Skip to content

Vol. 2 two views of vengeance

On the same page, both Victor and his creature speak words of revenge.  Victor refers to “the fierce vengeance of my [his] arm,” after which the creature promises to “glut the maw of death” (72).  What comments on the nature of revenge does the novel offer so far?  What do you make of this similar language from the two protagonists?


Vol. 2 a mature monster

Is it my imagination, or does the creature’s tale show a more reasonable character than Victor Frankenstein’s character?  The wretched creature seems more balanced, at least in the early part of his tale.  For example, he patiently and compassionately asks Victor to listen to his story before he judges.  Is it my imagination?

Vol. 2 younger person

Granted Mary Shelley had married and already lost a child by the time she had published Frankenstein, but parts of the novel’s language sound like that of a younger person.  Specifically, many of the sentences use extreme terms.  For example, Victor claims “nothing is more painful” (64), and his “heart overflowed” (65) and his father’s advice for his grieving son is “totally inapplicable” (65) [emphasis added].  I wonder if such extreme language tells us more about Victor or Mary Shelley.

KR3.scars and symbols

symbols–e.g., children in storage warehouse; scar symbol (297)–“My Brother’s Keeper” announcement

I am intrigued by the possible connections between two symbols.  First is the orphanage in which Sohrab had been living.  The director, Zaman, tells Amir that the building “used to be a storage warehouse” (253).  I see this history as symbolic of the idea that these two hundred and fifty children are simply being stored.  Nothing else.  Second is the scar that Amir gains in his wrestling with Assef.  The doctor tells Amir that “the worst laceration was on [his] upper lip.”  Amir notices that this cut runs “Clean down the middle.  Like a harelip” (297).  In other words, he now has an upper lip that looks like Hassan’s.

Children just being stored and Amir’s lip looking like Hassan’s.  I want to think about the connections between thee two symbols.

KR3 groups: metaphors, symbols, Taliban, journeys, etc.


Assef and Taliban (cf. Hafiz 249 & Wm Carlos Wms)

Islam–Shari’a and Sufi

forgiveness, redemption (conscience, suffering)

allusion–garden and tree

broken but healed

KR3.liberating feeling

At the start of Assef’s confrontation with Amir, he describes the massacre in Mazar-i-Sharif as “liberating” (277).  For two earlier posts about this section of the novel, I used the titles “tyrannies large and small” and “let us sing,” denoting opposite world views.

To me, the novel unfolds in such a way that I react to Assef’s description of the massacre.  His idea of liberation clashes drastically with mine.

This clash makes me ask, where in this novel do I find instances of liberation that match my definition?  And, what factors contribute to this freeing?

KR3. like father, like son

In many ways, Amir’s experiences, decisions and challenges mirror those of his father, whether he likes it or not, knows it or not.  This idea returns to me, when Rahim Khan talks to Amir about “true redemption.”  He wants Amir to understand that all of the good Baba did was “his way of redeeming himself” (302).

What other examples of such father-son mirroring do you find, and how does the cumulative effect of these instances affect your understanding of either character or of the novel as a whole?