Frankenstein Chapter 12
Over time, as the monster watched the De Lacey family, he learned that they were sad because they were poor, and although all seemed a little disheartened, Felix, the boy, seemed the saddest for some unknown reason. The monster began chopping wood and shoveling the snow from the path while they slept so that they could use the daylight hours for the garden and other, more productive, work. The family considered the anonymous favors the work of a good spirit. Studying them, the monster learned to recognize words like "milk," "cheese," and "bread," as well as learning the cottagers' names. He realized that when Felix read aloud in the evenings, he was really looking at symbols that stood for words. The monster wanted to be able to understand and communicate. He wanted to master language before he revealed himself to the De Lacey family because he had discovered his ugliness in the reflection of a stream, and he knew it would scare them if he couldn't talk to them. After seeing their beauty and his hideousness, the monster was saddened, but he believed that if he could talk to them, they wouldn't hate and fear him as other humans had. He expected to be able to win their love.