Good And Evil In Frankenstein

745 Words3 Pages
Who is less human, the bloodthirsty murderer, or his creator? Who deserves pity more, the one tormented by his own design or the one doomed to live in a world that despises him? Which trait is more despicable in excess, fear or anger? Who should be feared more, someone just learning of humanity or someone brilliant? In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, these questions are explored through the characters of Victor Frankenstein and his creation, how society sees good and evil, and the overarching question of what being a human truly means.
Victor Frankenstein’s character at first may seem like a typical hero--he is intelligent, a respected figure in the society of the time, and, perhaps most important: he is completely driven by hubris and desire
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On the other hand, the antagonist, his monster, is first seen as Frankenstein sees him, hideously terrifying, but, as the reader gathers more information on how he came to learn of society and humankind, he can be more easily understood, and even pitied. In reversing the roles of these two, Shelley shows the reader that even the most brilliant humans can be monstrous, and, oppositely, the most horrifying creatures can have humane aspects. She rails against notions of “good” and “evil” in proving that inherently good intentions can result in destructive actions. As Shelley plays with traditional archetypes, Frankenstein shows the reader that not all devils are inherently bad. Perhaps Frankenstein is the true hero, as he scrambles across Europe to put an end to the terror he believes he’s created. Perhaps his monster is truly that--a monster, as he stops at nothing to revenge his creator. But perhaps the roles are switched, and the creature Frankenstein has created is rational in his anger with the monster who gave him his wretched life. Had Frankenstein’s excessive hubris not clouded his vision, he could have clearly seen the downfall in his creation, and the human turned monster would not have been driven insane by the monster turned
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