StudyBoss » Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

How to Take Responsibility for Your Newborn Monster Throughout Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein we can see the very importance of taking care of one’s newborn monster. Only through a magnificent atrocity, such as Victor Frankenstein’s own murdering and rampaging monster, can Victor himself realize that he owes a huge amount of responsibility towards society. In the beginning of this novel Victor starts off with huge illusions of grandeur, which include his overwhelming desire to bring dead beings back to life. All that he can see is how his discoveries in this new field of science will help mankind.

Victor Frankenstein neglects to realize that this monster could be an awesome burden on society as a whole. As the story unravels and the plot thickens, we see that the creator is startled and abhors his own creation. This has immense and overbearing consequences for not just Victor, but many other people as well. Mister Frankenstein shows us an initial lack of responsibility towards the human community, but later Victor shows us that he realizes his mistakes, and that he must take care of them. Towards Walton, our narrator, Victor Frankenstein shows s a great sense of responsibility right from the start.

Victor’s own sense of responsibility changes throughout the novel, and he is tested many times. His senses of duty, to the narrator and community, do indeed come into conflict with each other. Victor Frankenstein, after an initial lack of responsibility, shows us that he does indeed owe a great commitment towards the human society. As this novel starts, Victor Frankenstein is recanting his journeys and deeds to Walton, and Victor has already realized his responsibility towards the human community. He wants to tell Walton this story so he will learn a very important lesson.

This is because Victor has seen that he does indeed need to show responsibility towards Walton, our narrator. “You may easily perceive, Captain Walton, that I have suffered great and unparalleled misfortunes. I had determined at one time that the memory of the evils should die with me, but you have won me to alter my determination. … I imagine that you may deduce an apt moral from my tale. ” (15) By saying this part, Victor tells us that he did not want to ell his stories to anybody at first, but his decision was swayed by Walton.

Frankenstein has indeed seen great folly in his own deeds and wants other people to learn what not to do. Initially, in Victor’s own story, there is no sense of responsibility. The only thing that he can think of is how all of mankind will benefit from his discoveries. Although when telling his story to Walton, he tells Walton when and how he should have taken more responsibility. When the monster is filled with life, Victor finally sees that his monster is a hideous creature. He just runs away frightened, not knowing what to do with this huge ugly monster.

Only when the monster talks to him does Victor understand that he is responsible for this being. “Oh, Frankenstein, be not equitable to every other and trample upon me alone, to whom thy justice, and even thy clemency and affection, is most due. Remember that I am thy creature; I ought to be thy Adam, but I am rather the fallen angel, whom thou drivest from joy for no misdeed. ” (84) The monster clearly has been educated by someone or something, and knows that Victor Frankenstein has indeed neglected him. He gives us the metaphor with Adam and the fallen angel.

This is similar to how God made man, and man turned evil after a while. God took responsibility for the creation that was his and his alone, and created the flood. He saved only good men and animals. Victor sees that the creation of the monster was his and his alone, and that, like God, he must be responsible for his actions. By this point the monster has already killed William, and Justine has killed as a result of that. The monster wants Victor to create another one that he may love and share his feelings with.

Victor, seeing not only that he has this new burden of society on his shoulders but also that a new one would double that burden and wreak more havoc, decides to not create this other creature. By deciding not to create a mate for his monster, Victor Frankenstein shows us that he knows of his true responsibility towards society. He begins to create the female version of his monster when in Scotland. He works diligently, day and night, striving to get the job done. Yet, at one point he finally sees that this can lead to only evil, no good at all, and he decides to destroy it. Had I right, for my own enefit, to inflict this curse upon everlasting generations? I had before been moved by the sophisms of the being I had created; I had been struck senseless by his fiendish threats; but now, for the first time, the wickedness of my promise burst upon me; I shuddered to think that future ages might curse me as their pest, whose selfishness had not hesitated to buy its own peace at the price, perhaps, of the existence of the whole human race. ” (150-151) Here we see that he has passed his test. Victor finally realizes his true responsibility towards society, and what he must do to uphold it.

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StudyBoss » Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Victor Frankenstein, who has spent two long years laboring in Ingolstadt to create this scientific marvel known only as “the monster,” wrongly assumes that his creation is pure evil. Frankenstein reaches this conclusion without even allowing the monster to demonstrate his kind heart. Eventually, the monster goes on a mass killing spree because of Victor’s detrimental psychological neglect. Victor’s neglect is caused by his hatred of anyone who is unlike himself.

