The True Monster In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

1509 words - 6 pages

"God makes all things good; man meddles with them and they became evil" (Mellor).

Mary Shelley's book, Frankenstein, deals with the major dilemma of the creation of man. Rousseau deals with the topic of abandonment in Emile, which stemmed the thoughts of creation for Shelley in 1816 upon reading Rousseau's opinions. Rousseau blames the problems that children inhibit solely upon the parents shoulders (Mellor). Mary Shelley is able to relate to this statement on a personal level due to the parenting (or lack of) within her life. This in turn leads to a broader question concerning Shelley's Frankenstein; is the monster really the sole person to blame for his murderous actions? According to Rousseau's theory, the monster is not the sole problem. Victor Frankenstein is his creator or "father" figure thus giving him the responsibility of his monster.

"I felt as if I had committed some great crime, the consciousness of which haunted me. I was guiltless, but I had indeed drawn down a horrible curse upon my head, as mortal as that of crime" (Shelley 127). Victor knew that in his actions he had created wrong. He himself implies it that of a "mortal" sin, one in which completely cuts off the relationship that man has with God. The creation of man to the catholic faith is the essence of a mortal sin. God creates man and all that man does. It is God's job to create life and by Victor creating the monster, he completely disrespects that. This is what made the feat of creating man so appealing to Victor. "A new species would bless me as its creator and source; many happy and excellent natures would owe their being to me" (Shelley 39). Creation by man had yet to be explored and he was the first to cross into that impossible field of playing God. "I was surprised that among so many men of genius who had directed their inquiries towards the same science, that I alone should be reserved to discover so astonishing a secret" (Shelley 36). Since God is our creator and who is referred to as Father, Victor gave himself the role of the monsters figure's father. This however, is a role which Victor failed to fulfill. Adolescence is strongly influenced by parental figures. The monster was born with a mind of that of a child. He was unaccustomed to the world and what was right and wrong. Victor was to show his creation the ways of life, but instead fled for his own. He rejected his own creation which is what turned the monster's thinking process against that of the human race. His life was based entirely on revenge which led to the deaths of William, Justine, Clerval, and Elizabeth. These deaths would not have happened had Victor left the unknown as just that, unknown. Instead, he researched and meddled with a fatherly figure, thus leaving his creation to the impressions of another family. The De Lacey family, unknowingly, stepped in to fulfill the void that Victor left in the monster's life. The monster watched them from afar, yearning to...

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