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Frankenstein

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Shadow Motif

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In creating Victor Frankenstein and his creature, Shelley developed a literary and psychological archetype known as the Shadow or Doppelganger. This archetype works as an "other self" to the protagonist, mimicking many of the protagonist's characteristics; it is often rendered as an evil twin. In the novel, the creature can be interpreted as Victor's "shadow." In the following excerpt, Victor reacts to the appearance of the creature:

I had selected his features as beautiful. Beautiful! Great God! His yellow skin scarcely covered the work of muscles and arteries beneath; his hair was of a lustrous black and flowing; his teeth of a pearly whiteness; but these luxuriances only formed a more horrid contrast with his watery eyes, that seemed almost of the same colour as the dun-white sockets in which they were set, his shrivelled complexion and straight black lips.

Read in context of the Shadow motif, this passage

A

emphasizes that the monster is still unfinished.

B

suggests that the creature is Frankenstein's masterpiece.

C

suggests that Victor is faced with his own ambition and failure.

D

conveys Victor's deep shame at the creature's physical appearance.

E

highlights the inadequacies of Victor's work.