Victor also disregards the monster’s right to a true name, only referring to him using despicable names, such as “wretch,” “thing,” and “catastrophe. ” Thus, the monster’s humane qualities, including compassion, loyalty, and intelligence contrast to the wretched traits of his creator, making the horrible references much more suitable for Victor. Unlike Victor, the monster shows great compassion despite his appalling appearance. For instance, he demonstrates his love for others during his time spent observing Felix and Agatha while in the village.

He wishes “to return to the cottagers, whose story excited in [him] such various feelings of indignation, delight, and wonder, but which all terminated in additional love and reverence for [his] protectors…” (106) Even though the monster had never actually met the De Lacey family, his ability to feel compassion is proven through his love of them only for their wonderful hearts and kind actions. In doing this, he shows more love for a family of strangers than Victor could ever have for his own family.

He also demonstrates unconditional love for these “protectors” by not killing Felix during their fight. On the contrary, Victor shows a lack of compassion for his creation after the monster requested a female companion. In response to the monster’s patient, rational inquiry, Victor exclaims, “Shall I create another like yourself, whose joint wickedness might desolate the world. Begone! ” (130) In this senseless refusal of a sincere request, Victor proves once and for all that his true feelings for the monster are those of unjustified hatred and scorn.

He has no basis for these feelings other than that of his undying prejudice against the monster. As a result of the opposing emotions illustrated by maker and creation, both are in constant conflict with each other and therefore can never live in harmony. Thus, the monster is very much unlike Frankenstein, the true “wretch. ” Although he has committed a few heinous crimes, the monster feels extremely sincere feelings of regret towards his sins. When looking back on his rash actions, he proclaims, “But it is true that I am a wretch.

I have murdered the lovely and helpless; I have strangled the innocent as they slept and grasped to death his throat who never injured me or any other living thing. ” (204) In making this bold realization, the monster confirms that he is truly regretful for what he has brought about. Furthermore, he recognizes that not one of his victims has had the slightest inclination to harm him or any other being. While the monster demonstrates guilty emotions for his crimes, Victor instead feels anger toward his creation and does not take any responsibility nor demonstrate guilt for the deaths of his loved ones.

Frankenstein instead lays all blame on the monster for the murders and seeks only revenge, not forgiveness. “My revenge is of no moment to you; yet, while I allow it to be a vice, I confess that it is the devouring and only passion…I have but one resource, and I devote myself, either in my life or death, to his destruction. ” (184) By dedicating the remainder of his existence to the annihilation of his own creation while in turn neglecting his responsibility to be with his family in this time of despair, Frankenstein dishonors the victims of his own negligence.

Although Victor is right in believing that the monster was immoral in committing the murders, he fails to take his rightful share of the blame in the deaths of those close to him. The absence of remorse in Victor’s actions and the constant pleas for forgiveness given by the monster further verify Victor’s evil ways and the pure heart possessed by his creation. Yet another example of the monster’s humane qualities is his superior intellect and extraordinary level of self-awareness. In fact, he knows more about himself than Victor, who had studied the monster’s features for years in order to create him.

The monster teaches himself to hunt, read, and communicate without the proper maturation process, which Victor should have supplied in the first place. “This reading puzzled me extremely at first, but by degrees I discovered that he uttered many of the same sounds when he read as when he talked. I conjectured, therefore, that he found on the paper signs for speech which he understood…” (98) While observing De Lacey, the monster uses his powers of induction in order to teach himself to read and speak entirely from scratch.

It also becomes apparent that he has gained a superior understanding of written and spoken communication skills. Because he has shown his proficiency in mastering the French language, it becomes apparent that the monster is in possession of an intellect much more advanced than that of Victor. However, Victor refuses to accept that something that he has made with his own hands could be superior to him. Evidently attempting to threaten the monster, a being of superior physical strength, Victor cries out, “Devil, do you dare approach me? And do you not fear the fierce vengeance of my arm wreaked on your miserable head?

Begone vile insect! And, oh! That I could, with the extinction of your miserable existence, restore those victims whom you have so diabolically murdered! ” (83) The monster is obviously not fooled as Victor endeavors to establish some sort of advantage over a much more powerful entity. Victor simply will not allow himself to believe that he could be of a lesser stature than something so hideous. As a result of Victor’s feeble attempts to deny his inferiority to the monster, he becomes even more deserving of the abrasive titles which he thoughtlessly bestows upon his creation.

In writing Frankenstein, Mary Shelly desired to show that it is possible for a man-made phenomenon to be more “human” than its creator. In view of the abundant contrasts between Victor and the monster, this occurrence is undoubtedly present. Although Victor ignored his creation’s need for education, both morally and intellectually, the monster eventually surpassed him in both areas. Hence, the monster is simultaneously more human and superior to Victor, despite the fact that he was not created by nature.

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