Welcome Back Readers!
I have just finished reading the first 16 chapters of Mary Shelley’s gothic novel Frankenstein and would like to share my personal opinion on Victor Frankenstein’s influence on the monster he created.
The influence that Victor Frankenstein had on the monster was a very negative one. Frankenstein created the monster because he was looking for companionship without completely thinking about and considering all of the consequences that could possibly come out of a very important decision like that. The monster was very impressionable when he was first created because he was unsocialized and didn’t understand what was right and wrong.
Frankenstein was the first person the monster met which had a huge impact on his behaviour. Although the monster was much larger than the average male adult he could be compared to a child because of his need for guidance, supervision and parental figures. Frankenstein was extremely rude and short-tempered with the monster calling him names like “the wretch”, “the devil” or “vile insect”. As a result of Frankenstein speaking to the monster this way when he was first created and extremely impressionable, the monsters self-confidence was destroyed and he didn’t think very highly of himself in any area of his life moving forward.
“Why did you form a monster so hideous that even you turned from me in disgust?” (Shelley 140).
Since Frankenstein viewed the monster as hideous that is then how he viewed himself, in turn creating a horrific cycle.
The monster was well-aware of how Frankenstein felt about him and since Frankenstein was the first person he knew, the monster assumed that the the rest of the world thought of him in the same way. I believe this is what made him aggressive in certain situations. A study done by the University of North Carolina concluded that
“Children who are neglected before their second birthday display higher levels of aggressive behaviour between ages 4 and 8, according to a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill study, published in the journal Pediatrics.” (Science Daily).
Even though the monster is truly not a child and Frankenstein truly isn’t his father but only his creator, proper parenting or someone in a similar role is crucial in the first few years of life. If the monster would’ve known what compassion or love felt like he probably wouldn’t have developed into being as aggressive or vicious as he was, or murder all of those people.
As a result of the hatred that Frankenstein had towards the monster, the monster began to hate him. This hatred for Frankenstein continued to grow and grow until the monster developed the urge to kill Frankensteins family and the people closest to him. The creature displayed heartless tendencies towards innocent people, clearly evident in this excerpt from the novel:
” ‘Hideous monster! Let me go. My papa is a syndic- he is M. Frankenstein- he will punish you. You dare not keep me.’ ‘You belong to my enemy- to him towards whom I have sworn eternal revenge; you shall be my first victim.’ ” (Shelley 153).
Frankensteins son did nothing wrong to the monster; one cannot control who their parents are and how their parents treat people especially at such a young age. But the monster wasn’t aware of these situations and didn’t understand that it was not the young child’s fault and that he should not harm him. Frankenstein didn’t teach the monster how to act therefore the monster acted purely on his emotions which was for the most part hatred and mainly for Frankenstein.
The monster felt as though he was being used, which he was in the grand scheme of things because Frankenstein only created him to strengthen his ego. He learned very quickly of how Frankenstein felt about him as he explained
“From you only could I hope for succour, although towards you I felt no sentiment but that of hatred. Unfeeling, heartless creator! You had endowed me with perceptions and passions and then cast me abroad an object for the scorn and horror of mankind.” (Shelley 150).
He quickly realized Frankenstein’s true personality, why he was created, and how mankind viewed him. His eyes were opened to Frankenstein’s selfish act of creating him and how he will be treated by almost everyone for the rest of his life. Knowing that people dislike you can cause some people to act out in hurtful and aggressive ways, which is why in my opinion the monster committed such malicious and vicious acts so far in the book.
Victor Frankenstein truly didn’t know what he was getting himself into when he created the monster, but he could’ve done a wide variety of things to ensure himself success and the best possible outcome. If he would have been more like a father to the monster, teaching him important life skills and teaching him what it feels like to be loved the monster could have became a fully functioning adult. There was a possibility that the monster could have gotten a job, made friends and had a home to himself if Frankenstein wouldn’t of had such a negative impact and influence on him.
Science Daily. “Early Neglect Predicts Aggressive Behavior In Children, Study Shows.” Science Daily, Science Daily, 7 Apr. 2008. Web. 4 May. 2019. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080407074531.htm. Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft., and Maurice Hindle. Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus. Penguin, 1992.