Topics: Frankenstein, Novel, Friendship Pages: 5 (1771 words) Published: February 25, 2013
In Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" we are presented with more than just a story (which is how it began) but with a novel that raises deep philosophical questions. The tale of Frankenstein is much more than just a story; it is a cautionary tale which pays attention to moral values by presenting the reader with the character of Frankenstein and his toils. Mary Shelley is able to present us with more than just a horrific story but also with the moral ideas which form its fundamental basis. There are a variety of themes which run through the story of Frankenstein with the theme of friendship, nature, and most importantly responsibility. Victor Frankenstein was obsessed with creating life itself out of nonliving parts. This is shown where he refers to himself in third person saying, “So much has been done, exclaimed the soul of Frankenstein—more, far more, will I achieve; treading in the steps already marked, I will pioneer a new way, explore unknown powers, and unfold to the world the deepest mysteries of creation” (Shelly 49). Victor is so concentrated on the glory of being able to create a being from dead parts that he becomes consumed in his work and never even considers the affect this could have on society. He completely disregards this affect making this the first responsibility that Frankenstein failed to complete. He searched graveyards for material to fashion a new being, which he shocks into life with electricity. Although his creature was extremely big and being made from many different parts quickly combined together into a being was hideous. Once he had created this monster he states, “now that I had finished, the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart. Unable to endure the aspect of the being I had created, I rushed out of the room and continued a long time traversing my bed-chamber, unable to compose my mind to sleep”(Shelly 58). Frankenstein took no responsibility over his hideous creation here and instead decides to flee from the room in terror and leave the monster. This shows that he wants no part of what he created at this point so he is trying to escape the responsibility of creating the monster. Although inside he knows that he created the monster and anything the monster does will be on Frankenstein’s conscious. This leads to new events in the story that he feels responsible for. Frankenstein felt responsible for his younger brother's death when he realized that the monster he created murdered William. Frankenstein started to feel as if he himself had committed the murder because of his role in the monster's existence. Everything the monster did was Frankenstein's fault because he was the creator. Rather than blame the monster for his downfall, Frankenstein blamed himself because he created the monster's life. He did not take actual responsibility for his brother’s death however because he did not want anyone to know about the monster. Frankenstein felt as if he murdered Justine as well as William because she was executed for a crime the monster committed of murdering William. If Frankenstein would have taken responsibility for his actions of creating the monster and told people what actually happened to his brother then Justine would not have been killed for a crime she did not commit. The chain of events that the monster set off with William's murder began not with the monster, but with Frankenstein's desire to create life. When the monster came to Frankenstein to plead his case and tell his story, Frankenstein realized that he had some obligation to the monster because he created it, in the same way that he bore responsibility for the monster's actions. Frankenstein was no longer simply responsible to humanity for the monster's actions, but he was also responsible to the monster for his happiness. Being the creator of a life was more responsibility than Frankenstein planned for when he was so eager to create the monster. The monster called...
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