and concern the family has for each other, and he senses that there is a mood of despair among the younger family members. The family suffers from poverty and a lack of food. Originally a well-to-do family from France, the De Lacey's have been exiled from France to Germany. The monster learns the French language from the family and practices those words by himself. Desiring to keep his cottagers happy, the monster becomes an aid to the family by secretly hauling wood to the cottage and performing repairs, all under the cover of darkness. He begins to follow a routine of daily activity and time passes from winter to spring.


The monster sees that the De Lacey family has it all, but cannot understand why they seem so depressed. In his opinion, the De Lacey's lack nothing, as they have a "delightful house" and every "luxury": fire for warmth, "delicious viands" when they were hungry, "excellent" clothes, companionship and conversation, and "looks of affection and kindness." The monster discovers that the De Lacey's depression stems from poverty and hunger, so he makes a vow not to steal any more of their food and chooses to help the family by gathering wood and repairing the house and garden.

Seeing his reflection in a small pool of water, the monster discovers himself for the first time and now knows that he is hideous to behold. However awful he appears to the world, it cannot stop him from being a good and benevolent creature, even in the face of tremendous adversity. At the time, he does not even understand the compliments that are directed towards him when he is referred to as a "good spirit" and "wonderful" person by the De Lacey family for easing their burdens. He even dreams of one day presenting himself to "his family," hoping that they will look favorably upon his good deeds, not at his outward appearance.

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