Child Negligence and Frankenstein


In Mary Shelley’s book, the monster is seen as a murderer and evil in Victors eyes. All Victor does is play the victim card, but is it the result of the monsters’ own ideas? Or is it the neglect and disgust that was given to the monster by Victor. 

I compare the monster to a child, beginning to learn the ways of the world starting at nothing. Victor immediately left after the creation of the monster and this may have affected the monster’s views and choices it made later. We will start with the monster’s social abilities. “Many neglected children feel unworthy to interact with peers, may isolate themselves and may encounter peer rejection.” (Lowenthal, 1996, p. 22). This explains the monster’s isolation towards all, as it does not make contact with other humans. 

Next, we will look at the monster’s crime spurt where it murders a span of people. Many studies have been conducted child negligence and crime, seeing if they are linked. “Abused or neglected children are more likely to be arrested as both juveniles and as adults.” this shows that the monsters murders could be linked to the neglect he was showed by Victor. The monster swore he would go after Victor’s family. This is another result of abandonment. 

The monster asks for a companion in later chapters. I feel that at this point, the monster is in desperate need of companionship that he even threatens to attack Victor’s family, so the monster has someone to be with instead of being feared or shooed away all the time. It is a cry for help, now that Victor has completely abandoned the monster it needs someone or something to care about him.  

On victors wedding night, the monster kills Victor’s new bride, Elisabeth. This is a revengeful act against Victor from the monster, as if to give him a taste of his own medicine. Victors bride, the one person who is supposed to love and care for him is now gone, just like how Victor was supposed to love and care for the monster and left. If Victor had just stayed to care and teach his own creation, he could have avoided the death of his family members and those who care about him.  

I think that Victor caused the monsters actions throughout the book. It is possible that the neglect had nothing to do with the monster’s actions, and it was just truly evil, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Linking it to real world experiences shows that victors neglect and maltreatment is just like real world children who are thrown to the side and forgotten about. People have needs and when they are not met can be damaging and hurtful to everyone around them. All it takes is to love and care for your creations and you will see them grow and learn instead of hate and destroy.



“Child Neglect.” Child Abuse: Effects, Statistics, Types and Stories of Abuse,




After the first blog post I made, I continued to read the book through chapters 8-16. As the book progresses, my theory has been given more ideas to prove it is true. 

Justine’s Murder

Beginning in chapter eight, the blame of Williams murder is put on Justine. If it truly was victor who murdered William, my thought is that victor had to cover it up somehow to save himself, to make sure his dark side was not known to the rest of civilization. Victor must have set Justine up, hence why he did not speak up when he could have saved her. Victor is filled with guilt after Justine confesses to the crime and is soon then executed, allowing me to believe that it was victor, again saving himself so his evil side is not discovered. 

In chapter nine, victors guilt begins to eat him alive. I find a line from the book particularly interesting. “I wandered like an evil spirit, for I had committed deeds of mischief beyond description” (Shelley, 101). The part about the evil spirit stands out to me, as if victor refers to his dark side as an “evil spirit”. I also think that a deed of mischief beyond description better characterizes a murder than a cover up don’t you think?  

A Battle With Himself

In chapter ten, victor is alone in the mountains. All the problems and contradictions victor was faced with were, “subdued and tranquillized” (Shelley, 199). The setting and the feeling of loneliness could affect a person’s mood. “All of soul- inspiriting fled with sleep, and dark melancholy clouded every thought. The rain was pouring in torrents, and thick mists hid the summits of the mountains.” (shelley, 200). This shows when victor awoke, all his problems were back, and then he comes filled with rage and encounters his evil side, face to face. I believe that the setting may have affected victor’s mindset, allowing him to reach the point of insanity bouncing back and forth with his dark side and normal side to make him believe he is talking to the monster. The line “advancing towards me with superhuman speed.” (pg 112). shows how quickly he is maneuvering through his sides as if he is trapped in-between him. I find this whole conversation a way of victor attempting to rid of his evil side and explain how it has ruined his life.  it is almost as if victor is confronting it. Another line I find important is “’Begone! I will not hear you. There can be no community between you and me; we are enemies. Begone, or let us try our strength in a fight, in which one must fall.’” (Shelley 114). In the book it is said the monster says these lines but I think it is better explained as that victor has two sides. An evil side and a good side. Victor is in a battle with his evil side but there can be only one winner.


Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft. Frankenstein. Signet Classic Books, 2000.



I have a theory. You may think I’m crazy, but in my head, everything works out. My theory is that victor had a dark twisted side. He may have been going through a depression. He worked continuously trying to chase his studies on the creation of life. He started as a young boy, interested in science and the creation of life, but his passion consumes him, making it the most important thing in his life, giving everyone and everything up to pursue it. I believe the creation of the monster was in fact, a hidden representation of his dark, depressed side, which was unlocked when he created the “monster”. 


I find victor’s fear of the monster another clue. He tries his best to escape it, but always finds a way back into his life. I think that this is a way of Mary Shelly showing victor’s fear of his dark side, and how since “the monster” continuously makes its way into victor’s life, it is indeed him. The death of victor’s brother is another clear example. “the monster” only has one victim (so far) which is William. I find it strange that the monster kills someone in victor’s family, that victor knows well, and not a random stranger? I think that victor killed William, and when victor is on the scene, he sees the monster in the shadows, another clue of his dark side showing and making rational decisions for him. In our mental health unit, I learned about depression after reading Girl interrupted, and a serious symptom of depression is making rational decisions so victor must have been clouded and killed him. 

Final Thoughts

My theory about victor could be true. Not knowing what happens through the rest of the book makes it difficult to fully know if I am correct and complete my theory. As I continue to read, I will attempt to provide more clues and evidence to ensure you that this thought is correct. If what I have come up with is correct, then I think Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein is one of the most well written and the best hidden message I have read before.

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