In chapter 11 he shows how observing something would increase ones knowledge. ‘I examined the materials of the fire, and to my joy found it to be composed of wood’. At this part the monster says that just by looking at the materials that were used to create the fire, he knew in which way the fire was created. This here shows the ability of the monster’s observational skills and how quickly he can link it to other stuff. In this case how he can observe something and then link it to how the observation was done.
Shortly after the monster’s experience with fire, he finds something awkward about what he had said after putting out the fire. ‘How strange, I thought, that the same cause should produce such opposite effects! ‘ The monster finds it strange because a fire was meant to cause pain and hurt but for him it was joyful. This does not justify for what Frankenstein said about the monster gaining pleasure from evil but shows how the monster can tell when something is bad it can also be a source of goodness.
So this phrase shows how the monster found it strange for fire to give him joy not hurt and pain. Not only does the monster show off his observational skills, he possesses something which normal human beings posses. That is the ability to learn something new everyday. The evidence for this is when the monster says, ‘my mind received every day additional ideas’. Here the monster tells the reader that everyday he learns something new. This also shows how quickly he can learn. It didn’t take him a long time to seize knowledge.
While a normal person would take years to develop his intellect, the monster was able to improve his own intelligence very quickly. The monster, in the novel, carries on telling the reader what he had learned. For example ‘I distinguished the insect from the herb, and, by degrees, one herb from another’. This shows his ability to tell apart from a plant and an insect. Although the monster was able to observe and then apply the observation to real life and also was able to distinguish between animals and plants, the monster was yet not able to utter any words.
So because of the absence of language he was not able to communicate. He felt that is was a need for him to learn the language of the cottagers. He says, ‘in two months I began to comprehend most of the words uttered by my protectors’. This shows that the ability to learn a new language for the monster is a simple task for him. While for a human it would take years to learn a new language. This means that the monster has unique qualities which outshine the qualities of humans. Also not only does it shows his abilities but also shows his determination to learn and seek knowledge.
In two months the monster was able to learn most words the cottagers were saying, meaning that he really wanted to learn, so therefore he learned quickly. Further evidence of him learning rapidly is when Safie, the ‘Arabian’, also wants to learn the language so he learns with her. He says, ‘I improved more rapidly than the Arabian, who understood very little, and conversed in broken accents, whilst I comprehended and could imitate almost every word that was spoken’. This is proof that he learns faster than humans and better. The monster was able to get the correct accent whilst Safie was struggling.