Frankenstein creates a living being who then becomes a murderer. Who or what is responsible for the wretch’s behavior?
In the novel, one sees the development of the creature like a child. He appreciates nature’s beauty and feels love towards the DeLacey family, showing that it is ‘nurture’ that causes him to turn to murder. The way that Frankenstein, his creator who should have a paternal attitude towards his creation that he has laboured over for 2 years, rejects him because he is ‘a hideous wretch’, this brings about the discussion of society and the role it has to play in the creatures actions, due to his rejection from everyone around him, he behaves in this way. It seems that Victor's motives are selfish, when he talks about the creation of the monster, he mentions that if he succeeds in his ‘labours’ he will have ‘played the role of God’ and without thinking of the consequences of what he is doing by ‘bestowing animation upon lifeless matter’ the word ‘upon’ has a God like feel and suggests that Frankenstein believes he has the power to do so. It wasn't until death touched him personally in the case of William that he wanted to control the monster and avenge himself. The possible benefit to humanity is simply a possible product of his selfishness and desire to control nature. I don't believe this makes the murderous actions of the creature entirely Frankenstein’s fault, but I would not say that he is guiltless nor can we give him the credit of creating his monster for the good of humanity. Victor is simply foolish for trying to control something that is best left to nature, and he is punished for this, in the days of Mary Shelley religion was a big feature of society and in the lives of many, therefore ‘playing God’ would have even worse connotations. Again and again in the novel, Shelley stresses the cleansing and healing power of nature and the importance of living in harmony with nature rather than trying to control or change its course. This is...
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