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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


emphasizes that the monster is still unfinished.


suggests that the creature is Frankenstein's masterpiece.


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


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


highlights the inadequacies of Victor's work.

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