“Remember that I am thy creature; I ought to be they Adam, but I am rather the fallen angel. Whom thou drive from joy for no misdeed. Everywhere I see bliss, from which I alone am irrevocably excluded…” (87)
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley has been an American classic for almost 200 years, which contains both philosophical and moral themes in the text, making the reader question the limits of humankind and its desire for power. For every character presented in the story their independent desire to overcome their intentions becomes so intense that the future that lies upon them is nothing close to what they can imagine. Victor Frankenstein´s desire to quench his thirst for power ends up clouding his judgement and making him elude the future that awaits him.
Throughout Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, the reader is torn between the forces of good and evil, as well as which characters represent which force. Perhaps the most masterful element of this novel is conveying how an individual can not be judged as wholly good or evil, and how having elements of both traits greatly forms the human experience. By using the motifs of light and dark to represent the positives and negatives of humanity, Mary Shelley is able to effectively convey character traits, depict transitions of good and evil within characters, and employ haunting symbolism and imagery into the novel and transform it into a literary masterpiece.
Over the past century, Frankenstein has been analyzed and interpreted in seemingly infinite different forms of literature, film, and television shows. Once solely recognized as the story about a brilliant scientist who creates a creature in whom he regrets making after the creature turns out ugly, Frankenstein now represents an internationally recognized and commercialized pop culture symbol for Halloween decorations and costumes. When analyzing and appreciating the true literary essence behind Mary Shelley’s original Frankenstein, one of the most important comparisons to consider remains the underlying influences behind the Creature’s immoral actions and whether or not the blame for these actions belong to Victor or the Creature.
In the novel, Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley, the two main characters, Victor Frankenstein and his creature, both display a sense of moral ambiguity. Each character has committed both good and evil alike, and neither knew the consequences of what they had done. However, Victor Frankenstein is generally the morally ambiguous character by his treatment of his creation and his own imperious personality. He wanted to be able to help science by recreating life or bringing it back, but at the same time, he did not want to consider the consequences of doing so.
This brings us back to Frankenstein, Victor 's relationship with his parents friend, and Elizabeth translated by good words, Shelley uses quotes to emphasize the importance of human relationships (especially, family 's relationship) and how important they are to a person 's well-being “My children, my firmest hopes of future happiness were placed on the prospect of your union. This expectation will now be the consolation of your father. Elizabeth, my love, you must supply my place to my younger children. Alas! I regret that I am taken from you; and, happy and beloved as I have been, is it not hard to quit you all? But these are not thoughts befitting me; I will endeavour to resign myself cheerfully to death, and will indulge a hope of meeting you in another world”(24).
The novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley says a person is responsible for their actions if they do not weigh the possible consequences of their actions before making their final decision. Throughout the novel, Mary Shelley shows the consequences of actions that are done without proper thought beforehand. Victor Frankenstein wants to create life, he wants to be god, and his lust for this goal overtakes his common sense. Victor rushes into making his creature and then makes rash decisions which also contributes to his demise and the death of several of his close friends and family. The monster should be held responsible for his actions to a certain extent, however, his actions are influenced by Victor’s initial impetuous decisions. Mary Shelley shows this burden of responsibility throughout the book by continually showing the reader how much Victor’s unthoughtful actions affect his future, and how he copes with the results.
A timeless human goal has always been to set visionary goals to advance the coming generations. Although many results can be successful, a great number of them can turn out deadly. In the novel, Frankenstein, Mary Shelley illustrates the result of a man’s visionary motive of creating life, which consequents into the birth of the deadly creature. The creatures understanding of justice is based on eliminating anyone or anything preventing him from reaching his goal; accordingly, his actions to attempt revenge upon Victor only led to his downfall throughout the novel. The creature’s understanding of justice and it’s revenge against Victor is the driving force of the story because it builds up the anticipation the reader has for the final confrontation.
