Frankenstien, Mary Shelly Essay, Research Paper
At first glance, the monster in Frankenstein is a symbol of evil, who’s only desire isto ruin lives. He has been called “A creature that wreaks havoc by destroying innocentlives often without remorse. He can be viewed as the antagonist, the element victor mustovercome to restore balance and tranquillity to the world.” But after the novel is looked atone different levels, one becomes aware that the creature wasn’t responsible for hisactions, and was just a victim of circumstance. The real villain of Frankenstein, isn’t thecreature, but rather his creator, Victor. As a romantic novel Victor is responsible, becausehe abandoned his creation. As an archetype novel, Victor is the villain, because he wastrying to play god. Finally, Victor as a Gothic novel, Victor is at fault, because, he and thecreature are two different parts of the same person. If Frankenstein is looked at as a romantic novel, Victor, not the creature, is truly thevillain. When Victor created the creature, he didn’t take responsibility for it. Heabandoned it, and left it to fend for itself. It is unfair to bring something into the world, andthen not teach it how to survive. The creature was miserable, and just wanted a friend orsomeone to talk to. On page 115, the creature said, “Hateful day when I received life! Accursed the creator. Why did you form a monster so hideous that even you turned fromme in disgust.” This line shows the agony the monster was in, because of how he lookedwhen he was created which led to even Victor running away from him. If Victor didn’t run,he could have taught the monster and made his life happy. After the creature scared thecottagers away he said, “I continued for the remainder of the day in my hovel in a state ofutter and stupid despair. My protectors had departed and broken the only link that held meto the world. For the first time, feelings of revenge and hatred filled my bosom. . .” This isanother example of how the creature wanted someone to talk to him and be his friend, andthat person should have been Victor. Victor is also a villain in a Archetype sense. Victor was trying to play god, whenhe created the creature, and that is something he shouldn’t have done, because humans can’tbecome too powerful, even though they always try. Victor became so obsessed withcreating life, that it clouded his judgment, and took up all of his time and energy. On page66, just before Justine’s trial, Victor thought to himself, “During the whole of this wretchedmockery of justice I suffered living torture. It was to be whether the result of my curiosityand lawless devices would cause the death of two of my fellow beings.” This line showstwo things, first Victor knew that Justine, and William’s death was his fault. Also, he knewthat his experiments, shouldn’t have been done, and were against the laws of nature andgod. On page 39, Victor says, “Life and death appeared to me ideal bounds, which Ishould first break through, and pour a torrent of light into our dark world. A new specieswould bless me as its creator and source; many happy and excellent natures would owetheir being to me.” This quote shows how Victor wanted to be like a god. He wanted to beadmired, and praised as a species creator. And this want is another reason he was the realvillain of Frankenstein. Finally, Victor is the Gothic villain of Frankenstein. In order to see this, Victor and
the creature must be viewed as a part of a bigger character, not actually in the novel. Victor and The creature are different parts of the same person. Victor is the conscious partof the greater person, while the creature is the subconscious part. When Walton describesVictor he says, “I never saw a more interesting creature: his eyes have generally anexpression of wildness, and even madness; but there are moments when, if anyoneperforms an act of kindness towards him, or does him any the most trifling service, hiswhole countenance is lighted up, as it were, with a beam of benevolence and sweetnessthat I never saw equaled.” This description shows Victor at both extremes of the greaterbeing’s personality. He is a man and beast, sensible yet mad, fluent and silent, benevolentand despairing. The creature can also share those characteristics, showing even more howthe two characters are the same. Although, Victor doesn’t realize it, he wants Williamdead. On Elizabeth’s letter to him, she writes, “I must say also a few words to you, mydear cousin, of little darling William. I wish you could see him; he is very tall of his age,with sweet laughing blue eyes, dark eyelashes, and curling hair. When he smiles, two littledimples appear on each cheek, which are rosy with health.” Victor is jealous of Williambecause of all the attention he gets. Victor thinks of Elizabeth as a mother figure, and wantsall of his “mothers” love for himself. The creature suits Victor’s need to get William out ofthe picture, so subconsciously, Victor leaves his notes, including his families location, forthe creature to find. After a while, Victor also needs Elizabeth killed. This is because theyare supposed to be married, but Victor doesn’t feel comfortable marrying someone who islike a parent to him. This is best expressed in one of Victor’s dreams, “. . .I was disturbedby the wildest dreams. I thought I saw Elizabeth, in the bloom of health, walking in thestreets of Ingolstadt. Delighted and surprised, I embraced her, but as I imprinted the firstkiss on her lips, they became livid with the hue of death; her features appeared to change,and I thought that I held the corpse of my dead mother in my arms; a shroud enveloped herform, and I saw the grave-worms crawling in the folds of the flannel.” Because of thisneed to have Elizabeth dead, Victor marries her prompting the creature to kill her. Soalthough, Victor isn’t the one actually doing the killing, his subconscious ideas are thethings that lead to Elizabeth and William’s death. Although most people assume that in Frankenstein, the creature is the killer, thetruth is that it is the converse. Victor is the real killer. He is the killer when the novel isviewed on three different symbolic levels, as a Romantic novel, Archetype novel, or aGothic novel. On the romantic level, Victor is the villain because he abandons the creatureand leaves it to fend for itself. The creature is miserable and just wants a friend, but wasabandoned by Victor making it almost impossible. On the Archetype level, Victor is thevillain because he tries to play god. He wants to be worshipped like a god, by creating hisown species, and creating life from plain matter. But in doing so, Victor disturbed thenatural order of things. Finally, Victor is the villain on the Gothic level. There he is thevillain, because he and the creature are part of a greater being, and Victor’s subconsciouswants William and Elizabeth dead, which is why the monster kills them. Despite the factthat Victor didn’t physically murder anyone, he was the villain of the novel.