July 20, 2024

Constant Rejection of The Creature and The Other

In Frankenstein, Mary Shelley tells the story of Victor Frankenstein and his quest to create life. The story goes south once Victor actually accomplishes his goal and  the consequences of his creation end up being more lethal than he thought. Victor’s creation is deemed “the monster” when really he was merely a pitiful creature. The objective of bringing the Creature to life came out of Victor Frankenstein’s own obsession. He was determined to make this happen out of ambition and self-fulfillment. Victor’s cowardly response of abandoning his creation should be to blame for all of the awful events that would follow. It is only fair that Victor shares some of the liability for the Creature’s actions.

Personally, I felt most of the compassion for the Creature. The Creature did not ask to be created. He was a product of compulsion and mania. The Creature’s first introduction to the world was his creator, Victor, running away from him out of pure horror. I can see how that would scar someone and provide room for them to become evil. Abandonment is not an easy matter to recover from. After Victor left, the Creature was left alone with his own thoughts and a crushed self-esteem. Having those feelings to deal with shortly after coming into his own existence is not a painless task, especially when the Creature did not have access to coping mechanisms. He lacked all of the resources to ease his transition into the world. The first human that the Creature sees, after Victor abandons him, also runs away in terror.  The first village he walks into, rejects him as well. After the Creature finally works up the courage to speak to the DeLacey family, they end up renouncing him, too. Despite his efforts to seek out information and tools to be a contributing member of the society, he is constantly repudiated. It is not for lack of trying that the Creature is unable to assimilate into the society that he so badly wants to be a part of.

Conversely, Victor had all of the resources and opportunities to take accountability for his actions. There were so many times he could have helped the Creature and prevented him from committing any more murders or wrongdoings. Instead, Victor chose to be a silent bystander because he was too ashamed and protective of his own reputation. Victor is no better than “the monster” himself. Victor is equally, if not more, responsible for all of the deaths that occurred. Neither Victor or the Creature, knew how to value life. Victor would not have abandoned his creation, had he actually known the worth of the life he built and had not superficially abandoned him just based on his appearance. Because the Creature’s own life was not given importance, he never learned what it is to value the life of others. Hence, this explains why he continued to murder several of the characters in the book. Had the Creature been shown any ounce of empathy or kindness, Frankenstein might have ended differently.

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