Welcome fellow bloggers to Breuks’ Blog. Today, my blog focuses on characterization of Victor Frankenstein and his relationship with Elizabeth in the novel Frankenstein, written in 1818. In the dawn to the tale of Frankenstein, the theme is stressed around family ties and relationships. Throughout the following 7 chapters, the unfolding story of Victor Frankenstein’s character gradually injects into the mind of the reader. At this stage in Frankenstein, Victor’s character is illustrated as selfish, irresponsible, and immature.
Victor Frankenstein embeds himself in the caring position of the family structure. Frankenstein implies that he solemnly bases family off the desire of care upon another individual being, this resembles Victor’s family and Elizabeth when they adopted her as a young, poverty-bound orphan. The childhood environment in which Victor was raised he discusses positively, “No human being could have passed a happier childhood than myself. My parents were possessed by the very spirit of kindness and indulgence.” (Shelley 36). This implies Victor was raised in a positive environment which he had learned that abandonment is wrong. Yet, Frankenstein still abandons his monster.
Victor and Elizabeth have always been close. Since Elizabeth was adopted, Victor has been an important character in her life. Victor’s mother, Caroline, wished on her death bed that Victor and Elizabeth marry. Throughout their childhood and adulthood together, their relationship has been strong. When it is announced Justine will be executed, she begs to speak with Elizabeth. Elizabeth agrees and asks Victor to accompany her to speak with Justine. This shows that even after Victor isolated himself from his entire family and friends, including Elizabeth, she still loved him dearly.
Victor’s character is portrayed as selfish, by my reckoning. It’s my strong belief that Victor is too absorbed in his scientific work of mastering the re-creation of life to have concern for others. Victor isolates himself from his family while becoming absorbed in the thought of creating an alternate life that will idolize him as a supreme being and/or god. Months roll by with no word to his family that he had deeply valued at the initial chapters of the book. These relationships begin to seem like less of a priority. Family was a value to Victor which he had put aside to become the creator of an alternate life. This causes irony because Victor deeply valued family and his creation was the cause of two deaths in his family, in the first 8 chapters of Frankenstein.
Victor is immature as he had not thought very thoroughly when he had created the monster. He had hesitated if creating the monster was the right thing to do but the power of playing god overpowered all the concerns in the creation. Morals and ethical concerns were not taken into account during the creation process. I solemnly believe if the ethical problems today were taken into account, the choice of creating the monster would have been diminished. Also, when the monster rose Victor ran away from it and abandoned the creature. This later causes problems in the monster’s development of behaviour and views of right and wrong.
Responsibility is not present in Victor’s character. Victor created the monster with the inability to handle the consequences, this shows Victor is irresponsible. Poor responsibility skills is a strong quality of the negative aspects of his character. This causes many problems throughout the novel. Victor is liable for the death of William as well as Justine and he should be held accountable for the fatalities for the sake of his creation of a murderer. If Victor was responsible enough to care for the monster and treat its as if it were a child then Frankenstein’s monster may not have become a villainous character.
To sum this blog up, Victor Frankenstein’s character is selfish, immature, and irresponsible. His relationship with Elizabeth is positive even though he seems not to care for her as much as his scientific work. Shelley greatly represents relationships and characterization in the first 8 chapters of Frankenstein. I am excited to see what happens next in the novel. Stay tuned for my next blog on the following chapters of Frankenstein. I will be posting real soon!
Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Douglas Clegg. Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus. Penguin, 2013.