May 11, 2011
I believe Victor Frankenstein was responsible for his creature’s actions. He had many chances to help but he was a too much of a coward. For example, Frankenstein could have helped Justine but he was too scared to speak up. It was his fault she was in jail and it was his fault she died. She was accused of killing William because Victor’s Monster put the necklace in her pocket.
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 then he blaming the monster for his downfall, Frankenstein blamed himself because he created the monster’s life.
Victor also felt as if he, himself, murdered Justine because she was executed for a crime the monster committed. Elizabeth was altered by the injustice of Justine’s death, and Frankenstein felt responsible for that alteration as well. 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. He shows his obsession with creating life when he says, “…I paid no visit to Geneva, but was engaged, heart and soul, in the pursuit of some discoveries which I hoped to make.”1
When the creature was complete he rejected it. He could barely look at the disgusting face which he had brought to life. He even says, “…Breathless horror and disgust filled my heart.”2
The weight of remorse about his role in the deaths of William and Justine adversely affected Frankenstein's mental and physical health. His responsibility for their deaths and whatever other destruction the monster may have wreaked on humanity overwhelmed him.
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.
The monster called upon Frankenstein to fulfill his obligation of providing for his happiness by creating a female companion to keep him company. Out of his sense of obligation to his creation and out of fear for his family, Frankenstein agreed to make the female monster. His responsibility to humanity carried greater weight than the idea of his responsibility to his creature for the actions of the original monster and the new one he agreed to create. He hadn't yet realized the full weight of responsibility he would bear for the actions of both monsters.
Before Frankenstein could marry Elizabeth, he had to complete his obligation to the monster so that he could be completely rid of him and the responsibility for his actions. As a result, Frankenstein postponed the wedding and took a trip to England to work without the danger of being discovered by his family. His obligation to the monster was not only to ensure the monster's happiness, which Frankenstein felt obliged to do as the monster's creator, but also as a way to protect his family from the monster's vengeance.
Before he completed the female monster, Frankenstein realized the weight of responsibility he would bear if together the two monsters destroyed any other human life or reproduced, and the thought was just too much to bear. Rather than deal with the responsibility for two hideous, superhuman creatures, Frankenstein would rather deal with the wrath of one, so he destroyed his work on the female monster. So began the battle between Frankenstein and the monster.
Frankenstein was responsible...