The Importance Of Morality In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

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Morality is the basis on which people make their decisions every day. People have the ability to decide for themselves what is right or wrong. Since morality can be argued as being personally subjective, mental state is obviously an important factor in moral decision making. In her novel, Frankenstein, Mary Shelley uses Henry Clerval as a foil to Victor Frankenstein in order to emphasize Victor’s own mental state, and ultimately question the morality of Victor’s actions, thus highlighting how state of mind affects choices on what is morally right or wrong. One of the important functions of Henry as a foil to Victor is to highlight Victor’s state of mind in the novel. Where Henry is seen as a figure of stability, Victor is seen as a figure of instability. Through the novel the foil between these two characters makes it apparent that Victors mental state is not suited for serious decision making. Victor’s own mental state could be compared to that of a person who has a narcissistic personality disorder. He seems to hold a sense of superiority, referring to himself as the “ idol”(Shelley 27) of his parents affection, a strong need for admiration, and a penchant for grandiose fantasies, all seen in the root of his desires to create life in order to gain recognition. Victor also seems to lack empathy and want for a connection with others as seen through his self- isolation and disregard for the consequences of his actions. It is seen that Victor doesn’t connect to

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