Did Victor Make the Creature Evil, Or Did Society?

I’m curious in my reading to find an answer to this question, as the creature is relaying his story to Victor about how he watched and learned from a family to become more human (Chapter 15).

At the beginning of Frankenstein, we learn some things about the lives of his parents and then all about Victor’s childhood into his late teen years. Victor’s father, Alphonse was a respected politician and Victor’s mother, Caroline was a hard working woman who cared for those even outside her family. I believe that Victor was portrayed as a good balance of both Alphonse and Caroline because he showed intense interest into gaining more knowledge to become a respected scientist, but he also cared immensely about his siblings Elizabeth, William and Ernest; at least in the beginning. There was a really uncomforting eeriness when Victor claimed Elizabeth for himself in chapter one:

“No word, no expression could body forth the kind of relation in which she stood to me – my more than sister, since till death she was to be mine only” (Shelley 34).

As Victor grew up, he became more selfish and abandoned his family to pursue his passion in knowledge. By the time of his creation, he was no longer a family man but a man ruled by his selfish desire to become the master of his profession; to show the rest of the world why he had worked so hard. When the creature took its first breath Victor realized the responsibility he had summoned upon himself and he fled, wishing for it to die. Instead of wanting to publish his work, he wanted to erase all ties he had to science, which meant abandoning his child. This is where we see Victor play the victim and when we see his true evil begin to come out.

The real victim was Victor’s creature. He awoke in chapter five with an innocent smile towards his creator but was soon left alone, “tormented by hunger and thirst,” bright lights and uncertainty (108). He had no one to show him how to survive or to blend in with the unforgiving society. He learned to eat, felt the pain of being cold and then being burned experimentally. He knew he was ugly based on how people reacted on first sight. The world was cruel to the creature, and he didn’t have someone to confide in, like the De Lacey family had each other. He wanted to meet his creator again, to ask him why he would birth such awful life and leave it without protection from the harsh world. In order to gain his attention and seek revenge for the pain Victor had caused him, he murdered William and framed Justine. The creature blamed his evil on his creator because he had abandoned him in his time of need.

“I too can create desolation; my enemy is not invulnerable; this death will carry despair to him, and a thousand other miseries shall torment and destroy him” (153).

In conclusion, I believe that both Victor and society are at fault for creating the monster that is known as “the creature.” If Victor had stayed with his child and cherished him, I believe there would be only the problem of his appearance. Even the creature blames his morbid personality on the absence of his father, but there is also another hand at play here. Society could have accepted the creature, even if that meant just allowing it to exist in the same village. He could have been adopted by a kind family, like Elizabeth did Justine. But society didn’t give him the chance, even when he spoke the native tongue and imitated their gestures they were still strangely very prejudice against him.

Works Cited:

Bing, Microsoft, www.bing.com/images/search?    view=detailV2&ccid=Bv/R8ror&id=716604CDC80777FEA611F543692D638FC98F7C44&thid=OIP.Bv_R8rorLrb3nsOvj4Um5wHaLX&mediaurl=https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/db/de/a6/dbdea6ffb8bac32ed5b133d5c2678933.jpg&exph=752&expw=490&q=the creature confronting frankenstein&simid=608056080207843141&selectedIndex=0&ajaxhist=0.

Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft, et al. Frankenstein, or, The Modern Prometheus. Signet Classics, 2013.


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