An ridiculously massive creature with eyes that have no pupils and a face that has been with corrupted with pus in every crevice walks up to you to ask for some help at the same time as a normal man. You reject the creature and help the man, but you soon find out that the man has no morals, compassion, or any lawfulness. Which of the two would you consider to be a monster in your eyes? The novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley revolves around a man who has an uncontrollable thirst of knowledge and an uncommon fetish to replicate a creator. While acknowledging the theme of monstrosity, Mary Shelley makes sure that the reader’s opinions about Victor and the creature never deviate from feelings of sympathy and apathy. Each character demonstrate many interesting traits which vary from submissiveness and meditation to rash and impulsive, but their own unique monstrosities is more bolded.
The way the characters respond to their environment allow for a difference in their monstrosities. One might assume that Frankenstein’s creature is the the monster due to his actions, but because of Victor Frankenstein’s isolated ignorance, obsession with the unnatural, unmoral abandonment, and hostile selfishness, the creator is the true monster. Victor Frankenstein reverts happily to isolation because of the passion associated with his work, but his ignorance towards fixing a problem that he has created contributes to his monster side. Despite his family’s emphasis on the distress and great pain Victor causes when he doesn’t contact them, he inconsiderately chooses to ignore their kindness and pleading. His decision to remain isolated attributes to his monstrosity as he shows no sign of guilt when he mentions “no youth could have passed more happily than mine” (Shelley, 67). In addition, Frankenstein thinks to himself from the perspective of the monster he has created, as he relates the “multitude of filthy animals” to humans and their “extorted screams and bitter groans” to their reaction of him as the monster (Shelley, 160). His monster-like attributes are further highlighted because of the extreme and hypocritical ignorance he demonstrates towards fixing a problem that he has induced.
Clearly, Victor Frankenstein is the true neurotic monster because he decides to encompass isolation and ignorance towards people who care about him and his own creation. While showing an obsession and a starvation for alchemy, science, and god-like powers, Victor also shows unnatural responses to the abandonment of his creations as well as his response to the quality of his familial relationships. For example, Victor mentions how “life and death” appeared to him in “ideal bounds” and how he would someday “break through” and “pour a torrent of light” into his version of the “dark world” (Shelley 51). Because of Victor’s far-fetched urge to discover the answer to deathlessness, he becomes unnaturally obsessed with the action of animating a being. Clearly, Victor can no longer be compared to a human instead a monster would be more suffice as he strives to have the same unattainable powers of a god. Not to mention, Victor marries his stepsister, Elizabeth, but his relationship with her is based on ownership rather than true love, because Victor envisions that “Elizabeth was only to be mine” (Shelley 44). Unlike humans, Victor is unable to reciprocate the various characteristics that come with a mutual relationship, because he perceives Elizabeth as a prize rather than a loved one because of his own selfish nature.
Similarly, he admits to his murderous acts by stating that he “in effect, was the true monster”(Shelley 75). Victor’s admittance to his own murderous acts is very unnatural as he further strengthens his monster-like qualities. By not sending a letter to his family for several years, Frankenstein abandons any version of familial relationship.
The decay in guilt for not contacting his family, shows Victor’s lack of compassion. In a mirror like way, Victor leaves his creation which soon after causes the death of his brother, best friend, wife, and two innocents because he decides not to reveal to anyone about his creation or attempt to fix the dangerous problem. These unfortunate events could have been avoided if Victor took the opportunity to teach the creature principles, and assist him in adjusting to society, but Victor makes the rash decision to abandon the creature in the unfamiliar world for many years. The creature isn’t the monster, the strings that pull him are, and in this case it is clear that it is Victor Frankenstein.
The lack of kindness and fellowship in the creature was caused by Victor’s monster-like selfishness and hostility. For example, he leaves his creation because he is “unable to endure the aspect of the being he had created” and his first thoughts are to “sprang” on the creature as he describes it as “rage without bounds” (Shelly 42, 81). Clearly, there is a misplacement in Victor’s hostility because his first thought involve the death of the creature. Victor’s hostility towards the creature is misplaced as his first thoughts are to kill the creature. Because of the depression that Victor Frankenstein has allotted himself with and the horrid picture of his creation, he fails to provide compassion or companionship that could have helped the creature avoid many of its accidents with society.
Not to mention, Victor states, “I was the cause” of why “Justine, also a girl of merit” was “obliterated in an ignominious grave” (Shelley 66). Victor’s decision to conceal information about the true murderer of William, resulted in Justine losing her life. Because of Victor’s selfishness, he confesses that the death of Justine was his fault due to his creation, but he does not believe it was because he hid information. It is clear that the creature can be identified to a child who was neglected by his parent, in this case Victor’s uncompassionate traits caused the neglect of teaching his creation morals or ethics. Although society considers the creature to be the true monster of the novel because of his immoral and gruesome murders, the creature was first created with a blank slate that enabled him to become a great being. Unfortunately, because he is abandoned and rejected by his creator and is forced to live a life of isolation in the unfamiliar world with his infantile brain.
Society and mankind made the mistake of judging the creature based on its outer appearance, despite not knowing of the fact that the infant creature cannot comprehend the stares and the disgust. The catalyst for all of these unfortunate events all lead back to Victor Frankenstein’s decision to run away from his creation without a second thought and reject the creature from any communication. On the other hand, many readers assume that the lack of morality in the creature is due to his nature, but that can be debunked as the creature still had the feeling of wanting to be accepted, validated, and offered companionship.
Never was it because of the creature’s nature that caused him to be the bitter thing at the end, it was actually because the creature didn’t have a personality or inherit any traits when he was created, rather the environmental circumstance were the reason for his bitterness at the end. The villainous morals and deeds of Victor Frankenstein outweigh, society’s incorrect perception of the creature being the monster because of its horrifying actions he has committed. Victor Frankenstein’s inconsideration and selfishness as well as his awkward passion for science, causes the end of his creature, himself, and his familial relationships. People who are raised in a household where their parents constantly show rejection and violence, are more likely to become replicas of their guardians in modern day society. It is more than clear that the creature isn’t the monster, Victor Frankenstein is the true monster.