In the novel, Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley, the major character, Victor Frankenstein, evolves synonymously with the character of his monster. The evolution of Victor from a man of good to a man of evil leads to his isolation and eventual destruction. Correspondingly, the monster changes from a harmless being to a vindictive psychopath. What began as an innocent experiment in creation ends in a disaster of total devastation. Frankenstein, in trying to gain control of life as a creator, becomes a victim of his own creation.
At the beginning of the Gothic tale, Frankenstein is a naive scientist who enjoys experimenting. He is obsessed with finding the secret to life and hopes that he will be able to overcome death. Frankenstein believes that through his experiments he will be able to cure diseases and prolong life. During the course of his experiments, he inadvertently discovers the secret of life and decides to take it upon himself to create a human being.
Frankenstein’s decision to assume a “god like” role is driven by good intentions and an impulsive desire to achieve recognition, fame, and fortune. The scientist tampers with fate without recognizing that with the creation of life comes responsibilities and unanticipated consequences. Instead of producing a wondrous man, Frankenstein assembles a monster who becomes a hideous terror. The monster destroys the very things that Frankenstein holds dear and tried to preserve.
Correspondingly, the monster, when he is created, is an inexperienced, benign being. At first he is grateful to his creator for being given life. The monster is a gentile, disoriented creature who has no real experience with the outside world. However, as he matures, he begins to realize that he is repulsive and will never be accepted as a human being.
Like the emotions and circumstances of his creator, the monster’s initial reaction to rejection is one of denial. He...
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