Ethical Issues Throughout Frankenstein Frankenstein is a book written in the early 1800’s that references technology that is just now being created. These technologies present the human race with a multitude of ethical issues that would not even have been thought of when this book was written. However, most are brought up throughout this book. Other ethical issues that have to do with this technology are also prominent in the story, although most of them originate from the creation of the monster.
The monster is created by Frankenstein and it kills some of his close friends nd family, but the retaliation by the monster stems from Frankenstein abandoning it after it was created. Creating this creature was obviously not realistic in the early 1800’s, but because of technology today, this book is looked at differently. Making a creature from a machine that can adapt to human life, learn language, and think with reason make this a huge ethical issue. Frankenstein realizes this after he creates the animal and after it has done things to harm his family.
Other beings created from a machine or computer like the creature in the story might cause ethical guidelines to be put nto place. One thing that many people take into account and that Frankenstein would have to take into account is if this is what God would want or if he was “playing God. ” With this technology becoming a reality today all of these things are coming into question and Shelley may not have completely addressed them in her book because she did not view this as realistic. This is ultimately a fiction novel but sometime in the future something like it could become a reality.
When Frankenstein created the monster and saw what it looked liked, he got so scared that he abandoned it. The monster was left all alone in a new world with no knowledge of anything. His owner and creator had abandoned him because he was scared of what he had created and what it looked like. The creature was put into a very tough situation and had no control over it. This abandonment played a part in how the creature acted in the future but also in how it developed. Frankenstein displays a lack of ethics after the creature murders his brother and Justine is put on trial and eventually executed.
Instead of standing up and taking the blame for creating the monster which ultimately led o the death of his brother, he lets the trial go on and lets Justine die for a crime she did not commit. Victor is more accountable for this death than Justine is because of everything he did to the monster to lead up to this moment. He created the creature and then left it all alone in the wild. The monster could obviously reason and wanted to harm his creator for his abandonment. As he was walking he heard that this man was related to Victor, killed him, and then planted evidence so that it looked like Justine had committed the crime.
Victor refuses to take charge of his own actions and instead casts a gloomy fate n all of those close to him. His wife, Elizabeth, is killed later in the story right after they get married. Victor thought that the monster would kill him so he gets away from his wife. He then realizes the creature meant that he would kill his wife but he is too late and she has already been killed. He could have prevented Elizabeth from dying if he had informed her about his secret and given her knowledge that she could have protected herself with. Throughout the story the monster is treated harshly solely based on how he looks and the social norms.
He is subject to acklash all through the book because of this. When he saves the little girl from drowning he is acting very ethical and is doing a very good deed. Afterwards he is given no respect and is treated terribly because of how he looks. This scene is very important in the story because it shows that the monster does have good in him and it is not his intention to hurt everyone. He acts out of compassion to save a little girl from drowing but is not treated like the hero that he was at the time. He is also treated badly based on his looks when he is kicked out of the house because he is ugly.
After camping out in the hole in the wall for a while he decides to go and talk to the blind man when the other people leave. He does this on purpose because he thinks that he can talk to this man without him judging him on his looks. After he talks to him for a while the other people will come back and the blind man can tell them how nice he was. Unfortunately for the creature, the other people in the family come back earlier than expected and he is kicked out because he is ugly. This scene is also very important because it shows that the creature is self conscious about how he looks and does ot want to look the way he does.
It is also another display of the lack of ethics of the people in the story when they encounter the creature. Throughout the entirety of the story, Shelley uses characters with smaller roles to show just how bad people treat this creature and the ethics of how it is treated. She does this to show how people judge based on looks instead of getting to know someone. It starts with Victor leaving the creature after it is created because it is ugly and he is scared of it. It continues throughout when different characters disrespect the creature. Shelley only uses one character to display good ethical behavior.
Robert Walton displays great ethical behavior when he rescues Victor from the ice. He then proceeds to nurse him back to health and hear his story, which he tells from a series of letters addressed to his sister. It could be argued that the only reason Walton picked up Victor was because he was very lonely sailing alone, although most people probably believe this was a display of good ethical behavior in a story filled with bad ethical behavior. The fact that Walton nursed him back to health and rote about his stories shows that he was truly trying to help Victor the best he could.
Overall, this story has many ethical issues and dilemmas, most of which are not particularly good. Frankenstein creating the monster starts off bad and it only goes even further downhill from there. What the monster does throughout the story is very unethical and not very moral, but its actions can be explained by learning about what Victor did to create the mess. When he created the monster and then left it, he put everyone who was close to him in danger and never owned up to the fact that it as his fault.
He let innocent people die because of this and when he could have explained that he created the monster, he decided to stay silent. The bad ethics are even further displayed through secondary characters who judge the monster based on social norms and its looks. In a book of unethical and unmoral events, Shelley decided to place in an ethical and moral character: Robert Walton. He is the epitome of a great man based on his actions. This book was filled with unethical decisions that could have been prevented if the monster was never created.