Maker's Responsibility In Frankenstein Essay

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Mary Wolstencraft Shelley’s gothic novel Frankenstein raises the question of a maker’s responsibility for their creation’s actions. While Frankenstein himself is responsible for the creation of his monster, the creation quickly develops a moral understanding of the world, yet chooses to ignore it. He picks and chooses his moments of violence with malice against those that he believes have wronged him. The creation is fully aware of his actions and their consequences on others and still chooses to ignore them and kill, harm, and torment people. The creation’s actions of cruelty are ones in which he is solely culpable because he became knowledgable about right and wrong before he committed his heinous crimes and then went on to cruelly harm humans, …show more content…

In a threat to Frankenstein, the monster declared that “hence-forth” revenge will be “dearer than light or food,” that is “fearless and powerful,” and that he will “watch with the willness of a snake” with sinister intentions (Shelley, 1818, pgs. 205 & 206). These threats were made not only as a premonition, but to trap Frankenstein in a constant state of suspense for what might happen to those he loves at the whim of his dreaded creation. The monster made a promise to Frankenstein that he would “be with [him] on [his] wedding-night,” after he was deprived of a partner (Shelley, 1818, pg. 206). This threat was yet another way to ensure that Frankenstein would think of him constantly in fear of what he would do. Frankenstein’s state of discomfort and fear was satisfying to the monster and he rationalized it as worth the effort it took him to maintain his presence in Frankenstein’s …show more content…

This argument can be countered, however, by drawing attention to the fact that the monster had developed a sense and semblance of humanity before committing any crimes. When the creation is talking to Frankenstein about his experiences, he recounts that while observing the DeLacey’s, he saw “benevolence and generosity” present in the people before him, so much so that he developed “a desire to become an actor” within society (Shelley, 1818, pg. 151). He has an understanding even early on in his stay in the forest of the good of humanity that he developed without the help of Frankenstein, to the extent that it even compels him to join the people before him. After finding and reading Plutarch’s Lives, the monster developed not only “an ardour for virtue,” but also an “abhorrence for vice,” as well as beginning to “admire peacable lawgivers,” which would each imply a sound mind that developed to coincide with the ideals of man (Shelley, 1818, pg. 153). Although it is true that Frankenstein was unwise in abandoning the creation before showing him compassion, the creation came to conclusions aligning with people without his help, and then he defied

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