The basis of the article includes the two opposing attitudes in the characters, Walton and Victor, in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. The differing beliefs are Free Will and Fate; Walton believing in free will and Victor in fate. John Reed’s article, “Will and Fate in Frankenstein”, argues the true theme of the novel, not just being of human will, but rather about self-enslavement. Reed believes that “while its ostensible subject is the pursuit of knowledge, its real concern is human ignorance and folly”, meaning that Frankenstein is full of oblivious human impulses. Through Walton, Victor, and the Monster Reed explains his thesis not through mere plot summary, but uses of allusions made, evidence, and character analysis producing his argument thoroughly.
"Believe me, Frankenstein, I was benevolent; my soul glowed with love and humanity; but am I not alone, miserably alone?" (M. Shelly 114). Therefore the daemon's nature must be loving and compassionate, but because he experienced a lack of nurturing, that he was expecting to receive from his creator, Frankenstein, this then caused the daemon to be monstrous and seek revenge upon his creator; therefore Frankenstein's pain was a result of his own failures. The character of Frankenstein argues that both nature and nurture influences the behavior of people through his actions against his very own monster and in turn the effect of those actions on himself. Frankenstein left the monster alone, and the monster reacted for seeking that Frankenstein should feel just as much loneliness and woe and he did by killing off his entire family.
Responsibility is the state or fact of having a duty to deal with something or of having control over someone. In the novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, the reader finds many examples of the importance, need, and especially lack of responsibility with characters like Victor and the monster. A reader of Frankenstein sees multifarious examples of Shelley’s theme of the dangers in not taking responsibility even today in the real world. In the novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, Shelley’s portrayal of Victor as selfish suggests that not taking responsibility can lead to pain, death, and the suffering of others as we see in the novel which relates to today's society of powerful countries not taking responsibility for the weapons that they create, and the damage that is revealed as a result. Characters in Frankenstein not taking responsibility show the reader the potential dangers of pain and death in numerous situations in the novel.
In Frankenstein, Victor asks Walton for a favor as he lies on his deathbed saying, “I asked you to undertake my unfinished work; and I renew this request now, when I am only induced by reason and virtue” (157). Shelley repeatedly uses the root word “un” in the words “undertake” and “unfinished”, as the root of both words means not, directly contradicting Victor’s claim that he is “only induced by reason and virtue”. Just as Satan is notorious for being deceptive, Victor also uses deception to his advantage in an attempt to convince Walton to carry out his revenge against the Creature after he dies. Victor’s trickery is very similar to Satan’s plan to tempt Adam and Eve into pursuing knowledge. He sneaks into the Garden of Eden disguised as a snake, a creature with a reputation for being notorious trickster who uses deceptive language to play tricks on humans.
Do you share my madness?” (Shelley 28). After everything he went through, Victor still thought that the quest for knowledge was worth the death of his entire family because male identity is tied to his romanticized quest, “Do not return to your families with the stigma of disgrace marked on your brows.” (215). We must ask, what shifts Victor’s purpose from a warning to a doubling down on his male hubris? In part, it is a refutation on his own feminine nature. His inability to except feminine qualities within himself causes him to fail at caring for his creation, to separate himself from the domestic life, and to view femininity as a
He holds himself above humanity at this point, like Victor, and this gall is completely unwarranted. The creature later is so filled with prideful rage at Frankenstein to the point where he did not even consider the consequences of his revenge. “I may die, but first you, my tyrant and tormentor, shall curse the sun that gazes on your misery. Beware, for I am fearless and therefore powerful” (182). The abomination succeeded in ruining Victor’s live, but in doing so committed multiple accounts of murder.
Victor’s actions show us that he despised his creation. What he didn’t realize was that his actions in trying to carry out his plan, were actually killing him slowly, because he was not capable of fulfilling this knowledge correctly. Towards the end of the novel, the only thing Victor cared about was getting revenge on his creation for killing his loved ones. Victor stated, “I was hurried away by fury; revenge alone endowed me with strength and composure; it molded my feeling… otherwise delirium or death would have been my portion.” The only thing keeping Victor from dying was getting revenge. It controlled him, and that’s what made him a monster.
In Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, the main character Victor tends to show flickers of his own monster in his personality, leading the reader to believe they are one in the same. Victor may not outwardly portray his monster but his emotions and desires line up with that of the monsters actions. The anger Victor and the monster share brought about by society are traits of this deep emotional bond they have. A literary doppelganger best describes the two being, meaning a Victor's monster is another version of himself. The Creature is Victor's inner most emotions, those that are often hidden due to society's expectations; this madness is brought to the surface through the monster.
His quest for absolute knowledge and power will eventually end his own ruin. Frankenstein created a Creature that later resented him for his creation. The unnamed Creature believes that Frankenstein should have to pay for the damage he has done. The Creature and Frankenstein develop a contrasting relationship throughout the novel and end in somewhat compassionate relationship. Frankenstein created a Creature out of recycled parts which resulted in the creature not being highly appealing.
Rousseau’s perception of gender roles, mans inherently good nature, the study of sciences and amour-propre appear in Mary Shelley 's Frankenstein from her character portrayal. Shelley depicts the invention of a creature that defies scientific boundaries and whose presence shocks its creator. Since Victor refuses to understand what he created, he abandons the new found life out of utter confusion and shock. The creature lives and travels and eventually discovers other individuals that ultimately lead him to acquire a malicious nature. The creature assimilates with others corruption and Shelley utilizes this to show an individual 's power over one 's thoughts and views of themself.
He is also seeking revenge on Frankenstein by threatening him to choose between complying with his demands or letting your family die. Furthermore, the theme of light/dark is present in both as in Othello, Iago says that he will turn Desdemona’s king act into something evil and dark. The contrast between light and dark is shown as Desdemona’s good deed is the light and way Iago will portray it to Othello is the dark. Similarly in Frankenstein, the light dark imagery is present, although not as evident, in that the way the creature communicates to Frankenstein is somewhat light, as he is talking in a calm and reasonable manner. The darkness is shown when he threatens Frankenstein with the ultimatum, comply with my demands or he will kill all of Frankenstein’s friends and