Frankenstein: Hero or Villain
(A Discussion of Victor Frankenstein as Either Hero or Villain) Throughout history, many pieces of literature have been composed that tell the tales of various heroes and villains. Oftentimes, it is quite clear which characters are heroes and which characters are classified as villains. However, there are also several texts that have characters that can be argued as appearing in either category of characters. Oftentimes, these borderline characters play minor roles in the story line. However, in Mary Shelley’s novel, Frankenstein, the main character, Victor Frankenstein, can appear to certain readers as both hero and villain. There are several scenarios throughout the novel that point to Victor Frankenstein as …show more content…
Victor Frankenstein worked for two long years to create life from a lifeless form, which, before obtaining life, he believed to be beautiful. However, once he saw the monster's eyes open, he began to see the hideousness of the monster. After this, he fled his operating room and paced wildly in his bedroom, trying to think of what to do. “For this I had deprived myself of rest and health. I had desired it with an ardour that far exceeded moderation; but now that I had finished, the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart”(Chapter 5 pg 42). In this excerpt, Victor Frankenstein explains how he had yearned for this moment for two years, but when his dream came true, he was filled with horror and disgust. When this happened, he eventually came to the conclusion that it would be better to abandon the monster all together. However, in doing so, he filled the monster with hate, which led to many deaths committed by the monster. Due to this, it is easy to trace the monster's actions back to Victor Frankenstein, classifying him as a …show more content…
“Could he be (I shuddered at the conception) the murderer of my brother? No sooner did that idea cross my imagination, than I became convinced of its truth;”(Chapter 7 pg 59). At this moment, Victor Frankenstein realizes that his creation is responsible for the death of his little brother, William. However, even with this information, he fails to speak up and save Justine from execution. He stands idly by when Justine offers a false confession for she fears she will go to Hell if she does not. Due to this, Victor Frankenstein can be seen as a villain in Mary Shelley’s text,
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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. When exploring the dichotomy of the Creature versus Victor Frankenstein, one of the biggest and most widely debated questions remains whether Victor should be blamed for the Creature’s destructive actions or if the Creature should be considered guilty for his actions based off of his own free will. Many consider Victor Frankenstein the villain of the story due to his repetitive decisions to abandon and avoid his own “mistake,” the irresponsible choice of creating the monster in the first place, and his obvious negligence of the Creature’s feelings.
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. Victor tries to prove himself as a good moral character in the relationship between his creation and himself.
When the monster he made “grasped his brother's throat to silence him, and in a moment he lay dead” at the monster's feet (171). Having his own creation kill his own brother because of its anger towards him will make any person feel guilty, since it was him who created it. This led to Justine, who is innocent and accused of William’s murder, being executed. Not only his brother died, but because of his selfishness, another innocent person died from Victor’s choice. Anyone with this event happening to them will feel the guilt from a bad decision.
The Dangers Of Responsibility Responsibility is the state or fact of having a duty to deal with something or of having control over someone. Responsibility is something that every human needs. A lack of responsibility can be harmful to the person and the people around them and a plethora of responsibility can change a person 's life. 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 the reader sees 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.
In Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley, it scrutinizes the punishments when a man creates life, and plays the role of God. Victor Frankenstein, is at fault for the creature’s actions. Victor was looking for some honor and triumph, but when he accomplished his experiment, not only did it bring terror to Victor, but to the whole world. The monster never learned right from wrong and was never raised correctly, his first moment of life, all he experienced was the fear in Victor's emotion, and was abandoned right from the start. Victor selfishly isolated himself from society and ran away from his responsibilities which caused destruction to the people Victor cared for and loved deeply.
Shelley describes the morning after Frankenstein creates the monster and runs away- "Morning, dismal and wet, at length dawned, and discovered to my sleepless and aching eyes the church of Ingolstadt…”. This dreary scene adequately depicts Victor’s miserable, downcast feeling toward the ugly monster he has just created. Shelley also uses the imagery element to bring into view Frankenstein’s painful emotions over the result of his creation. Immediately following the verdict of Justine’s death, a deep feeling of remorse washes over Frankenstein. "The blood flowed freely in my veins, but a weight of despair and remorse pressed on my heart, which nothing could remove.
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.
Character Foils: Victor and The Monster Often in a literary work, authors use minor characters to emphasize specific traits and characteristics of a main character. In Mary Shelley’s best selling novel Frankenstein, the monster is a minor reflection of Victor Frankenstein. Victor’s personality traits from when he was a child, and as an adult, are carried over and placed into his creation unintentionally by Victor himself.
Mary Shelley shows the endless amount of revenge and that it is driven by pure hatred and rage. The monster was not created to be vengeful, he was kind hearted but when he was poorly treated by Victor and then by the Delacey family, he turned cold. In her novel Frankenstein, Mary Shelley displays the immorality and destructive effects that revenge can have through Frankenstein and his pursuit of the creature. Immediately after the monster had awoken, hatred thickened and would drive the plot to be all about revenge. The creature illustrates this hatred as he says to Victor, “Everything is related in them which bears reference to my accursed origin; the whole detail of that series of disgusting circumstances which produced it is set in view;
Victor Frankenstein turns away from his responsibilities by ignoring the existence of his creation. Throughout the novel, Victor is constantly running away from the monster and not giving him attention, which resulted in the monsters change of personalities. For example, in page 71 the creation said, “All men hate the wretched; how must I be hated, who am miserable beyond all living things! Yet you, my creator, detest and spurn me, thy creature, to whom thou art bound by ties only dissoluble by the annihilation of one of us.” This quote suggests that because of the ignorance of Victor the monster began to become evil and have the urge to seek
Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein, shows how a character who is portrayed as a tragic hero, in the beginning, can become the monster in the end. Victor and the Monster in Mary Shelley’s captivating novel showed how rival enemies share striking similarities. The similarities between the two tragic characters are driven by their dreary isolation from the secluded world. A large difference is that they were both raised in two completely different environments but understood the meaning of isolation. Physical differences are more noticeable rather than their personalities.
Victor Frankenstein the main character in Frankenstein was going through depression, bipolar, and anxiety throughout the story because things in his life were going terrible for him. Victor never had a happy moment in his life after the creation of his monster. Once the monster became angry he tried controlling Victor into creating a love for him. Victor didn’t want to because he was afraid that he would create a violent species and they would take over. After the monster found out he wasn’t doing it, the monster wanted to kill Victors loved ones and not Victor.
Knowledge can be Blessings and Curse A teenage girl Mary Shelly wrote Frankenstein in the 18th century. A Gothic novel Frankenstein deals with two genres, Gothicism and science fiction. Victor, one of Mary Shelly’s characters represents man’s pursuit of knowledge which ultimately leads towards the path of destruction while another character Robert Walton implemented his knowledge wisely to get benefits for the society. Mary is indicating to the society that mankind has to pay full attention to science and scientific innovations in order to avoid the catastrophic events due to misuse of knowledge.
Readers can conclude that Victor Frankenstein is the actual monster in Frankenstein because of how he views himself, how he creates destruction, and how he destroys himself. Many people characterize themselves as being a monster because of their self-image. Readers can deduce that Victor thinks he is a gruesome individual because of what creates. Even though he is not at fault, he blames himself for every atrocious act that his creation carries out. Additionally, Frankenstein permits readers to come the conclusion that Victor sees himself as being lethal and malignant.
In my opinion, Victor Frankenstein is the hero of Frankenstein. He is a tragic hero and a scientist who is obsessed with creating life from lifeless things. After Victor created the monster, he ran away. After Victor created monster, he wanted to destroy the monster as it felt it needed revenge against his creator.