Victor Frankenstein:Absent Parent Essay, Research Paper
Victor Frankenstein: An Absent Parent The creature :The Rejected Child “You seek for knowledge and wisdom, as I once did; and I ardently hope that the gratification of your wishes may not be a serpent to sting you, as mine has been…” -Victor Frankenstein Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, focuses on the outcome of one man’s, namely Victor Frankenstein’s desires of dabbling with nature, which result is in the creation of his creature. Unlike Victor was not doomed to failure from his initial wish to overstep the natural bounds of human knowledge. Rather, it was his poor “parenting” of his progeny, that lead to his creation’s thirst for the vindication of his unjust life. His failure in the creation of his “child,” is specifically the creature’s monster-like persona and Victor’s own tragic life and end. As a “hero,” Victor is a hero related to Prometheus Satan and ; they were all heroic in their revolutions yet pathetic in their destinies. However, Frankenstein rebelled but failed in the full execution of that rebellion by failing to follow through, i.e. failing to parent his creation, the goal and direct result of such a rebellion; thus he created a “monster” through his absence of nurturing and love for his progeny.The world was to me a secret which I desired to divine. Curiosity, earnest research to learn the hidden laws of nature, gladness akin to rapture, as they are unfolded to me, are among the earliest sensation I can remember (Shelley, p. 22). I at once gave up my former occupations, set down natural history . . . as a deformed and abortive creation, and entertained the greatest disdain for a would-be-science which could never step within the threshold of real knowledge (Shelley, p. 27). His fate seem to be fixed from his initial decision to launch into his quest; Shelley writes, “Destiny was too potent, and her immutable laws had decreed my utter and terrible destruction (Shelley, p. 27).” Originally, Frankenstein had planned to use the results of his investigations to help mankind; but this focus soon transmuted into an all-encompassing obsession to perform the impossible for its own sake. Therefore, Frankenstien did not take into account that he would be responsible for the goal of his studies, namely the rearing, protection and care of the creation. He certainly did not adequately prepare himself for parenthood. Victor was only concerned with the means rather than the ends of his ambitious adventures of knowledge and discovery.
The creature does not receive love. Despite these unfortunate beginnings, the creature supposes that he was good, despite the absence of parenting and guidance until he encountered society. The creature learns how to speak and the tenets of morality and virtue through observation of the De Lacey family. This learning of language enlarges his intellectual capacities. He also reads their library which includes both classical and modern works. However, this education only brings grief to the creature as he says, “. . . sorrow only increased with knowledge. Oh, that I had forever remained in my native wood (Shelley, p.105).” The creature did receive an excellent education which only spoiled him from his state as a “natural man.” His is also concerned about the negative impact from the absence of motherly love and he demonstrated that through the creature’s destructive mentality. To return to a biblical reference, Frankenstein resembles Eve through the creation of the monster. Discovering knowledge, as Eve does by eating the apple or Frankenstein’s pursuing “nature to her hiding places,” they both enter into their enterprises without prior knowledge of whattheir actions may entail, Victor knows not “eating death.” Frankenstein admits that the creation of his “child” was an accident and mistake (Shelley,p. 42). Unlike an usual parent who would care about a deformed child in the same way, Frankstein rejects his “child” and all of his parental responsibility. Victor is an abuser. Indeed, many parents follow this same standart of neglect and abuse, as Victor does. Ironically, the creature’s first murder victim is a small girl which he wishes to adopt. Indeed, Victor wishes that his creation die: “I gnashed my teeth, my eyes became inflamed, and I ardently wished to extinguish that life which I had so thoughtlessly bestowed (Shelley, p.76). Shelley explores the fate of the abandoned child, the direct result of faulty parenting. The creature is aware of the absence of a parent in his life. His connectionwith the De Laceys, moves him from his “natural state,” displays to him the family, exposes him to education, and to the laws and customs of society. The creature understands his separation from society. The creature describes his fate:” . . . I possessed no money, no friends, no kind of property. I was, besides, endowed with a figure hideously deformed and loathsome. . . .I cannot describe to you the agony that these reflections inflicted upon me.” (Shelley, p. 105) Frankenstein never realizes the results of his probing actions. He could only see the excitement and challenge to their ultimate goals. Frankenstein should have paid more attention to his decisions. Probably Victor was not in an emotionally healthy state of mind when he created his child. The journey from Frankenstein’s beginnings to his role as a neglectful parent, is a deep exploration within the novel. On my opinion Mary Shelley did a great job not only by writing an excellent novel but also researching in psychology of “un-mothered” child who had more pain than pleasure during his short life. However Shelley’s novel is a masterpiece in the world literature of horror.