In the Frankenstein, the idea of sympathy finds itself stretched when the titular character meets his creation again in the mountains. Edmund Burke detailed sympathy in his Philosophical Inquiry, believing it to be one of the three great bonds of society: ”And as our Creator had designed we should be united by the bond of sympathy, he has strengthened that bond…; and there most where our sympathy is most wanted, in the distresses of others” (42). Sympathy unites us because that sympathy is directed where one most needs assistance and is distressed. The use of a “creator” can be applied to the relationship between Frankenstein and his creation, yet here we see no bond of sympathy. The artificial person asks Frankenstein for that assistance in the form of a wife, begging for sympathy (129). The creature makes this call for aid after being denied the bond by his creator, telling of how sympathy would be paid greatly; “If any being felt emotions of benevolence towards me, I would return them an hundred and an hundred fold” (129).
However, the creation’s perspective of sympathy is twisted from one of charity to one of favor, presumably because he was shown none when Frankenstein abandoned him. Even when pleading, his tone becomes confrontational: “Do not deny me my request!” (129) The creature ignores how the idea of sympathy is an innate and natural bond, instead trying to forcefully gain what he did not have. The want for sympathy does not unite him and Frankenstein, but instead divides them. The creature seems to think his immoral actions to gain sympathy are justifiable, claiming that when he is shown sympathy, all will be forgiven: “My evil passions will have fled” (130). Because Frankenstein did not give the creature sympathy and establish an innate bond of the feeling between man and creation, the artificial person became convinced that sympathy was something worked for, leading him to coerce Frankenstein into their bargain. Instead of helping those who need it, sympathy in Frankenstein becomes the catalyst for the two main characters’ conflict.