Victor's Narcissism In Frankenstein

1831 Words8 Pages
A good monster is never human or inhuman. Monsters serve as cautionary tales about the consequences of reckless abandon, and far more often than appearing as metaphysical beings, their true form is an idea. When children check under their beds and inside of their closets for a pair of yellow eyes and a toothy grin, they do not dispel any physical entity. Instead, they dispel the unknown. Similarly, in Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein, Victor Frankenstein grapples not with a physical entity, but his own personality flaws. His weakness and self-absorbance spur him to create The Creature, intended to cement his fate as a renowned scientist in the world’s history books, and this blind ambition makes him unable to acknowledge the implications of…show more content…
Firstly, The Creature embodies all of Frankenstein’s rash thinking because in all of his months toiling over its every detail, he never considered what society’s perception of The Creature would be and how this would affect The Creature in return. Irving Malin, author of New American Gothic, describes the quintessential gothic character as one who loves others in an attempt to strengthen his own self-concept, and who consequentially demands those he loves to mirror his passions and musings. In all-consuming narcissism, this character uses love as a crutch for success and an opportunity to “create order out of chaos [and] strength out of weakness,” unwilling or unable to see the actual consequences of his actions (Malin, 5). So Frankenstein does with the creation of The Creature, as he describes the physical experience of awakening his being with all of the candor of a young God. In an emotional frenzy, he curses the weakness of decomposing men and attempts to create a stronger version that can withstand the undeniable compulsion of nature’s hourglass. However, according to Laurence M. Porter, as soon as Frankenstein actually succeeds in his goal, he “at some moments rejects his creature with horror and at others recognizes it as a sort of double,” both terrified and enthralled by its unnatural implications. However, Frankenstein’s shortsighted response to The Creature cause his failure to predict The Creature’s wrath and his narcissism causes his failure to prevent it. To illustrate, he cannot work up the courage to admit his indirect responsibility for his brother’s murder, instead allowing innocent Justine to take the fall, showing how his narcissism further accelerates the disintegration of his family. Instead of concerning himself with
Open Document