Human nature as argued by Wilson can be understood completely by considering evolution. The process of certain traits being based on to the future generations based on survival of the fittest can explain says Wilson aspects of human behavior from mate selection to the seemingly selfless acts of altruism. Applying the general concept of evolution to the monster in Frankenstein is very interesting to consider as the monster is not the product of evolution but rather a product of a product of evolution – a whole new category entirely. The monster though created in the same form of humans is capable of observation and making inferences, the most of important of which being that he’s separate for the human species. The monster reflects “And what was I? Of my creation and creator I am ignorant […] I was not even the same nature as man” (Shelley 261). This realization is what creates the madness and ultimately the destruction of Victor’s evolutionary capacity.
The monster was not created through a reproductive event or the creation of a new cell from two single sets of chromosomes containing DNA from a mother and a father. This reproductive event is the core of evolution and diversity as mutations in DNA are the basis for evolution in a species. Though more importantly to the tale of Frankenstein is not the DNA aspect but the fact that there is a lack of mother and father. Through understanding human nature through evolution, a mother and father have innate feelings to protect and care for their children because they share their DNA and their children are the ones who can pass on that DNA when they are gone or too old to. Victor has no such innate feelings towards the monster as though he created him not through a reproductive event or even a cloning event where he would share all of the monster’s DNA. With these lack of feelings towards the monster he does nothing to protect him or even teach him about the outside world.
While the monster views the French family, he with the assumed mental capacities of a human brain, begins to comprehend the feelings and relationships between the father, Agatha, Felix and Safi but he knows that he can never have a unit like it. He reflects on his observations by saying” I sympathized with and partly understood, but [..] I was dependent on none and related to none”(Shelley 34). Wilson also argues that the family not only provides protection from the parents but also an advantage evolved from early hunter gatherer man when it was better for survival to be in a pack like unit with the tasks somewhat divided between the sexes evolving the necessity for humans to have “emotional satisfaction” through family relationships (Wilson 139). Through observing the De Lacey family, the monster sees what he lacks and it finally becomes apparent that he can never hope to share love with humans when he reaches out to the family but is rejected.
As a result of the family’s rejection, the monster then pursues Victor “consumed by a burning passion” in order to get him to create a mate for himself in the same species (Shelley 332). He desires this family companionship which he observed in the De Lacey family and perhaps even has the mental processing to have the innate desire himself. Additionally, another essential aspect of evolution apart from having a parental connection is the desire to pass on genes to the next generation. An argument from Wilson about the nature of the monster would recognize his desire to have a companion not as a desire to not be alone but to have someone with which he can pass on his genes. The monster desperately begs Victor saying “it is true we shall be monsters, cut off from all the world, but in that we shall be more attached to one another” (Shelley 329). While Victor initially concedes to this request fear of the new monster and the potential for a new breed of monsters causes him to break his promise.
At this point, the monster is the only of his kind without a family, a mate, and the potential to pass on his genes – all three of which are arguably the most motivating factors in human nature because they determine evolution. He decides to take revenge on Victor by killing off his companion Clarvel and his companion and potential mate to pass on his genes Elizabeth. Through these murders, he is able to hurt Victor by putting him into a similar cut off position as his own. The monster is an outsider similar but not quite human, with the same desires and motivations but lacking blood relationships, the possibility to pass on genes, and simple companionship. In the end he is able to remove Victor from his blood relationships by causing him to chase him into the North Pole. He is also able to prevent Victor from having children and finally is effective in removing the people most dear to him. In this way the monster and Victor at the end die as ineffective members of their societies from an evolutionary prospective with no offspring, family, or companions.