Shelley’s novel encompasses the unknown and how ambition drove Victor’s passions, ultimately leading him to the tragic end with many other bumps in the road along the way. As Victor had been in the study of life and its cause, the death of his mother had catalyzed a movement of grief which had started, “…depriv[ing him]self of rest and health. [Which he] had desired it with an ardour that far exceeded moderation…” (Shelley 35). Even though he knew that he had been raiding graveyards, Victor believed that he created the body with the ‘finest body parts’ available. However, upon realizing had created an abomination as he finished, he flees, “…now that I had finished, the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart” (Shelley 35). After a long and grueling process, Frankenstein regarded the creature as horrid, malicious, heartless, inhuman, and uncouth – simply, a monster. He wanted to create life so bad that it became an obsession for him as he would go to any extreme to reach his goal. Furthering such a point could be the poignant example of the fallen angel, who had decided that he wanted to be more than a ‘special angel’ – he wanted to be God. As a result, Victor had succeeded in creating a baby in a man’s body, while leaving it to fend for itself without recognizing
The term victim describes anyone who suffers as a result of one or multiple unfortunate incidents. In Frankenstein, Mary Shelley portrays a number of different characters as potential victims, in particular: the creature, and Dr. Frankenstein. The similarities among the two in initial experiences create difficulty in labelling one as the true victim. However, as the story progresses, it is evident that the creature is able to overcome his fate of victimization by actively responding to his unsuccessful experiences. Whereas, Dr. Frankenstein suffers as a victim due to his cowardly reaction to his misfortunes. In the novel, Dr. Frankenstein is believed to be the true victim of the
Victor questions why men so instinctively attempt to become superior to nature when men are also a product of nature. He criticizes that if humans reverted to our primal instincts, “hunger, thirst, and desire” (67) that we’d be free, or content with our lives. This is his subliminal self-reflection as he understands that seeking the secret to life, by creating the monster, did not bring him happiness but rather brought him misery and self-loathing. In this last line of the passage, Shelley highlights a major morale and theme of the story which is using science to tamper with nature, a critique against the enlightenment period. The consequences of Frankenstein’s creation have not only caused the death of William and Justine but will also become the reason for his own inevitable doom
Duality is shown in Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein, a gothic tale of a scientist whom looks to advance the life-giving qualities of mother nature. Through this novel, Shelley proves that good and evil in human nature is not always simple to define, and that everyone has both of these qualities within them. The duality of human nature is shown through the characters of Victor Frankenstein and his monster, who are both heroes in the novel while simultaneously displaying anti-hero qualities. Shelley forces the reader to sympathize with them both but also creates gruesome ideas of the two.
Both characters seem to strongly despise one another yet they both also despise themselves for their wrong and disastrous actions. The vivid similarities between these characters is driven by their isolation from paternal figures and society. In pursuit of his scientific studies, Victor admits that he “seemed to have lost all soul or sensation but for this one pursuit" (Shelley 38). Not only are the two characters both subjugated from society through their own personal choice, but they also share interest in the mysteries of the natural world. They both admire nature for its serenity and beauty. For example, when the Monster was exposed to a peaceful natural setting he states: “my [the Monsters] spirits were elevated by the enchanting appearance of nature; the past was blotted from my memory, the present was tranquil, and the future glided by bright rays of hope and anticipations of joy” (Shelley 101). Another common interest between these two seemingly contradicting characters is their strong love of knowledge. Although their love for knowledge is obvious, their inability to control their obsession with it often results in something negative. Victor becomes obsessed with science and studying life. His obsession leads to the creation of the Monster, his biggest mistake. On the other hand, the Monster becomes obsessed with humans.
In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, a conflict as old as life itself emerges as the story progresses; parent versus posterity in a struggle for reconciliation.Victor Frankenstein and his creation become tied up in a constant battle as the creation seeks his origins, finding a horrifying truth; the creator had abandoned the creation. This central conflict derives from the creation of the creature, inability of Frankenstein to appreciate his creation, and the creation’s need for a parental figure. The conflict addresses themes of the book such as human desires for prestige, acceptance, and the intimacy of a relationship with one’s creator. Not only does Shelley capture the resentful conflict between a father and his “son”, but she derives this conflict from her own rebellious battle against her father.
Victor Frankenstein, blinded by ambition or driven by madness? In Frankenstein, Mary Shelley embodies a cloud of characteristics that follow Victor along for the entirety of the novel. As a young scholar, Victor was driven to invest in his interests of chemistry and science. Hence, Victor soon became enamored with the ideas that lie in between life and death. Further pondering led Victor to become obsessed with the idea of bringing inanimate objects to life. The death of his mother leads Victor into denial. As a result of his mother 's death, Victor’s emotions falsely lead him to believe that he could have some control over the fate of peoples lives. Thus, Victor’s beliefs soon equated to a set of rules that he himself must follow. Consequently,