Frankenstein: Less Human Than His Creation

Topics: Frankenstein, Mary Shelley, Love Pages: 5 (992 words) Published: October 8, 1999
There are obvious similarities between Victor and his creation; each is abandoned, isolated, and both start out with

good intentions. However, Victor's ego in his search for god-like capabilities overpowers his humanity. The creature

is nothing but benevolent until society shuns him as an outcast on account of his deformities. The creature is more

humane than his own creator because his wicked deeds are committed in response to society's corruption; while

Frankenstein's evil work stems only from his own greed.

Victor Frankenstein and his creation are very much alike. Both are abandoned by their creators at a young

age; Frankenstein is left without his mother after her death, the creature is rejected by Frankenstein's abandonment.

Frankenstein and the monster are also similar in that they are isolated and outcasts of society. Frankenstein is

hypothetically an outcast when he consumes himself in work and is isolated when the creature kills those he loves,

and the creature is obviously isolated as a hideous outcast of society. Victor Frankenstein starts out with good

intentions; he is merely seeking to gain knowledge of natural philosophy. Soon, his greed for god-like power

overcomes him and he becomes consumed with the idea of creating life, "Summer months passed while I was thus

engaged, heart and soul, in one pursuit" (32). The creature also starts out with kindness, he tells his creator, "Believe

me, Frankenstein: I was benevolent; my soul glowed with love and humanity: but am I not alone, miserably alone?"

(66). However, after society refuses to accept him based on personal appearance, the creature becomes angry.

The creature has an overwhelming capacity to love as can be seen in his admiration for the peasants, "[The

creature's] thoughts now became more active, and [he] longed to discover the motives and feelings of these lovely

creatures... [he] thought (foolish wretch!) that it might be in [his] power to restore happiness to these deserving

people" (77). The creature's display of care and compassion for the cottagers is more humane than most humans are;

he retains the innocence and naive characteristics of a child. The creature's grasp of human-like qualities allows the

reader to possess sympathy for his situation; he is a victim and Frankenstein is to blame. A true monster would, by

definition, have no emotions or remorse, while Frankenstein's creation has a very natural, human desire to be loved

and accepted, "Once [the creature] falsely hoped to meet with beings, who, pardoning [his] outward form, would

love [him] for the excellent qualities which [he] was capable of bringing forth"(154). Another human characteristic

that the creature holds is his conscience, as can be seen at the end of the book after Frankenstein dies. The creature

tells Walton, "It is true that I am a wretch. I have murdered the lovely and the helpless; I have strangled the innocent

as they slept...You hate me; but your abhorrence cannot equal that with which I regard myself"(155). Compassion,

fear, desire to be accepted, and guilt are all very human emotions and characteristics that the creature displays.

While Frankenstein is consumed in his work he feels none of the emotions that the creature feels in his first

years of life; Victor says of himself, "Winter, spring, and summer, passed away during my labors; but I did not watch

the blossom or the expanding leaves- sights which before always yielded me supreme delight, so deeply was I

engrossed in my occupation" (33). Frankenstein is obsessed with holding god-like powers, "I ceased to fear or to

bend before any being less almighty than that which had created and ruled the elements" (78). At several points in the

book Victor has the chance to prevent harm being done to others, but each time he is only concerned with himself. It

is ambiguous, but Victor could have warned the family, or...
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