Frankenstein's Development

Topics: Kohlberg's stages of moral development, Morality, Stage Pages: 4 (1332 words) Published: September 14, 2010
“I, the miserable and the abandoned, am an abortion, to be spurned at, and kicked, and trampled on.” In Walton’s final letter to his sister, he recounts these words that the monster speaks to him over Victor’s dead body. This eruption of angry self-pity as the monster questions the injustice of how he has been treated, compellingly captures his inner life and psychology. Giving Walton and the reader a glimpse into the suffering that has motivated his crimes. This line also evokes the monster’s final thoughts of being unwanted life, a creation abandoned and shunned by his creator. Lawrence Kohlberg’s work in psychology helps explain the monster’s mental nature through his theory of stages of moral development. Kohlberg’s theory gives a detailed sketch of the monster’s development into a complex human being ultimately revealing the foundation of his final thoughts.

Kohlberg’s theory of moral development is constructed of six complex stages that occur throughout ones life. The theory holds that moral reasoning, the basis for ethical behavior, has six identifiable developmental stages, each more adequate at responding to moral dilemmas than its predecessor. Kohlberg's six stages can be more generally grouped into three levels of two stages each: pre-conventional, conventional and post-conventional. Kohlberg’s research led him to believe that it is extremely rare to regress backward in stages, which cannot be skipped because each provides a new and necessary perspective, more comprehensive and unique than its predecessors but incorporated with them. The pre-conventional level of moral reasoning requires persons at this level to judge the morality of an action by its direct consequences. The pre-conventional level consists of the first and second stages of moral development. The conventional level of moral reasoning specifies those who reason through judging the morality of actions by comparing them to society's views and expectations. The conventional level...
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