Chapters 14 and 15
The monster continues with his story concerning the De Lacey family.
They were a well-to-do French family, living in Paris, enjoying wealth and
Felix was concerned about the unfairness of the French judicial system and together with Safie’s father; they hatch a plot to undermine the French system with a view to freeing her father, a Turkish merchant, from a death sentence. During this time, Safie wrote to Felix encouraging his endeavors. The monster has copies of these. However, the French authorities discover their plans and the De Laceys are deported, losing all their wealth. The De Laceys’ fortunes look up on the arrival of Safie who brings some wealth with her.
The monster still views the family from a distance, but as Safie improves
her education, so does the monster. He wears Victor’s overcoat and is now able to understand the books in one of the pockets of the coat, which are Milton’s “Paradise Lost”, and Victor’s own Notebooks, which
explain how the monster was created. The monster is horrified to learn how he came into existence.
These chapters are designed to show how the monster feels towards his
adopted family and how he shares in their misfortune. Remember that the monster is the narrator here, and he tells Victor of the injustices suffered by the De Lacey family.
The monster feels empathy towards the De Laceys, because like him, they have suffered from injustice.
The reader also starts to develop pity for the monster, for as he gains in
knowledge so he realizes that he is alone and a misfit. It is interesting that one of the books in Victor’s overcoat pocket is Milton’s “Paradise Lost”, and as Adam had Eve, the monster wonders why he doesn’t
have a mate. This is the first seed of an idea, and he will later ask Victor to provide him with a companion of another sex.
So, Shelley makes the reader feel pity for both Victor and the monster.
Chapter 15 ends with the monster revealing himself to the De Lacey family,
firstly to the blind father, which goes well, but when the rest of the family see him, they beat him and drive him off. Later he returns to the De Lacey home, and finding it deserted he burns it to the ground.