The creature wants a mate. Does Victor owe the creature anything?
In the novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, a young man named Victor Frankenstein reanimates dead flesh. He finds out the creature he made is ugly and runs away from it, rejecting it. The creature is alone for several weeks and after this period, he finds Victor. The creature narrates his story to Victor about his weeks all alone. The creature talks about coming across human settlements where humans attack or run away from him, judging him by his exterior. He later finds out the reason why society rejects him. This is shown when he says, “But how was I terrified when I viewed myself in a transparent pool!” The creature later comes across a cottage where four people live and he watches them. He helps the cottagers do several things like gathering wood or clearing snow since they are in poverty and he feels compassion for them. He later enters the cottage when every person is gone on a hike except for a blind old man named De Lacey. The creature talks to him and he does not judge the creature based on his ugliness, since he is blind. The cottagers come back and seeing the creature, run away and attack the creature. The creature goes on and tells Victor about the event where he murdered William, Victor’s younger brother and framed the murder on Justine, a friend of the Frankenstein family. After finishing his narration, the creature demands a mate and threatens that if Victor does not agree to his demands, he will kill all of Victor’s family. Victor does not owe the creature a mate, but he does owe the creature a childhood filled with love and an education. First, Victor owes the creature a childhood filled with love. Victor does not give the creature a childhood after he made him and instead runs away from him. The creature is left to his own devices and has no one to raise him and nurture him. Victor appears as a fatherly figure to the creature since he created him. This is proven when Victor says before he created the creature, “A new species would bless me as their creator and source; many happy and excellent natures would owe their beings to me. No father could claim the gratitude of his child completely as I should deserve theirs.” Just as a father takes care of his child, nurturing him and giving his son a childhood, Victor should do the same for the creature, who appears as the child. Also from this quote, it is apparent that Victor was going to take responsibility for the creation he created if it turned out the way he wanted it to be. Although the creature was not perfect, Victor should take responsibility for his flawed creation and give it a childhood like the one he experienced when he was young.
Victor also owes the creature an education. Victor also does not provide the creature an education after creating it. This forces the creature to educate himself. This shown when the creature narrates, “….the idea instantly occurred to me that I should make use of the same instructions to the same end.” The creature educated himself solely through watching cottagers and reading books. Many of these books gave the creature the idea of revenge and of a mate. For example, one of the books the creature read, Plutarch’s Lives, is a biography about Greek leaders and heroes. Some used their powers for good while others used their powers for bad. This gave the creature the idea of using his power of superhuman strength and speed for bad purposes, specifically revenge. Another book called The Sorrows of Werter is about a man named Werter who loves a woman but she does not love him back. This eventually gave the creature the idea of needing a mate. Since Victor did not supply the creature an education with right ideas and beliefs, the creature took revenge and murdered William and framed Justine. It also made the creature think he needed a mate. If Victor did supply the creature with an education, the creature would not get these beliefs and would not take revenge on the Frankenstein family.
Finally, Victor may owe the creature a mate because having a mate is a right and would be atonement for abandoning the creature. This is shown when the creature says, “This you alone can do, and I demand it of you as a right which you must not refuse to concede.” Everyone gets a mate if they want to and it should be no exception for the creature. Victor also abandoned the creature knowing that he will never be accepted into society because of his ugliness. This is shown when the creature walks into a village and “The whole village was roused: some fled, some attacked me…” If Victor makes the creature a mate, the creature will no longer be lonely and will be accepted by someone similar to him.
Although Victor may owe the creature a mate because having a mate is a right and is atonement for the abandonment of the creature, the consequences far outweigh the wrongdoings of Victor. One consequence is that the creature’s mate rejects her own husband and decides not to abide by the promise her mate made. If this happened, then the wife of the creature might decide to destroy society with her own powers of superhuman strength and speed. Another consequence is that the creature and his mate may have offspring. This will lead to a whole species of creatures. They did not make the promise that they will stay in South America and similar to the other consequence, they might leave and destroy the world. If this happened, Victor would be held accountable and the whole world might be at risk. Thus, Victor does not owe the creature a mate.
Evidently, Victor does not owe the creature a mate, but does owe the creature a childhood with love and an education for the creature.