Knowledge comes from experience. Since birth, Mary Shelley’s Monster from her acclaimed epistolary novel, Frankenstein, has been assaulted by all of the difficulties of life, yet he has faced them completely alone. The Tabula Rasa concept is completely applicable to him. The Monster begins as a child, learning from mimicking and watching others. He then educates himself by reading a few books which help shape his personality and give him an identity. Following Maslow’s hierarchy of needs the Monster searches for and accomplishes the basic human necessities but feels alone, and needs human interaction and companionship. “My heart was fashioned to be susceptible of love and sympathy, and when wrenched by misery to vice and hatred, it did not
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No distinct ideas occupied my mind; all was confused. I felt light, and hunger, and thirst, and darkness; innumerable sounds rung in my ears, and on all sides various scents saluted me: the only object that I could distinguish was the bright moon, and I fixed my eyes on that with pleasure,” (Shelley 119). After coming to terms with his senses and struggling with his emotions and confusion, the monster learns that he can slake his thirst with water from the brook and hunger with berries. He begins to understand the purpose of the moon and sun; night and day. This is how he carries on for a few days, just exploring his surroundings and perceiving that he is a separate entity from the world. This carries him to the next ladder of the hierarchy of needs and shows his ability for quick learning.
After providing for his simple immediate needs for survival, the monster has his first encounter with fire and both the benefits and dangers that it presents. He is overcome with joy once he feels its emanating warmth, but finds out that it is hot and will burn him. Through his observational skills the monster learns how the fire ‘works’. Satisfied with his discovery, the monster realizes he must move and find shelter. The second step in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is shelter, and security. The monster follows it accordingly and establishes himself in a small shack in the village. "Here then I retreated, and lay down happy to have found a shelter, however miserable, from the