character and nature of Frankenstein's creation, the monster. It aims to study the potential nature of the monster's evil deeds and to provide readers with understanding of the monster's "being" as told in the story. Being the creator of the monster, this paper also looks into the nature of Victor Frankenstein having to be able to create a monster that haunted his family, friends, and even his own life.
Mary Shelley's novel, Frankenstein, shows how humans tend to be influenced by the major factors in their lives, such as people and the environment that they are living in. The novel shows how constant rejection can cause someone to become a monster. It also stresses an idea of human injustice towards outsiders, as the monster experienced from humans.
Throughout this paper, I will attempt to point out some factors in the story that made the two characters, Frankenstein and his creation, the "being" that they are. The following pages aim to answer questions such as "Is the monster really an evil himself?," "Where does his evil come from?," "What are the monster's characteristics?," and "Is Frankenstein responsible for his creation's evil deeds?."
One main idea of the novel undoubtedly affords scope for the display of imagination and fancy as well as knowledge and feelings of the human heart. The author, Mary Shelley, has not neglected the opportunities of presenting this idea through the characters of Frankenstein and the monster he created, although, the fact that the monster is not actually human by laws of nature.
ANALYSIS OF VICTOR FRANKENSTEIN'S CHARACTER
To discover whether Victor Frankenstein bears responsibility over what happened to him and to his creation, the following paragraphs analyze Victor's human nature.
Victor Frankenstein's an ideal character to analyze, what he's natures are and his interactions on people surrounding him and the society in general.
Victor is the main character of the story. He is the curious young science major who eventually finds the secret of life. Victor comes from an ideal world that includes his dutiful father, perfect mother, ideal mate Elizabeth, and best friend Clerval. He is gifted with knowledge and yet he is isolated from the others even before his creation takes place and even before his mother dies. In the novel's introduction, Victor, as an only child, has the affections of his mother. His only competition for this affection however is his father. This perhaps leads him to unconsciously hate the father figure. In Victors eyes, his mother is perfect in every way and she is all his. And yet, in the introduction, it can be found that his mother really wants a girl. So when Elizabeth is brought into the family, Victor dotes on her like a big brother would but only to control her because he cannot control his mother's affections for just himself.
When Victor's mother died, so did the ideal woman for Victor. And to make matters worse, he blames the girl who is to be his future mate for the death of his mother, therefore destroying Elizabeth from ever completing the natural cycle of taking his mothers place in his life. After Victors mother died, he left to go to the university and left for the last time the "normal" world. At the university, Victor avoids the normal activities. Instead, he prefers to try and recreate in his own image his perfect mother. It can be assumed that not only does Victor want to bring his mother back in some form but to become her and therefore become the perfect person. The way that he does this is to give birth to a creation. Victor goes through the labors of childbirth trying to conceive that perfect person who his mother never had but through her in his body he will create. Victor creates a male creature instead of a female one because he is not trying to recreate his mother. He has now become the mother. And so, he is attempting to create the perfect child who would naturally be male, because to Victor women are inferior to men. For Victor, any woman is his dead mother and this also establishes why he can never think of Elizabeth in erotic ideal. All of the women including Elizabeth are dead to him. Victor finally creates the monster and he comes alive. All of Victor's worst fears are realized that he is not and will never be perfect, and is therefore unable to create the perfect being. The monster takes on the form of all of Victor's worst qualities and this is too much for Victor to handle. The monster is like a reflection of Victor's other self, the unconscious self that is hidden. Victor's failure in creating the monster is another failure in control for him. He begins to place the blame on the other people in his life. So when Victors other self, the monster, starts to kill the members of his family and close friends, this is a way to punish them for the unfulfilled love that his mother could not give him and that he sees as they played a part in taking away the mothers love from him. It can be hypothesized that Victor's unconscious self was the monster, and perhaps, the monster only existed in the mind of Victor as a way to control the horror of what he himself really wanted to do but in the civilized world could not. And so, he created a creature. (Brasier, Keri. Psychoanalytical Panel.) Unintentionally to Victor, he and his creature have similarities in their beings. "There is a curious solitude of Victor and the monster, neither of which can ever belong to a family; their utter incapacity to communicate their situation with anyone else."
Collings, David. The Monster and the Imaginary Mother.)
THE "BEING" OF THE MONSTER
Frankstein's creation is the villain of the book, at least according to Victor. However, his narration can force a reader to feel at least some pity for his creation. The monster is the true outcast of society, and though he has the intelligence of man, he isn't allowed into society. Many times, the monster attempted to gain the favor of humans, but he was not successful in doing so. To take out his anger and misery on mankind, particularly his creator Victor, he carried out his vengeance. The monster kills Victor's closest friends and family, and ultimately makes sure that Frankenstein is dead himself.
The monster himself is a metaphor for Victor's life in many ways. Frankenstein's monster is indeed an outcast -- he doesn't belong in human society. Yet the monster's alienation from society, his unfulfilled desire for a companion with whom to share his life, and his ongoing struggle for revenge, are all shared by his creator. Victor becomes increasingly like his creation, as the story develops. Both lived in relative isolation from society, both hate their own miserable lives, and both know suffering. The monster laments over man's cruelty to those who are different.
THE EVIL THAT WAS THE MONSTER
The monster was not monstrous inside.
In the novel, the creature grows up feeling alienated and unwanted in society. These cultural influences, along with his constant rejection drive the creature to become a true monster and to cause the damage that he does. The monster is created with a gentle and playful spirit, but through cultural influences it changes into a destructive and violent demon. When the creature first comes to life it glares up at its creator only to see his terror and disgust. As Doctor Frankenstein's monster came to life "the beauty of the dream vanished." He no longer loved his creation or what he was doing. Instead of caring for the monster by raising it and helping it, he abandoned it. During the night of the monster's creation, he visited the doctor at his bed. As the creature stared at his creator "His jaws opened, and he muttered some inarticulate sounds, while a grin wrinkled his cheeks." When the monster first comes to life he is infantile and stupid, and does not have the evil intention that he has later in the novel. As he looks into the face of his creator he feels the same joy and warmth that a newborn baby does as it looks into its mothers eyes. Through being rejected and forced into a life apart from people, the creature becomes a monster. The creature becomes violent and destructive after constant alienation from society.
Mark Edmundson describes this in his essay when he writes, "The creature begins life as a surpassingly sensitive being, a Rousseauian child of nature. It's only after being repeatedly humiliated, rebuffed, and mistreated by humanity in general and his maker in particular that the creature runs amok." The creature does not enter the world with any of the thoughts and motives of the people from which he was created. On the contrary he is ignorant and gentle and does not even know that he is disgusting.…