Frankenstein: Is Man Born Evil Or Corrupted By Society Essay, Research Paper
In the tale of Frankenstein, written by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, the creature is
a symbol of evil, whose only desire is to destroy lives. Rather, it was the initial rejection of his
creator that lead to his thirst for the vindication of the unfairness with which he had been treated.
It is a general belief that man may be evil, but Mary Shelley believes that all men are born good
and corrupted by the evil that already exists is society. The creation of an unloved being holds
Victor Frankenstein more culpable for his own demise that the creature himself.
Initiated into the world at the hands of man obsessed with finding the elixir of life,
the creatures then left to fend on his own. Victor Frankenstein turns from the being whom he
gave life to, in horror, therefore starting an anger that will soon turn malicious. Victor?s creation
was delivered into the world with an innate goodness that all men are born with. He tries to
communicate with Frankenstein, but is incapable of speech, not having been taught. ? and his
eyes, if eyes they may be called, were fixed on me. His jaw opened, and he muttered some
inarticulate sounds, while a grin wrinkled his cheeks……one hand was stretched out, seemingly
to detain me, but I escaped and rushed downstairs? (Shelley, p. 43). Victor even declares that
he deliberately neglects to communicate with his creation because of its shockingly horrific
Victor Frankenstein, more than any other character, should know the importance
of love, and care for one by their parents in order to become a moral and good human being.
Victor talks often of the perseveringly attentiveness with which his parents reared him. ?…they
always seemed to draw inexhaustible stores of affection from a very mine of love to bestow upon
me…the innocent and helpless creature bestowed on them by heaven, whom to bring up to good,
and whose future lot it was in their hands to direct to happiness or misery, according as they
fulfilled their duties towards me (Shelley, p.19). According to Frankenstein it was his parents
love that shaped his future. Therefore by abandoning his creation, whom he put many hours and
passion into fashioning, feelings of vengeance arise in the ?child? and he proceeds to kill
members of Victor?s family. This is Victor?s punishment for the anguish inflicted upon his
The creature tries to find someone to talk to, whereas it can not be his creator,
he looks to Victor?s younger brother William. He hopes that society has not soured this young
innocent child and that William will love him beyond his looks. He is disappointed for his
hideous looks scare even William and the creature kills him. It is then, after having been
spurned by man twice, that the creature resorts to murder. Still he tries so hard to do good,
trying to save the woman drowning, but she also struggles against him, trying to get away,
so therefore he feels he must kill her too. ? I am malicious because I am miserable. Am I
not shunned and hated by all mankind? You, my creator, would tear me to pieces and
triumph; remember that and tell me why I should pity man more than he pities me? You would
not call it murder if you could precipitate me into one of those ice-rifts and destroy my
frame…? (Shelley, p.130). In the above passage from Frankenstein, the creature merely justifies
that had Victor not been so passionately intent on the creation of a superior being, gigantic and
repulsive, all of his suffering would not exist.
The creation stalks and kills Victor?s loved ones trying to gain the attention he
has been longing for since his birth. Finally, feeling he has no reason to live, Victor provides
the creature with the attention he has craved. He does it by seeking revenge against the being that
has ultimately destroyed his life, in his eyes. By conciously choosing to pursue his creation,
Frankenstein initiates the conflict that leads directly to his death. Victor realizes this for at the
declaration of his vengeance he also says ?By the sacred earth on which I kneel, by the shades
that wander near me, by thee, O Night, and the spirits that preside over thee, to pursue the
this demon who caused this misery, until he or I shall perish in mortal conflict. For this
purpose I will preserve my life; to execute this dear revenge will I again behold the sun
and tread the green herbage of life, which otherwise should vanish from my eyes forever?
(Shelley, p.186). He knew that the only way for him to be at peace would either be the death of
his creation or his own demise.
If Victor had looked past the hideousness of his creation, and had taken
responsibility for something he had created, all of his suffering could have been avoided. His
being that he created was born with a kind heart, and all he wanted was to be loved
unconditionally and cared for, but because he was neglected he lashed out in order to hurt
Victor as he had been hurt. Therefore it was mankind that turned this creature into the monster
society saw him as, and it was Victor?s reluctance and negligence that lead to his own downfall.
Frankenstein Mary Shelley