Victor Frankenstein As A Morally Reprehensive Character

3222 words - 13 pages

Victor Frankenstein as a Morally Reprehensive Character

Frankenstein is a book written by Mary Shelley in the 19th century, in
the new gothic genre. At the time when it was published, it was a very
controversial book, raising many moral issues that were seldom talked
about at that time. In this essay I will be trying to find out if
Victor Frankenstein is morally reprehensible.

The title implies that the whole of Victor Frankenstein's character is
immorally blameworthy. This is a narrow-minded statement, as it allows
no room for argument. For example, only certain aspects of Victor
Frankenstein's character could have been seen as immoral. If
Frankenstein is morally reprehensive, it means that he knows he is
responsible for the events that take place and accepts the
responsibility. It is not possible for someone to stay in the same
frame of mind for their whole life, so the title is too definitive a
statement. It suggests that the whole of Victor Frankenstein, past,
present and future, is completely immoral and there are no means of
changing this. People are not only of one point of view the whole
time; they react differently in different situations and also change
with time. People can be regretful one time, then completely fine the
next, I think this is what Victor Frankenstein is like throughout the
book. If Frankenstein was morally reprehensive as the title suggests,
his crime would not be creating the monster as he could have taught
him to do great things with his strength and intelligence. I think the
crime would be neglecting the creature when he needed him the most. He
left it the day it was made; to fend for itself and wish it were dead,
without seeming to be in the slightest bit worried about him. In the
book, Frankenstein seemed to be guilty but never actually accepted the
blame. He shows the guilt, but blames the creation for staying alive
and acting upon his own instincts. Frankenstein also blames the
society for not accepting the monster. If the people had allowed him
into their society and offered him support and friendship, nothing so
tragic would have happened. As Frankenstein shows these two frames of
mind (being both guilty for the monster's anguish, and leaving the
blame on anything he can find to disguise his shame) the title is
obviously too definitive as he shows he is acting differently in these
different situations. In chapter four Frankenstein feels 'the first
enthusiasm of success' by creating the monster, but by chapter five is
regretting it considerably and remembers it as a 'terrible event'.
This shows that Frankenstein acted in different ways, but he also
knows he is to blame, realising his responsibility and becoming
morally reprehensible. Though he never speaks it aloud, we, the
reader, know that he knows he is to blame for the destruction the
...

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