Power is one of the most prominent themes throughout Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Victor created the monster, so it would be assumed that the monster would be obedient to his creator. However, the final chapters of the novel shows who is really in charge. While Frankenstein seemed to be the one in control for most the novel, the roles have reversed. Creature does not obey its creator, but the other way around.
Victor’s slow loss of power began all the way at the beginning of the book, with the murder of his brother, William. Obviously Frankenstein never intended for the monster to kill people, so this is a good example of how Victor has no real power over what the monster does. Even after meeting and speaking with the monster, he still cannot even predict what he will do. When the monster promises to be with Victor on his wedding night, he incorrectly assumes he will kill him. The monster however, outwits him and kills Elizabeth instead.
Going even further back in the novel, Victor was revolted and could not bear being around his creation even before he became violent. Humans are generally afraid of the things that are not in our control and could possibly pose a threat to us. While creating the monster, Victor has full control of what he will look like and what body parts to use, etc. However once the monster comes to life and is free to wander the world, Victor becomes afraid. He can’t control where the monster will be and what he might do.
The monster knows that he has power over Victor; “Slave, I before reasoned with you, but you have proved yourself unworthy of my condescension. Remember that I have power; you believe yourself miserable, but I can make you so wretched that the light of day will be hateful to you. You are my creator, but I am your master; obey!” (Shelley, 181). The monster has the ability to rip Victor’s life apart and makes sure he knows it. All the monster wanted was to be shown attention after being abandoned by Victor and by the end of this novel, he literally has Victor chasing him to the ends of the earth. The monster carves messages into trees and rocks to remind Victor that he is under his control.
Well readers, this is farewell. We’ve read the classic Frankenstein and explored Victor’s relationships and mental health, and now his slow loss of power over the monster. I hope you’ve enjoyed Frankenstein as much as I have and I hope I provided a deeper insight of this novel for you! Goodbye for now!
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“Popular Classic Books.” Goodreads, Goodreads, www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/classic.
Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Douglas Clegg. Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus. Penguin, 2013.
Tyson, Derrick. “Frankenstein’s Monster Experiments/Studies.” Flickr, Yahoo!, 21 Nov. 2005, www.flickr.com/photos/derricksphotos/65594285.