Frankenstein: Creation Is the Beginning Destruction Is the End

Topics: Frankenstein, Mary Shelley, Paradise Lost Pages: 5 (1834 words) Published: December 7, 2010
Creation is the act of producing or cause of something to enter into existence and destruction is the act of eliminating something from existence. In Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein, the main character Victor Frankenstein has a duality of character in which he is both creator and destroyer. This is evident in the novel through examples such as his self-isolation to develop an understanding of anatomy as well as to construct the monster, destroys his relationships with his family. Even through his creation of the monster Victor unknowingly brings about the deaths of people close to him; William, Henry Clerval, and Elizabeth. Victor Frankenstein’s duality as a creator and destroyer has a negative impact on himself and others, due to the fact that his facet of destruction greatly out-weighs his attributes of creation. It is Victor’s obsession with creation that acts as a catalyst to destroy the relationships and lives that he has with his friends and family.

In chapter four Victor begins to delve deep into his studies he begins to shut out the outside world, this isolation, to understand the mystery of creation, destroys his social connection with his family. At the end of the previous chapter Victor makes the decision to study Natural Philosophy. He then proceeds to attack his studies with enthusiasm and by ignoring his social life, makes rapid progress. He develops an understanding of anatomy, death and decay.

My application was at first fluctuating and uncertain; it gained strength as I proceeded and soon became so ardent and eager that the stars often disappeared in the light of morning whilst I was yet engaged in my laboratory. As I applied so closely, it may be easily conceived that my progress was rapid. Two years passed in this manner in which I paid no visit to Geneva. (Shelley 40 - 41) This is Victor’s own interpretation or explanation of his isolation, he tells Robert Walton about how he would be working all through the night until the early morning sun rises to ensure that he is progressing, learning and creating an understanding about the science of life, while at the expense of his social interactions.

As the reader progresses further through the chapter Victor has figured out the secret to re-animating dead flesh and he begins work on a little project. The construction of an animate creature which he plans to bring to life using his newfound knowledge. At this point Victor has severed all ties with the people he knows in order to make the monster in secret.

One secret which I alone possessed was the hope to which I had dedicated myself; and the moon gazed on my midnight labours, while, with unrelaxed and breathless eagerness, I pursued nature to her hiding places. Who shall conceive the horrors of my secret toil as I dabbed among the unhallowed damps of the grave or tortured the living animal to animate the lifeless clay? (Shelley 44 - 45) What Victor is doing is so vile and disgusting, that it is not a complete shock that he would not tell his family and tries so hard to keep it a secret. He believes that through the creation of the being he will change the way people understand life and death but, it is what he creates that destroys, and changes the fates of his family and friends, specifically his younger brother William.

Victor, now blinded by all of this progress, breaths life into the rotting heap he has sown together, and by doing so, creating life from nothing, he births a hideous beast which he rejects. It is because of this reckless rejection that the Monster sets out on a personal vendetta to destroy everything that Frankenstein loves and holds dear, even through creation Victor unknowingly destroys. The first to fall victim to the Monster is Victor’s younger brother William. Months after the creation of the Monster Victor receives a letter from home telling him his younger brother William has been murdered, and Justine is taking the blame. Victor does not know it yet but...
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