Frankenstein's monster (or Frankenstein's creature, often incorrectly referred to as Frankenstein) is a fictional character that first appeared in Mary Shelley's novel, Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus. In the novel, the creature has no name, a symbol of his parentlessness and lack of human sense of self and identity. He does call himself, when speaking to his creator, Victor Frankenstein, the "Adam of your labours". He is also variously referred to as a "creature," "fiend," "the demon," "wretch," "devil," "thing," "being," and "ogre" in the novel.
The monster's namelessness became part of the stage tradition as Mary Shelley's story was adapted into serious and comic plays in London, Paris, and France during the decades after the novel's first appearance. Mary Shelley herself attended a performance of Presumption, the first successful stage adaptation of her novel. "The play bill amused me extremely, for in the list of dramatic personae came, _______ by Mr T. Cooke,” she wrote to her friend Leigh Hunt. "This nameless mode of naming the unnameable is rather good."
The name of the creator — Frankenstein — soon came to be used to name the creation. That happened within the first decade after the novel was published, but it became cast in concrete after the story was popularized in the famous 1930s Universal film series starring Boris Karloff. The film was based largely on a play by Peggy Webling, performed in London in 1927. Webling's Frankenstein actually does give his creature his name. The Universal film treated the Monster's identity in a manner that reflects its resemblance to Mary Shelley's novel: the name of the actor, not the character, is hidden by a question mark. Nevertheless, the creature soon enough became best known in the popular imagination as "Frankenstein".
He finds brief solace by hiding out in the woodshed of a remote cottage inhabited by the DeLaceys, a family of peasant. While they are unaware of his existence, he learns every part of their lives by eavesdropping on their conversations and comes to think of them as his own family, calling them his 'protectors'. He develops the power of speech from listening to the family teach their language (French) to an Arabian daughter-in-law, and very quickly becomes eloquent, educated, and well-mannered.
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