An eye for an eye or the law of retaliation is the principle most people live their lives by. For the characters in Frankenstein, this concept is apparent as the main character, Victor, creates a monster and instantly abandons him which sets off the chain of events revolving around revenge. However, as Gandhi once stated, “an eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind” (Gandhi). Throughout the novel, the creature and Victor engage in a recurring cycle of vengeance, but these acts of revenge are bittersweet as in the end it destroys both of them. In the novel Frankenstein, Mary Shelley reveals how revenge consumes and destroys those who surrender to it.
The monster may have murdered the people but its ironic because Victor was trying to kill him. The monster points out that “you accuse me of murder, and yet you would, with a satisfied conscience, destroy your own creature” (Shelley 88). It’s easy to blame the monster for all of this, and it may look like that on the outside because he actually murdered the people but Victor has equal responsibility. Victor his creator abandoned him and left him alone in the world. The melancholy and lonely monster realized “ he too can create desolation” (Shelley 132) toward Victor.
Because the Monster was a hideous creation from Frankenstein, he was isolated and hated by his looks and behaved in an ethical manner when he began his path of vengeance. The Monster believes and mentioned several times that the reason that he is so angry is because of Victor. Shelley writes,
Discouraged and discontent, the monster gives up his quest to become acknowledged by humans. Finally, arguably the most important confrontation in the entire novel, Victor Frankenstein and his monster meet face to face and explain the causes of each other's suffering. The monster explains that it is simply his mere knowledge of his own existence that causes him great grief, "I am malicious because I am miserable. Am I not shunned and hated by all mankind? You, my creator, would tear me to pieces and triumph; remember that, and tell me why I should pity man more than he pities me?"
We must remind ourselves that there are two sides to every story. Is Beowulf the hero or just a celebrated killer? The question to be asked is, “Just because we only see the bad qualities in someone, does that make them a monster? All the townspeople have ever known is Grendel kills everyone and destroys everything. All they see is destruction and evil.
Whenever personal perceptions are developed, it has an effect on the way we treat people. Misperception by society caused the monster to behave accordingly throughout his experience as a living being. Perceptions are developed at first sight of an individual’s physical appearance, which was the cause for the monster being outcast from society. Throughout the novel the monster becomes progressively evil, and seeks revenge on all mankind. As humans we need to be mindful as to how perceptions can affect people.
This reinforces the idea that Grendel’s mother is also a monster, since put in the same position as the prior one. The two monsters, Grendel and his mother are also associated with the night as a time for action. This reinforces their animal-like behavior, and the monstrosity of their actions because they are not giving fair warning to the humans. The monstrosity of Grendel is also seen through his savagery when killing the men. He is carnivorous and feeds on human flesh.
A greedy decision by a single person can affect many people around them negatively. In Mary Shelley’s, Frankenstein, the character Victor Frankenstein demonstrates this with his egotistical behavior, lust for knowledge and lack of empathy. These poor traits leads to the creation of the monster, Frankenstein, which results in the demise of Victor and his relatives. Frankenstein demonstrates that greedy cruel behavior ties in with human suffering. Victor’s lust for knowledge makes him greedy as he isolates himself from friends and family.
This causes trouble to mankind in both of the stories. The Monster tries to comply with humans in a virtuous way for a second time, but once again receives hatred in response. Satan’s contact with humans begins with Eve, who he persuades to turn to sin. The Monster and Satan both seek revenge on their creators. The Creature begins with killing the people that are most dear to Victor.